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But I like being a grouch!

January 18, 2011

What Experts Say…

“When we are in a positive mood, people like us better, and friendship, love, and coalitions are more likely to cement … our mental set is expansive, tolerant, and creative. We are open to new ideas and new experience.” (Psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman in his book Authentic Happiness)

In Other Words…

Sometimes we make fun of people who are relentlessly positive. We call them Pollyannas! Yet research has shown consistent benefits to positive mindsets. On the job, positive emotions increase creativity and problem-solving skills. At home, positivity strengthens our relationships. (In fact, recognizing five positives for each negative is the single best predictor that a marriage will be strong and enduring!) Positivity pays off.

How this Applies to You…

Try to find small ways to improve your positive emotions. One of the most important things you can do is to look for the good in your life and relationships. You can also take a walk outside, find a service project to work on, or stop and remember something pleasant. These activities will increase your positive emotions. The more you increase your positive emotions, the more happy,  creative, and productive you will be.

To Find Out More…

For an excellent (and free!) program on improving your personal well-being, check out The Personal Journey or Managing Stress at www.arfamilies.org.

For more in-depth reading we recommend Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman or Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson.

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