The Positivity Ratio
Most people who know me, see me as a very positive person. That’s because I am. My life experience has taught me to be extremely grateful for every waking second I have on this Earth, even the frustrating, unhappy, challenging moments.
I just stumbled across the work of Barbara Frederickson, and I have to say, I absolutely love it when a scientist puts some meaningful research behind a core belief that I hold to be true. In her book, Positivity, Frederickson details her research of how positivity fundamentally shapes our evolution. I’ve been utterly convinced for a while that positive thinking can change our lives, but Frederickson makes a convincing argument that positive emotions have a meaningful biological effect on bodies.
What Frederickson also says, however, is that blind positivity, delusional, disconnection from reality, is not healthy. Manufacturing positivity or fake happiness can actually be harmful. It’s having a healthy mix of positive and negative emotions that makes us who we are. Frederickson calls this the 3:1 positivity ratio. For every three positive emotions we have, we need to have one negative. That balance is essential to keeping us stable and grounded in a meaningful, useful perspective on the world.
I just ordered my copy of Positivity, so you can expect to hear from me on this. In the meantime, check out the recording of Frederickson speaking, and visit her website to take your positivity pulse.