The Power of Positivity
“We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or, we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have the choice!” —Dalai Lama
Positive psychology compliments problem centered psychology by focusing on people’s strengths and accepting their limitations, by building on the best parts of people’s lives while repairing the worse parts and by helping people be fulfilled by healing their pathology. Positive psychology is not just based on positive thinking nor on affirmations. Rather, it is based on research and scientific evidence of what makes life worth living.
We now know that:
- What we feel is as important as what we think/when we change our thoughts we change our emotions.
- Happiness buffers setbacks and disappointments.
- Our strength of character gets us through crises.
- Strong healthy interpersonal relationships and connections make our lives better.
- Work can provide meaning and purpose and can increase our productivity, pride, confidence, and creativity.
- People of all ages can be resilient and flourish.
- We need to acknowledge and honor that we all are physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual beings.
- Our charitableness, kindness and compassion for others matters.
- Our attitudes color our perceptions and judgments.
- Positivity can be taught-it is a choice and the choice is OURS!!
Evidence suggests negative emotions can be damaging both physically and emotionally. They support very minimal survival oriented behaviors. Contrarily, positive emotions increase one’s awareness and encourage one’s exploration of thoughts and actions. Positivity helps create life affirming skills which eventually lead to adaptability and self efficacy. We can choose to be proactively positive-one positive thought at a time. When we clear our minds of our negative thoughts we promote positive changes in our affect, our behaviors, our bodies and our minds. Positive thoughts help us create positive moments-one moment at a time. Since life is made up of moments, our lives can thus become more positive, more rewarding, more serene and more content!!!
Idelle Newburge LMHC is a therapist at the Center of Psychological Effectiveness in Plantation, Florida.