Valuing Positive Emotions

Let’s understand how our well-being is a balance between negative and positive experiences.

Did you know that we need three times as many positive to negative emotions every day to function and be well?

For example, anytime you feel angry, anxious, or sad, you need three times as many positive emotions like curiosity, gratitude, awe, joy, or inspiration to offset the negative impact and return to normal. 

This means that the more positives you add, the greater the results.

The number of positive and negative emotions that we have compared to one another is known as the “positivity ratio”.

When we have more positive than negative emotions in one day, our positivity ratio is larger.

Under the influence of a greater positivity ratio:

We process information more quickly and creatively.

We problem solve more flexibly.

We have an easier time connecting with others.

Our bodies recover from stress more easily.

So how do you find your ratio?

To find it, track how many positive emotions you feel across the day and any negative emotions, too, for the coming week.

You don’t need to remove negative emotions but add more positive ones to make the gap between the two larger.

Track your ratio for today, and write it down in the space below.

What can you do to make the gap between the positive and negative even larger?

Maybe sing a song, call someone, crack a joke, smile and say hi to a stranger, open a door for others and wish them a good day.

It all counts.

How did the activity make you feel?