Video: Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses her new book, “Positivity”
Many of us live with more anxiety and depression than cheerfulness
As a melancholic and anxious type most of my life, more like the driving instructor Scott, I have distrusted and even disparaged light-hearted people like Poppy.
“What is it with these people. Don’t they know life is serious? They must be simple-minded to be so relentlessly cheerful,” I’ve thought. At least in the past.
Positive psychology: being saner and healthier
But positive psychology researchers are pointing out that a more optimistic and happy engagement with life is saner and healthier, and even helps nurture our personal and social creative vitality.
Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD writes in her HuffingtonPost blog Keep Stoking the Positivity — Our Future Depends On It, “We need positivity, the complex web of causes and consequences of positive emotions, now more than ever. Not just to sugarcoat bitter news or distract us from gloom. We need positivity because we’re different people when we’re under its influence.
“Pleasant emotions like hope, inspiration, joy, and well-earned pride literally open us. As the blinders of negativity fall away, we take in more of what surrounds us….”
She says that kind of “mental openness fertilizes just the sort of creative and integrative thinking that hard-to-find solutions and compromises are made of. With the throng of problems facing our nation and our new president, we sorely need this expansive thinking.”
Dr. Fredrickson is author of the book: Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive.
The book site is http://www.positivityratio.com
She is a Professor of Psychology and Principal Investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina.
The fuel to thrive and flourish
Her Lab site has an inspiring message:
“You have — within you — the fuel to thrive and to flourish, and to leave this world in better shape than you found it. Sometimes you tap into this fuel – other times you don’t. But the sad fact is that most people have no idea how to tap into this fuel or even recognize it when they do.
“Where is this fuel within you?
“You tap into it whenever you feel energized and excited by new ideas.
You tap into it whenever you feel at one with your surroundings, at peace.
You tap into it whenever you feel playful, creative, or silly.
You tap into it whenever you feel your soul stirred by the sheer beauty of existence.
You tap into it whenever you feel connected to others and loved.
In short, you tap into it whenever positive emotions resonate within you.”
Another title on this topic is Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived, by Corey L. M. Keyes and Jonathan Haidt, which says about other issues in the field: “more work is needed in the areas of virtues; character strengths; and the social, psychological, and biological factors that enable human beings to flourish.”
Gaining resilience in tough times
David Van Nuys, PhD, aka Dr. Dave, in a Shrink Rap Radio podcast (an interview with Richard O’Connor, author of Happy At Last: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Finding Joy), comments:
“It’s almost as if this happiness stuff has anticipated the hard times to come. As we’re going into this recession, perhaps depression, it’s interesting to note there’s been this big upsurge of work on happiness just prior to that.”
See the post Happiness research gives hope in a dispiriting zeitgeist.
Article publié pour la première fois le 06/02/2009