I presented a Wishful Thinking workshop on Saturday to a wonderful group of women in Tampa. It was a small, intimate gathering at a beautiful tea house. The women were friendly, interesting and open; I learned a lot!
During the workshop I spent a bit of time talking about positive psychology and recent research related to happiness. I saw this article later, and wanted to share parts of it with you, because it is a good summary of exactly what we were talking about.
The article was in the June 26 online issue of the Positive Psychology News Daily. Bridget Grenville-Cleave, a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) student at the University of East London, provided a series of summaries from the 5th European Positive Psychology Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 23-26 2010. Here is part of one of her summaries:
“Keynote 2: Barbara Fredrickson (Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)
How Positive Emotions Work, and Why
. . . Positivity opens us, changing our perceptual horizons. Recent brain imaging research shows that the perception of people in a neutral or negative state is focused in one area, whereas people in a positive state have a broadened focus. The implications of this are as follows:
- We can see many possibilities.
- We’re more creative.
- We’re more resilient.
- We perform better. . .
Positive emotions transform us for the better – they’re a source of nourishment for growth . . .”
Well, there you have it – being positive is good for you! Gratitude and appreciation stimulate wider areas of your brain, meaning you have more brain power going for you – neurotransmitters firing, connecting, interacting. That’s a good thing.
Picture your brain on happiness – it is like a party in your head, and all the guests care about you and are working to make your life better.
That is what being more positive can do for you, and your brain scans can prove it.
I like that. Party at my place.