A newly popular approach to life called “prioritising positivity” has surfaced and with its simple process, I can see why so many people are taking on this new approach. One of the main aspects of prioritising positivity is making time for the activities in your life that give you pleasure and evoke positivity.
A recent study carried out by Cantalino, Algoe and Fredrickson (2014) tested whether this everyday happiness strategy predicted better well-being, specifically more positive and fewer negative emotions, more satisfaction with life in general and less depressive symptomology. They concluded that this approach does, in fact, improve happiness.
“Prioritizing positivity reflects the extent to which individuals seek out positivity by virtue of how they make decisions about how to organize their day-to-day lives.” (Cantalino et al, 2014)
So, how can you incorporate this strategy into your everyday lives?
Keep a ratio of positivity > negativity
We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t have a rainbow without any rain” and the same is true when it comes to positivity. Without a small amount of negativity in our lives, we don’t truly value the positive and whilst never being negative sounds great, it’s actually quite harmful. Similarly, trying too hard to be positive and achieve a state of perpetual happiness can often result in the opposite.
Create an opportunity to experience positive emotions
Sometimes, if we let life pass us by and don’t go looking for something that will give us pleasure, it’s easy to fall into a negative pattern. Go out of your way to make a list of the things that make you happy and give you pleasure, however small those things may be. Work these aspects/activities/tasks into your daily life and let yourself experience the happiness they bring.
Don’t be unnecessarily negative
Whilst some negativity is healthy, allowing yourself to wallow when it’s actually not necessary can be harmful to your well-being. When you feel some negativity seeping into your life, ask yourself if it is really necessary. If it isn’t necessary, find a way to turn it into a positive or if possible, get rid of the thought altogether.
Prioritising positivity can result in higher life satisfaction, better relationships, positive experiences, more resilience and above all, happiness. So what are you waiting for, what are you going to do today to build your positive emotions?