Scientists have shown that because positive and open mindsets produce exploration and experiential learning, they also come to produce more-accurate mental maps of the world.
When we inject people with positivity, their outlook expands. They see the big picture. When we inject them with neutrality or negativity, their peripheral vision shrinks. There is no big picture, no dots to connect.
Flourishing goes beyond happiness, or satisfaction with life. True, people who flourish are happy. But that's not the half of it. Beyond feeling good, they're also doing good-adding value to the world.
The benefits of positive emotions don't stop after a few minutes of good feelings subside. In fact, the biggest benefit that positive emotions provide is an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life.
Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture which helps them identify solutions where as negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems.
The boundaries between you and not-you вЂ” what lies beyond your skin вЂ” relax and become more permeable. While infused with love you see fewer distinctions between you and others. Indeed, your ability to see others вЂ” really see them, wholeheartedly вЂ” springs open.
Love is a momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: First, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a synchrony between your and the other personвЂ™s biochemistry and behaviors; and third, a reflected motive to invest in each otherвЂ™s well-being that brings mutual care
Positive psychology is both a movement and a science. The movement involves absolutely anyone who is interested in evidence-based approaches to improving well-being, either for themselves or for their community. I invite you to join this movement!
You know that saying 'A little knowledge is a dangerous thing'? That's so true of positive psychology. Our latest research tells us that the pursuit of happiness is a delicate art. Certain approaches to seeking happiness are now known to backfire, whereas others are effective.
Positive thinking is just one small part of positive psychology. Plus, as an approach to well-being, positive thinking only helps you to the extent that it yields one or more positive emotions. The problem with positive thinking is that it sometimes just stays up "in the head" and fails to drip down to become a fully embodied experience.
I began studying human emotions more than twenty years ago. At that time, almost every scientist working in this area was studying one of the negative emotions, like fear, anger, anxiety, or depression. I wondered why no scientists cared to explain why we humans sometimes feel upbeat and pleasant. I liked the idea of charting new terrain. It's been a fun intellectual puzzle. There's so much to discover!
My all-time favorite topic in positive psychology is the study of positive emotions. I'm fascinated by how pleasant experiences, which can be so subtle and fleeting, can add up over time to change who we become. I'm especially excited these days about investigating how positive emotions change the very ways that our cells form and function to keep us healthy.