Positive emotions as described by Barbara Fredrickson are emotions leading to cognition and character preparing a person for incoming hardships in an indirect way (Fredrickson, 2003). I learned about the broaden and build theory, which states that some positive emotions share the capability to broaden people's temporary thoughtful acts and shape their means that range from physical and intelligent means to social and emotional resources (Fredrickson, 2004). The broaden hypothesis explains that distinct positive emotions widen the possibilities of consideration and reasoning leading to a widened range of thoughts and act instincts in mind. A consequence of the hypothesis is that negative emotions converge similar collections. The build hypothesis discusses the functionality of positive emotions. Contrasting negative emotions in which a person has physical and mental preparation for an immediate attack, the adaptive significance of positive emotions do not act at that moment but over an extended period (Gruber, Hay & Gross, 2014).
Individual with high resilience and optimistic before an attack feels more positive emotion. Even though positive emotions are temporary, their impact is durable and lowers the depression level of people faced by attacks. Negative emotions are adaptive in evolution and assists in immediate survival as the fear that urge people to escape from danger. The benefits of positive emotions are increased psychological resilience, broaden individual's way of thinking, improves the approach of handling stress, and restores the effects caused by negative emotions; that is anger, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and sadness.
Actions and Reactions
The reason why I have decided to write a reflective journal on the method of increasing positive emotions is that it has enabled me to understand the elements allowing people and the society to flourish. The first lecture was very interactive because of the many class activities that took place. The topic has helped me to reflect on myself in various aspects so that I was able to understand myself more and have the knowledge of performing better. I have learned that positive emotions help me to be grateful, joyful, proud, inspired, love myself and other people, hopeful, and interested in various activities.
The lecturers explained the theories of positive thinking well and were very helpful making sure that we understood all the concepts of the positive emotions. The topic lectures were properly organized and prepared well thereby providing meaningful learning experiences. The lecture notes were in powerpoint slides inclusive of explained aspects that provided a deep understanding of positive emotions concept. The materials provided by the lecturers such as the video clips enhanced the understanding of the whole topic.
The group discussion like the one about discussing the good things that happened to me and other group discussion held during the classes enabled me to develop communication skills especially on having the command to speak English. The group discussion made the class interactive. Discussing the good things that have previously happened to me raised my self-esteem because of reflecting on the good relationship I have with my classmates and family.
The topic also taught me that, a positive emotion triggers developmental spiral upward by improving the behaviors of people and increasing the emotional health of a person. I also learned that negative emotions lead to downward spirals of stress. The broaden-and-build theory requires us to reflect positive emotions as a means of directing a healthier life (Rich, 2013). It encourages me to focus on the positive activities rather than focusing on fear and depression.
Completion of this topic provided me a new and transformed mind about my intelligence of being and my future career lane. For instance, I have changed my way of processing information, I have learned ways of controlling my emotions when I am under pressure, and I have better methods of pleasing other people. I have learned to be optimistic in life through being emotionally intelligent. Negative conditions should not be conveyed by negative emotions when I have healthy thinking.
Analysis and Discussion
The unit on the way to positive emotion helped me understand the benefits of happiness that include; increased productivity and creativity at work, help in becoming good leaders, can leads to the possibility of marrying and fewer chances of divorce, strong immune system, and ability to handle of stress. For me to be happy, I should express my gratitude to the people who have influenced my life, and I should be optimistic, forgive and be committed to my goals. From the notes, I learned that to increase positive emotion, and I should appreciate the good things that happen to me, compassionate and have empathy. The activity of writing a gratitude letter to an important person brought joy in my heart hence increasing the positive emotion.
In one and half years, I will be healthy, achieved success in the workplace and increased happiness with my friends. In the workplace, positive emotions build the space for exploring values, achievement, sense, and vision where individual and departmental transformation takes place (Fineman, 2005). This is because positive emotions increase our awareness thereby opening up to new ideas to help us grow and survive. The factors that will help accomplish the set goals are hope, being optimistic, confidence, trust, and faithfulness.
Positive emotion reduces stress and improves well-being by moderating the influence of stressful events on the ability to cope with challenges. Positive emotions help to cope and improve resilience as increased resilience leads to improvement of the effectiveness of regulating emotions allowing people to recover from stressful occasions (Zaki & Williams, 2013).
Happiness is one of the factors that help to reach the goal of a successful career. Research shows that happy employees are the best employees because when a person is happy, the probability of doing an efficient job is high. This shows that happiness boosts the productivity of work done, as it is easy to concentrate and make good decisions when feeling well (Doms, 2010).
