Positive emotions

Every after the tumultuous experiences that gruesomely threaten to obliterate us into oblivion, we seek for solace in the things around us. So we spend on new things, new experiences, learn new habits to fill the void and give meaning to life as we know it. And when we look within, we reminisce on fond memories, or else, our mental health suffers greatly and it’s at a cost we might never be able to repay. So it’s important that we wind down for our own good so that our health doesn’t suffer greatly. What better time is there for us that when the year is ending so that we bounce back with aplomb and be in the best shape for the next year while having a good ending to the current year?

As already established in many health reports, the definition of health encompasses various aspects, ranging from physical, social and mental wellbeing and not only the absence of disease or infirmity. So it isn’t uncommon to be without disease and still be unhealthy. But this article shouldn’t in anyway come off as doctrinal step by step, or guide, or a to-do list for the things one should or shouldn’t do to ensure that they are in the best shape possible, in emotional terms, but it is poised to help one identify the positive feelings that one already has and harness them for one’s own benefit and the benefit of others, by first understanding how important positive emotions are to one’s well-being.

One of the things that influence social and mental wellbeing is positive affectivity.

Positive affectivity, which is an inbuilt human trait and describes to what extent, does an individual subjectively experience positive moods and feelings (sensations, emotions, sentiments); and how these feelings affect others. And this is a very important trait because it affects the will to live and alleviates one from a host of would-be negative mental health conditions and also perpetuate desirable traits such as happiness and high self-esteem.

High positive affectivity provides one with a proper framework for their mental faculties to easily process emotional information and effectively use it to solve problems or all together avoid conflicts and improve the quality of life. People with high positive affectivity carry desirable traits such as enthusiasm, positive energy, and confidence and so such people manage stress better and have better health in the long run.  Low levels of positive affectivity are associated with increased stress levels that hinder proper judgment, lethargy that affects quality of life, chronic procrastination which may lead to much reduced productivity, and may inadvertently lead to social anxiety and depression.

Scientifically, positive affect (feelings, sentiment and emotions) has been shown to improve dopamine levels in the brain, with increased dopamine; individuals have been seen to have improved cognitive motor and emotional processing. In older patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, it may temporarily relieve Parkinson’s disease that is characterized by motor and cognitive dysfunction after a drop in dopamine levels.

Whether it’s through spirituality, meditation, yoga, psychotherapy or any other way through which one may find and harness positive emotions, it is important that we emphasize why we hold on to the positive emotions considering that the effects of positive emotions transcend to every aspect of life and health.

Happy holidays!

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