The things we think and the ways that we feel have a direct effect on our health whether you want to accept it or not. If you have ever gone through something that made you feel terrible, then you know this is true.
Being positive can have some pretty amazing effects on us. Positive emotions make us feel full within. They really transform how we are able to get through.
When we are going through something negative we will oftentimes lose our appetite, motivation, and some may even experience headaches and body aches. Negative emotions can be damning to us depending on how we handle them. This is in the say way positive emotions can be life-changing if we allow them to be.
I recently came across a couple videos by Barbara Fredrickson. She is someone who has researched positive emotions and their power for quite some time. She has found that on a cellular level being positive and having positive emotions can transform us.
The idea that positive emotions can have positive effects on our health really does not surprise me as I believe it deeply. We have proven time and time again that thinking positively benefits our mental health and improves our well-being so it would make sense that positive emotions would do the same. Click here for some information on the benefits of positive thinking.
Fredrickson’s theory ‘Broaden-and Build’ seems to suggest that positive emotions lead to expansive behavior and then from there emotional resilience. These causing meaningful relationships and so much more. She says that negative emotions are necessary on some level but that we should be focusing more on the positive. Positive emotions in her opinion are always fleeting and should be increased as much as possible.
Now the abstract for a study published on Fredrickson’s broaden and build theory can be found below, this will give you a better idea of it:
The broaden-and-build theory describes the form and function of a subset of positive emotions, including joy, interest, contentment, and love. A key proposition is that these positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoire: joy sparks the urge to play, interest sparks the urge to explore, contentment sparks the urge to savor and integrate, and love sparks a recurring cycle of each of these urges within safe, close relationships. The broadened mindsets arising from these positive emotions are contrasted to the narrowed mindsets sparked by many negative emotions (i.e. specific action tendencies, such as attack or flee). A second key proposition concerns the consequences of these broadened mindsets: by broadening an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoire–whether through play, exploration or similar activities–positive emotions promote discovery of novel and creative actions, ideas and social bonds, which in turn build that individual’s personal resources; ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Importantly, these resources function as reserves that can be drawn on later to improve the odds of successful coping and survival. This chapter reviews the latest empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory and draws out implications the theory holds for optimizing health and well-being.
Interesting concept, isn’t it? Now, to learn more about positive emotions and how they relate back to our health and can open our minds please check out Fredrickson’s videos below. These are some pretty fascinating things to watch and I cannot get enough. Do you believe her theory?