Chronically viewing the glass as half-empty is detrimental both mentally and physically and inhibits one’s ability to bounce back from life’s inevitable stresses. And by “stresses,” we mean all those things that are a part of a small business owner’s or manager’s typical day. New York Times columnist Jane Brody recently reviewed a growing body of research evidence suggesting that accumulating “micro-moments of positivity,” (watching a few moments of puppy videos, perhaps?), can, over time, result in greater overall well-being. For example, research conducted by Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, demonstrates that the extent to “which we can generate positive emotions from even everyday activities can determine who flourishes and who doesn’t.”
This may be the cause of your blahs
“…Repeated brief moments of positive feelings can provide a buffer against stress and depression and foster both physical and mental health, their studies show. This is not to say that one must always be positive to be healthy and happy. Clearly, there are times and situations that naturally result in negative feelings in the most upbeat of individuals. Worry, sadness, anger and other such “downers” have their place in any normal life. But chronically viewing the glass as half-empty is detrimental both mentally and physically and inhibits one’s ability to bounce back from life’s inevitable stresses.
“Negative feelings activate a region of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved in processing fear and anxiety and other emotions. People in whom the amygdala recovers slowly from a threat are at greater risk for a variety of health problems than those in whom it recovers quickly. That the brain is “plastic,” or capable of generating new cells and pathways, and it is possible to train the circuitry in the brain to promote more positive responses. That is, a person can learn to be more positive by practicing certain skills that foster positivity.”
Doing these eight things can foster positive emotions
1 | Do good things for other people, even small things
Not only does this make those people happier, it enhances your own positive feelings.
2 | Appreciate the world around you
It could be a bird, a tree, a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
3 | Develop and bolster relationships
Building strong social connections with friends or family members enhances feelings of self-worth and is associated with better health and a longer life.
4 | Establish goals that can be accomplished
But be realistic; a goal that is impractical can create unnecessary stress.
5 | Learn something new
It can be a sport, a language, an instrument or a game that instills a sense of achievement, self-confidence, and resilience.
6 | Choose to accept yourself, flaws and all
Rather than imperfections and failures, focus on your positive attributes and achievements.
7 | Practice resilience
Rather than let loss, stress, failure or trauma overwhelm you, use them as learning experiences and stepping stones to a better future.
8 | Practice mindfulness
Ruminating on past problems or future difficulties drains mental resources and steals attention from current pleasures. Let go of things you can’t control and focus on the here-and-now.
Puppy photo via WikiMedia.org | CC-BY-SA-4.0
Smile photo via istock