Barbara Fredrikson is the author of Positivity, and her work has shown that a reasonable aim is to have a ratio of three “heartfelt” positive experiences to each negative experience. This formula requires positive experiences to be authentic – just pasting a smile on your face or faking; it does not meet the test of authenticity.
The ratio of one negative experience to three positive experiences is a tipping point and predicts whether people will flourish or languish.
Research shows that each individual has a set point for positive emotions. Some people more naturally gravitate to Positivity, whereas others more naturally gravitate toward negativity. Because research finds that Positivity is more beneficial, those with a general proclivity toward negativity may wonder if they are doomed to having a less happy and rewarding life. Fortunately, they can actively increase their Positivity and reap the benefits generated by being more authentically positive.
11 Ways to Create a Positive Outlook
- Find positive meaning in situations – What is the blessing or gift in each situation, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Savor goodness – When something pleasant happens, enjoy it to its fullest.
- Count your blessings – What good things can you be grateful for each day?
- Kindness counts – What kind of word or act can you offer in the situation you are experiencing?
- Follow your passions – Find out what makes you come alive and do it.
- Dream about your future – What do you want? If you were to create your best life, how would you describe it?
- Apply your strengths – Find out what your strengths are and use them often.
- Connect with others – No person is an island. We need each other. Build relationships that support and nurture you.
- Connect with nature – Take a walk. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Get your feet on the ground. Hug a tree. Splash in a puddle. Breath fresh air. Fly a kite. Let nature nurture you.
- Open your mind – Have a beginner’s mind, one that is open to learning new things. Expand your thinking. Invite different perspectives.
- Open your heart – How can you be more inclusive? What touches your being?
If you find yourself struggling to stay positive, you are not alone. You can learn to counterbalance negativity by cultivating a growth mindset. Teena Evert Career and Life Coach can help you make the critical mindset shift to stop patterns of self-sabotage so you can flourish.