The quote, “Happiness is the key to success,” can very aptly be used in reference to this particular news article. It seems that positive emotions can increase a person’s resilience against the various challenges that life throws at us. According to a latest study positive emotions can possibly increase an individual’s life satisfaction by building up their resilience. This study was conducted by the experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Apparently, surrounding oneself with positive emotions does not necessarily mean shunning out negative emotions. These experts noted that the level of positive emotions that had yielded beneficial results didn’t seem to be extreme. Meaning that, people with stable and average levels of positive emotions seemed to have built up on resilience, even in the presence of negative emotions.
“This study shows that if happiness is something you want out of life, then focusing daily on the small moments and cultivating positive emotions is the way to go,” says Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, UNC; and also the lead investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory. “Those small moments let positive emotions blossom, and that helps us become more open. That openness then helps us build resources that can help us rebound better from adversity and stress, ward off depression and continue to grow.”
For this study, an analysis was believed to have been conducted on almost 90 subjects for a period of 30 days. These subjects were evidently not asked general questions which required them to gauge the amount of happiness felt over the past few months. Instead they were required to submit daily “emotion reports.” It is stated that these reports assisted the experts in getting more precise recollections of the emotions, which in turn aided them in evaluating its differing levels.
“A lot of times we get so wrapped up in thinking about the future and the past that we are blind to the goodness we are steeped in already, whether it’s the beauty outside the window or the kind things that people are doing for you,” explains Fredrickson. “The better approach is to be open and flexible, to be appreciative of whatever good you do find in your daily circumstances, rather than focusing on bigger questions, such as ‘Will I be happy if I move to California?’ or ‘Will I be happy if I get married?’”
The secret of building positive emotions apparently lies in paying attention to the “micro-moments” of life. This may aid in gradually opening up one’s positive emotions.
These findings have been published in the journal Emotion.