Thank you to those who are traveling with me through the Positive Psychology 6 week course run by Dr Barbara Fridrickson. This is week 3 and I have learnt so much.
As a very interesting aside, tonight my 9 year old out of the blue said “I just want to be free.”
“What do you mean by that?” was my response.
“I don’t want to go to school, I want to be free to do other things.”
“Like what?” Was my next question.
“I want to go fishing and mountain bike riding.”
I was very interested to have this conversation, we have been discussing this boy lately as he has been struggling with life at different times. This conversation has certainly made me think. He is 9 and feels like this – what is happening to his childhood? What positivity are we prioritizing for him?
This week one of the ideas put forward was ‘prioritizing positivity’ (It was stressed that negativity is an important part of life, but the ratio is the key). The idea put forward was that we need to purposefully think about ways in the day to ‘create a circumstance to experience positive emotions’. It is about building the emotion, not focusing on the feeling. It is about actually thinking about doing something each day that builds a positive emotion for you.
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Dolly Parton
The list of benefits that come as one prioritises includes:
*more positive emotions
*higher life satisfaction
*reduced depressive symptoms
*better able to express appreciation
*build better relationships
*put more effort into positive feelings
*choose to savor positivity
*plan for positive experiences e.g. what’s planned for a relaxing Sunday
Interesting. Maybe I need to make the time to take my boy fishing and mountain biking? But then another point made was that it is not just the big events that builds positivity, the small little positive emotions actually make more of a difference.