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Our innate drive to create change in our lives is simply the manifestation of our continuing hope for greater satisfaction and happiness. Being Positive.

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Presentation on theme: "Our innate drive to create change in our lives is simply the manifestation of our continuing hope for greater satisfaction and happiness. Being Positive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our innate drive to create change in our lives is simply the manifestation of our continuing hope for greater satisfaction and happiness. Being Positive about Positivity

2 Workshop objectives Greeting Welcome and background What we will discuss A little about emotions What is Positive Psychology and Positivity How do positive emotions work for us How to build our positivity – in ourselves and in the workplace D O WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO BE POSITIVE ?

3 Emotions!?! Defined: Short lived psychological-physiological phenomena – Modes for adapting to changing environment – Psychologically: Alter attention, shift behaviors, & activate memories – Physiologically: Rapidly organize biologic response systems (facial, muscular, nervous system, etc.) for optimal response – Serve as repository for learned influences

4 How emotions work Effects of negative emotions have been know for decades – fight or flight – prepare us mentally and physically by initiating systemic change. But, how do positive emotions work – do they actually initiate a systemic process? Yes! – There are unique brain areas that connect in processing positive emotions. – Create a systemic change that helps us learn, create, interact, expand our thinking and broaden our vision (literally – peripheral vision actually larger)

5 Positive Psychology Areas of research combined under idea of helping normal, everyday humans maximize their contentment with life – Not just fix the problems that diminished the quality of life – Enhance the qualities that make life more – that increase satisfaction

6 Positive Psychology Ultimately, positive psychology and positivity is about helping us have a happier and more satisfying life. Significant to that quality of life is resilience – listed as a benefit of positivity, and the target for the Army’s program – the ability to bounce back from the challenges and issues we face in life

7 Enter Positive Psychology 2011 Seligman’s book, Flourish, introduced concept of 5 aspects of psychological orientation that determine if we languish or flourish, (or how happy are you): – Positivity (emotional balance – P:N) – Engagement – Relationships – Meaning – Accomplishment We will be looking at Positivity today

8 Positivity Of the five key areas of Positive Psychology, Positivity is one of the most critical Leader in Positivity research – Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. – Asked, if there is an evolutionary reason for negative emotions, is there a comparable explanation for positive emotions? – Her research returned a resounding yes!

9 Positivity Aside from the very important factor of reversing the effect of negative emotions, lead us to broaden and build our perspective on the world – Negative emotions lead us to narrow our focus – to look at the detail – for the presence of threat – Positive emotions have us expand our view to search for what might be – to envision the possible

10 Positivity From our positive emotions come deepened experiences of: joy, serenity, curiosity, love (the most encompassing), creativity, and other feelings and motivations that are necessary for survival – as necessary as fight or flight – These feelings drive hope for the possible and the fulfillment of potential – They spark the urge to play and allow for the integration of new energy into old self images

11 Positivity Positivity has the ability to impact the trajectory of our lives – increase optimism and self-efficacy, and significantly support our resilience Positivity can be built upon Positivity is of great benefit to our health – mediating and even reversing certain health factors – improving sleep, enhancing immune system, and supporting our social experience

12 Positivity Finally, positivity obeys a tipping point – – Positivity is not just being positive, it is the relationship of positive thinking to negative thinking – The tipping point is 3:1 (positive to negative) Below people are prone to negative spiral thinking – view the world from a strongly negative and limiting view In the range of 3:1 to 11:1 people have a tendency for positive or upward spiral thinking – expanding and empowered Over 11:1 is a state of ignorance of reality – not unlike the adolescent magical thinking that is so dangerous

13 Positivity Probably the most encouraging aspect of all of this is the fact that positivity can be built – we can grow our capacity for positivity by considering a few things: – Being positive is not ignorance of negative aspects of life, but the balance of our consideration of those negative aspects with our positive aspects – Our opportunity lies in managing the negative and building the positive

14 Positivity To manage the negative: – Challenge your negative thoughts – Create a relaxation routine Mindfulness? Progressive relaxation? – Breaking downward spiral thinking – Identifying negativity landmines – do you know what will key them

15 Positivity Increase your Positivity (what this is all about) – Search for and find positive meaning in day to day circumstances – reframe the unpleasant – finding good in unpleasant leads to faster recovery – Savor goodness – not analysis – linger over good things (:20 seconds) – Count your blessings! Keep a gratitude journal (even if only in your head) – Do small acts of kindness – compliment someone, hold a door, ask about family… – Give yourself permission to play and follow activities that lead you to moments of flow

16 Positivity Increase your Positivity (what this is all about) – Connect with others – Connect with nature – Open your mind – openness and positivity are fused – positivity will create openness and openness will support positivity – Open your heart – love freely and often – cherish those that you love – keep them in your heart and show compassion

17 Positivity in the workplace A whole new paradigm for organizations – Leading with Positive emotions Undo negatives Fuel resilience Broaden thinking Trigger optimal functioning Contagious Finding positive meaning – Positive work culture is essential for wellbeing and performance

18 Positivity in the workplace Identify what works – strengths of both organization and team Find the vision – goal setting Plan based on strengths Create the goal and build in the meaning

19 One more thing So, why courage to be positive? – Negativity Bias – initiates fight or flight – we feel stronger / more powerful – immediate gratification – Positivity – initiates more creativity, curiosity, openness, but not same immediate power. May even makes us feel vulnerable But we will live Better!

20 One more thing We can all benefit from more positive thinking in our lives – The more we can manage and limit our negative thinking, the better our ratio for positive to negative thinking is and the less impact we will have from stress – The more we exercise our positive thoughts and embrace the gratitude we have for even the little things, the more we will be tipping the balance in favor of health and happiness

21 Randy Johnson MA, MAC


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