As you know, I sincerely believe that positivity does work to help people live fulfilled and happy lives. And I’m not the only one. Since I have started this blog and continued to research statistics and other ideas surrounding the concept that positive thinking can improve mental health, I have found many resources; including other professionals who subscribe to a similar idea.
Today, I came across a social psychologist, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, who is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory. She heads a research program that is aiming to define how positive emotions are intergral to a person’a ability to flourish. Click here to check out more info about her P.E.P. Lab (PEP…cute, right?)
In addition, she provides a tool, The Positivity Ratio Self Test (Wanna try it? Click here) that may help us to continue to be self-aware about how much we are really thinking positive, as opposed to how much we would like to say we are thinking positive. Once you answer the brief questionnaire, you will be given a positivity ratio score and explanation of what your score means. Because your emotions change daily, Dr. Fredrickson recommends that you take the test in the evening for at least two weeks (I would say use it whenever you feel that you need to). To help you in that effort, she created a free website that you can log your data. If you are interested, you can open your own positivity monitoring confidential account by clicking here.
I recommend monitoring your level of positivity because it may help you to maintain your self-awareness about your habitual thinking patterns. So, it’s not necessarily the score that matters, but the insight you gain from acknowledging your own feelings. If you consistently answer that you felt “ashamed”, “humiliated”, “guilty”, “stressed”, etc., it might a good idea to address that is some way. That way might be to utilize counseling to identify where that negative pattern of thinking is coming from; it may be seeing a medical professional to make sure that you do not have a medical reason for those feelings, or it may be as simple as stepping away from a situation that consistently inspires those negative thoughts.
Now go on…test your positivity. Be honest with yourself. No one else is looking but everyone else around you is feeling your energy. This tool will help you to put more effort in putting out the positive vibes.