Positive Emotions Create Upward Spirals and enhances emotional well-being. That is why it is called The Broaden-and-build Theory, in Positive Psychology.
By broadening our perspectives and actions, we tend to build important and lasting physical, intellectual, psychological, and social resources. Shortly, positive emotions open our mind.
Positive Psychology breaks it down to 10 different positive emotions that we can experience;
We feel joy when we experience positive and unexpected circumstances like good news or a pleasant surprise. It creates the urge to play and it learn us skills via experiential learning.
We feel gratitude when we acknowledge another person as a source of positive unexpected circumstances. Creates the urge to creatively find new ways to be kind and generous oneself. It learn us skills for showing care, loyalty and social bonds.
Another word for contentment. We feel serenity when we feel comfortable and at ease with our current circumstances. It learn us new priorities and new views of self.
We feel interest when we meet something that is mysterious or challenging (not overwhelming). Create the urge to explore, to learn and expand the self. It learn us knowledge.
As most feelings arises from circumstances that is safe, hope is an exception in that way that we feel hope when we are in circumstances where we fear the worst but hope for better. Where there is a chance for hope. Create the urge to turn things around by own capabilities. It learn us optimism.
When we take credit from some socially valued good outcome. We feel proud when we have reached goals. Create the urge to dream even bigger about what we can accomplish. It learn us achievement and motivation.
We feel amusement when there is some non-serious and funny event. They create the urge to laugh and create social bonds. It learn us social bonds.
We feel inspiration when we witness human excellence. We feel inspired when we see someone do well or achieve something. Create the urge to excel oneself. It learn us motivation for personal growth.
We feel awe when we experience something beautiful like art or a sunset. When we feel overwhelmed and that something feels like bigger than ourselves. It learn us new world views.
We feel love as a really powerful emotion. Arises when any other of the positive emotions is felt in the context of a safe connection or a relationship. It learn us social bonds and community.
First of all we have to recognize positive emotions as positive, and not just as neutral events. And then we have to get to know them in their difference. Every positive emotions brings us in to different states of action. Did you for example think about hope in a tough situation as a positive emotion? We have to practice to recognize positive emotions and how they really feel in our bodies, because they are often hidden behind a state that for us feels like neutral and therefore passes us by if we don’t pay attention to them.
We tend to pay attention to and attract things around us that we feel are positive, rather when we are in a more natural state and tend to have a more closed awareness, like box thinking. Remind of a situation where you were truly relaxed and calm, and a solution to a problem hit you so clear that everything felt possible and you got this feeling of ease and flow.
Try to connect a personal experience with each and one of the 10 different emotions. How did your body feel with joy? And interest? And inspiration? The more you get to know your own reaction to those different emotions, the more you will be able to receive more, and pay attention to what passes every day.