Positive emotion plays a vital role in maintaining a good relationship with friends, workmates and their employers. Increased positive emotions in a relationship improve the connection and overall happiness between people who love each other. Positive emotions improve the intelligence of a person through team working and group discussions (Hyde & Grieve, 2018). Good relationships with workmates and employers lead to working in a conducive environment and increased productivity.
In two years, I expect to succeed career-wise, work in a conducive environment with a good relationship with my workmates and my employer. Another goal is to be mentally and physically healthy. To achieve these goals, I should be able to regulate negative emotions like stress, anger, depression, and anxiety. I should also control my positive emotions to gain certain benefits of increased resilience and capability to handle stress. There are two strategies for regulating positive emotions. The first strategy is to maintain positive emotional experiences and the second strategy is to enhance positive emotional experiences.
Maintenance of positive emotions can be achieved through the sharing of positive and pleasing news with other people. If these people are eager to appreciate the feelings of the individual sharing the news, the person has the opportunity to prolong the news. Another way of maintaining positive emotions is by learning to enjoy positive feelings and experiences that may help an individual experience prolonged positive emotions (Tugade & Fredrickson, 2007). Some of the methods of enjoying positive emotions are by anticipating the future experience, appreciating and wholly engaging in the moment and recall of the experience after that.
Enhancing positive emotions can be achieved through the cultivation of gratitude (Lambert, Fincham & Stillman, 2012). This is by considering the good things that have happened in my life. Finding positive meaning and worth amongst stress can help me turn my negative emotions to positive emotions. Openness is an important way to regulate positive feelings. Focusing on previous success also makes a person feel proud and helps in cultivating greater positive emotions.
To maintain good health in the future, I will be alert to my feelings to direct them to positive feelings that are productive. Equalizing emotions creates the basis for an individual's health. To maintain good health, I need to; manage stress as stress can negatively affect the emotional and physical health. The methods of managing stress include workouts, hobby, yoga, and guided relaxation.
Another method is to seek balance by setting responsibilities that can be accomplished, setting realistic goals, setting priorities for the things to be handled first, reducing anxiety to increase focus and thereby productivity, and preserving time for my individual needs.
Being positive leads to positive emotions. Being positive can be accomplished by focusing on positive parts of a situation and relate with positive-minded people. Accepting mistakes is hard, but it is important to recognize when I am wrong things; I should accept the mistake and move on because, the faster I acknowledge the error, the fast I can move on.
Accepting support by having someone to talk to makes me feel better. Having a trustworthy friend or a skilled professional is advisable (Tong & Jia, 2017). It is not good to go through challenges alone. Additionally, I should not dwell on the downfall of the past; rather, I should look up and remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To measure the impact of positive emotions is not easy; as emotions are complex with a wide range of components, thereby measuring one component is not accurate. There are various methods of identifying positive emotions. The first method is:
- Observing the emotions-which is the skill to recognize emotional messages in tonal variations and facial languages.
- Use of emotions to enable thinking- emotions can alter the way of thinking. Sad people have negative thoughts while happy people are good decision makers, efficiency in problem-solving, reason well, and very creative (DONG, PENG & YU, 2013).
- Managing emotions- managing emotions is learning the way of regulating the emotions. Some people with the ability to control emotions assist others to regulate their emotions too.
- Understanding emotions- people with the ability to understand their emotions can regulate them.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2003). The value of positive emotions. American Scientist, 91(4), 330-335.
Tugade, M. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2007). Regulation of Positive Emotions: Emotion Regulation Strategies that Promote Resilience. Journal of Happiness Studies, 8, 311-333.
Doms, R. (2010). Prime, Boost and Broaden. Science, 329(5995), 1021-1022. doi: 10.1126/science.1195116
Lambert, N., Fincham, F., & Stillman, T. (2012). Gratitude and depressive symptoms: The role of positive reframing and positive emotion. Cognition & Emotion, 26(4), 615-633. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2011.595393
Zaki, J., & Williams, W. (2013). Interpersonal emotion regulation. Emotion, 13(5), 803-810. doi: 10.1037/a0033839
Gruber, J., Hay, A., & Gross, J. (2014). Rethinking emotion: Cognitive reappraisal is an effective positive and negative emotion regulation strategy in bipolar disorder. Emotion, 14(2), 388-396. doi: 10.1037/a0035249
Rich, G. (2013). Broaden and Build: Multidiscip...
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