What Are Positive Emotions In Positive Psychology?

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

Everyone likes to feel good, and positive emotions help them feel good. Emotions like joy, excitement, happiness, and inspiration are essential for anyone who looks to dwell a healthy and happy life. Positive psychology makes people content and happy. Research studies have confirmed that positive psychology can help with stress management and improve your overall health and well-being, adding flavor to your life.

What is Positive Psychology?

‘Positive Psychology means tackling life’s challenges with a positive attitude/emotion. It also does not mean avoiding or ignoring the bad things, instead, necessitates the need for making the best even in bad situations, trying to see the best in other people who hurt you, and positively presenting your abilities.

Barbara Fredrickson frames the Broaden-and-Build theory as the foundation of positive psychology. This theory aims to narrate the influence of positive emotions on human well-being. Negative emotions like – anger, fear, hatred, etc. indicate confined responses. Whereas, Positive emotions lead to cognitive flexibility, improving social ties, and increased skills.

In the Broaden-and-Build theory, Barbara associates the following psychology with emotions - 

  • Joy → Play

  • Interest → Explore

  • Contentment → Savor & integrate

  • Pride → Dream big

  • Gratitude → Creative giving

  • Elevation → Become better

  • Love → All of the above

People with an optimistic approach take credit to themselves when good things happen and reproach the outside forces for any negative outcomes. They also consider the negative outcomes as temporary and atypical.

Difference between Positive Thinking and Positive Psychology

Though ‘Positive thinking’ and Positive Psychology are used interchangeably, it is significant to understand that they are not the same. Positive thinking is only about approaching things from a positive perspective. On the other hand, Positive psychology definitely focuses on optimism but it also takes care of the various benefits associated with thinking positively.

Factors associated with Positive Psychology

The following are the factors associated with positive psychology –

  1. Develops your self-confidence

  2. You get to understand who to develop hope and be optimistic in every situation

  3. Streamline your goals, values and enhance motivation

  4. Enhances your positive emotions

  5. Builds up your skills using your ability

  6. Helps invest in high-quality social ties and relationships

  7. Improves flexibility and the ability to deal with negativity in a productive way

The Value of Positive Emotions

For many years psychology has been focusing on the study of negative emotions like – anger, stress, anxiety, sadness, etc., as most psychologists identified them to lead to various psychological disorders. Due to this, most researchers found positive emotions to be less fascinating. But after the research study presented by Barbara Fredrickson, psychologists have realized that positive emotions can be very valuable, and are trying to understand the benefits of positive emotions.

Linking with Context

A. Positive psychology in practice < https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/positive_psychology_in_practice >.

B. Positive Psychology Course < https://www.coursera.org/learn/positive-psychology >.

C. The Benefits of Living Positively < https://psychcentral.com/blog/positive-psychology-the-benefits-of-living-positively/ >.

D. The broadens–and–build a theory of positive emotions < https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2004.1512 >.