Every day is made up of experiences, moments. Each has the potential to impact you, your day, others, etc. I’ve been reading a bit about positivity (always good going into the darker seasons I find) and have been reminded that negative experiences can have more impact. That said, positivity is key to happiness, progress, just about every measure of success there is. In order to make impacts where you want to, it’s important to reduce the impact negative experiences have on you.
Some research from John Gottman and Robert Levenson, who studied the effects of negativity with couples, suggests the ratio is 5:1. That would mean that for every negative encounter, there should be five positive ones to counterbalance the effects of that negative experience. So in order to counteract the inevitable impact of negative experiences, it’s important to have an arsenal of positive ones.
I’m starting to see more and more people intentionally building positive experiences into their daily lives, and I think it’s an excellent idea. Keeping a list of awesome, happy-making things to do when you need a lift is a great idea anyway, and if it helps you reach other goals by making your life more positive, so much the better. You can incorporate these activities into work or home-time to improve your outlook. Here’s a list of 10 of mine!
- Take a fun photo of the kids to share.
- Take a walk outside when the weather is nice.
- Have coffee with a friend.
- Read by the window for half an hour.
- Send IMs to people you’d like to catch up with.
- Go window shopping.
- Clean something out that needs it.
- Watch an engrossing tv show (Stranger Things 2, anyone?)
- Do some writing, drawing, singing or playing of an instrument.
- Hitting the gym for a workout (and some time in the whirlpool).
On a side note, Happy Halloween! Here’s me, putting number 1 from my list above into action!