Positivity Ratio

“How much positive emotion do we need to flourish?” is a question posed by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and author of the book Positivity.  She says it can be answered by what she calls the Positivity Ratio.  Research has shown that the ratio between the amount of positive and negative emotions you have will determine whether you’re languishing or flourishing.  The tipping point for flourishing starts at 3 to 1, which means you must experience three or more heartfelt positive emotions for every one heart-wrenching negative emotion that you endure.

Dr. Fredrickson says that 2 to 1 is the typical daily ratio that most of us experience, adding that those with depression and other emotional disorders fall into 1 to 1 and lower ratios.  However, she points out that the ideal ratio is not 3 to 0 because there must be a balance.  And she warns against trying to eliminate all negative emotions.  Rather than make your motto “Be Positive,” remember that the key to achieving this ratio is that your positive emotions must be heartfelt and sincere.  Otherwise, they are not effective and will backfire instead.

Running time:  8:44 minutes

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Angela Loëb helps people rediscover and use their gifts so they bring who they are to what they do in life. http://about.me/angelarloeb __________________________________________________________

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