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From Suzy Reading: There is no denying the profound effect positive relationships, or their absence, have on our wellbeing, health and happiness. Human beings have a basic need to belong – it is an evolutionary, biological drive. Positive relationships provide us with support in times of crisis and they amplify our joy by allowing us to share in the good times. In relationship we experience love, comfort and acceptance, adding meaning and purpose to our lives. They create for us an “upward spiral”. The more time, energy and effort we put into building more positive relationships, the more we experience positive emotions. The happier we are the more we attract higher-quality relationships which in turn, make us happier! It is a continuous positive feedback loop. Investing in building more positive relationships is one of the most powerful strategies to boost happiness.
From NY Times: According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, you have a happiness set point. It’s partly encoded in your genes. If something good happens, your sense of happiness rises; if something bad happens, it falls. But either way, before too long, your mood will creep back to its set point because of a really powerful and perverse phenomenon referred to in science as “hedonic adaptation.” You know, people get used to things.
From Beth Kanter at Harvard Business Review: Developed by Seattle-based improvisation teacher, Matt Smith, it works like this: Instead of cringing when you make a mistake, you raise your hands in the air, announce, “I failed”, grin like a submissive dog, and then move on. The failure bow can be transformative because it alters our physiological response to failure by removing the demons of self-doubt and self-judgment. Without those holding us back, we can be more flexible and improve results and learning.
In a TEDGlobal 2012 talk given in Edinburgh, Scotland, Cuddy outlined her research, offering a “free, low-tech life hack that takes two minutes” as part of “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.” Almost everyone will acknowledge the importance of non-verbal, interactive communication. We make big decisions based on such information, and often do so · Watch video →
From NY Times: Eric Butler’s mission is to help defuse grenades of conflict at Oakland’s Ralph J. Bunche High School, the end of the line for students with a history of getting into trouble. He is the school’s coordinator for restorative justice, a program increasingly offered in schools seeking an alternative to “zero tolerance” policies like suspension and expulsion.
The approach now taking root in 21 Oakland schools, and in Chicago, Denver and Portland, Ore., tries to nip problems and violence in the bud by forging closer, franker relationships among students, teachers and administrators. It encourages young people to come up with meaningful reparations for their wrongdoing while challenging them to develop empathy for one another through “talking circles” led by facilitators like Mr. Butler.
From Bridget Grenville-Cleave at Positive Psychology News Daily: In our Positive Psychology Masterclasses, we frequently discuss with participants the relative merits of flow (also known as engagement or absorption) and positive emotions as routes to happiness. Based on our individual experiences we all have different perspectives. Some put their money firmly on positive emotion being a superior source of happiness. The work of Barbara Fredrickson on the Broaden-and-Build theory of positive emotions has opened our eyes to the possibility that positive emotions are more important than we have traditionally thought. They don’t just make us feel good, they do us good too. But the more I learn about it, the more I think that the importance of flow as a source of well-being is vastly understated.
“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something we make happen.” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1992, p.3)
In a 2005 article in American Psychologist, Barbara Fredrickson and Marcial Losada suggest that ratios of positive to negative emotions above about 3-to-1 and below about 11-to-1 are what humans need to flourish. In separate research studies — Fredrickson on positive emotions and Losada on characteristics of high-performing business teams — each found a 3.0 tipping-point. · Read more →