“The experience of positive emotions may be a key to helping us live up to our potential. Even though there is the daily impact of stress and negative emotions on us as human beings, there are also many life-enhancing effects resulting from positive emotions happening in our world.
When we experience negative emotions, our thoughts and actions tend to be more limited, less receptive and more predictable. On the other hand, when we experience positive emotions, we tend to have a broader scope of attention, clearer thinking and more capacity for action. We can think of more options for whatever the situation may be. We have more capability of building our resources over the long term physically, intellectually and socially.
For instance, people who tend to have more positive emotions might come up with more problem-solving ideas at work, saving the company money, time, and even the jobs of the people around them. At home, the same ability to broaden and build could help us solve relationship blocks and keep family bonds strong and resilient.
Positive emotions have a significant influence on our thinking processes and produce patterns of thought that are unusual, flexible, creative and receptive. States of positive emotion favorably affect social behaviors we tend to be more helpful, generous and cooperative. We are kinder towards others.
How to Activate a Positive Feeling – 3 Easy Tips
- Care – Allow yourself to care for someone or something. It feels good to be cared for, and it feels good to give care also. Care generates a sense of security and connection, a life-affirming bond. Watch tendencies to worry about who you care for. Keep your care balanced.
- Appreciate – Identify someone, something or some experience for which you are thankful. Then take a moment to sincerely re-experience that feeling. If you can’t feel appreciation for anyone or anything, try to recall a time in your life when you did. You can probably remember someone special who believed in you.
- Still don’t feel anything? That’s OK. Stay with your sincere intent to care or appreciate. Go about your day with an attitude of care or appreciation. That can get the ball rolling, even if you don’t feel anything at first. Sometimes it can take a little while for your feelings to catch up with your earnest intentions.
Numerous studies in HeartMath Institute’s research library shed light on what goes on in the body during an experience of positive emotions. In several studies, research subjects were asked to intentionally change their emotional state, while focusing their attention in the area of the physical heart. (This area is where many people subjectively feel positive emotions.) Results show that this shift in focus and feeling helps to increase our heart rhythm coherence and nervous system harmony, which results in a change in the signals sent to the centers of thought and emotion in the brain. This change in signals increases our higher order thinking skills and our capacity to regulate our emotions both of which are normally impaired during stress, anxiety and other negative emotional states. Our discernment sharpens and resourcefulness increases. We are able to assess and deal with problems, interactions and decisions from a broader, more emotionally balanced perspective.
The familiar phrase “out-of-the-box thinking” might be one way to label this new intelligence. But it is more than that. One might say that our thinking becomes more expressive of who we really are.”
From “Key to Human Potential – Positive Emotions” By Sara, from the HeartMath Institute