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Positive Psychology 101

During the current pandemic & quarantine, we are all forces to stay in home all day, night & week. So, we are all forced to have some negative thoughts & feelings visiting every while. We are all stressed, lazy, lonely, and more negative thoughts from staying in home for almost 90 days & still counting. So, I took this opportunity to take a course I have always wanted to take. I have enrolled to a "Positive Psychology" course on Coursera online learning platform. And below is the key takeouts from my first week of studying. If you are interested, signup or download the mobile application to stay connected!

"Positive Psychology" investigates the positive things that should be added to our lives to make it better in its dynamic nature. It revolves around the fact that living a good life is not only about removing what is wrong, bur also adding right things.

John Milton once said that the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. The mystery of the human mind!

We need first to distinguish between negative feelings/emotions that solve problems of immediate survival. And positive feelings/emotions that solve problems concerning personal growth & development. A study has shown that people who express most of the time positive emotions lives up to 10 years longer that those who express most of the time negative emotions. And the gain in life expectancy is considerably higher than the gain achieved by those who quitted smoking.

In a nutshell, people who feel good live longer as positive emotions trigger creative thinking, flexible thinking, and open thinking. Even feeling grateful broadened positive learning which in turn builds optimism, and this build on the "spiral up" theory where positivity brings positivity. Positive emotions leads to broadening people's mindset & undo the lingering effect of negative emotions. Positive emotions don't just transform individuals, it might also transform groups of people, within communities & organizations.

There are 10 positive emotions & how we are interpreting it accordingly:

  1. Joy which is interpreted as being playful. Resonated by being safe, familiar. Tend to play & results in acquiring new skills.

  2. Gratitude which is interpreted as giving. Resonated by receiving altruistic gift. Tend to give creatively through giving back or paying it forward & results in social bonding.

  3. Serenity which is interpreted as integrate. Resonated by safe, certain, low effort. Tend to integrate & results in modifying self or world views.

  4. Interest which is interpreted as explore. Resonated by mysterious. Tend to explore & results in gaining knowledge or being energetic.

  5. Hope which is interpreted as positive change. Resonated by fearing the worst, yearn for better. Tend to be inventive & results in increased resilience.

  6. Pride which is interpreted as dreaming big. Resonated by achievements. Tend to dream big & results in further achievements.

  7. Amusement which is interpreted as laughter. Resonated by non-series social incongruity. Tend to share laughter or insights & results in building friendship or being creative.

  8. Inspiration which is interpreted as excellence. Resonated by witnessing human excellence. Tend to aspire to excellence & results to gain skills or morality.

  9. Awe which is interpreted as accommodating the new. Resonated by being overwhelmed by greatness. Tend to accommodate the new & results in positioning yourself as part of a larger whole.

  10. Love which is interpreted as all positive emotions in connection. Tend to play or explore or dream & results in trust or creating bonds.

So, a good exercise to end this article with is to build a "positivity portfolio" or scrapbook/collection of images or photos or songs or quotes or objects that reflects one of the above 10 emotions. This exercise will broaden our mindsets becoming more resilient, resourceful, and connected with versions of ourselves.


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