In my last post, I shared some of the research by Barbara Fredrickson. Dr. Fredrickson is a researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill known for her work in positive psychology, and it’s something that really inspires me. We know that you need a 3-to-1 ratio of positive thoughts to negative thoughts, and with that you can trigger an upward spiral via the “broaden and build” theory. So what’s next?
My original idea for this blog, about positivity and appreciating the good things, stemmed from a couple of thoughts. The first, 100 Happy Days, is a social media push encouraging people to realize when something good is happening on any level, and share it with others. A few of my psychology lectures have touched on the joy you feel when you share something good and receiving positive feedback. I think that this project aligns with that concept perfectly. Their website says:
“We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.”
I’m working on the challenge right now and encourage all of you reading this to try it too! All you have to do is share something good that happened to you each day– super easy. [Funnily enough, as I’m writing this post, a friend just surprised me with coffee, like their website uses as an example!]
The next source of inspiration for this blog series is from observing my own behavior and that of my friends. Like many student leaders/people who are generally busy, I know how easy it is to get caught up in checking items off the continually expanding, ever-present to-do lists. In the chaos and planning ahead, we forget to appreciate what we accomplish and the people who help us— to revel.
Like I mentioned in the previous posts, one of the steps to creating a mindset of positivity is to be open to positive experiences. That makes it easier to appreciate good things when they happen. Dr. Fredrickson knows it works, 100 Happy Days knows it works, and now we know it works, so let’s do it.
My goal is to revel, and encourage others to do the same. There are 16,000 undergraduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill. Hundreds of active student groups. Hundreds of student leaders. Thousands of people who have found what they’re passionate about and following it. That is amazing. We accomplish some amazing things, both individually and collectively. So let’s celebrate it. I’m not saying every day requires a lavish no-expense-spared party, just that we should appreciate things as they happen. Even if it’s as simple as taking a quick moment to let the wave of pride wash over you, and keep walking. Call a friend, sibling, parent, and share your joy. Take a picture to preserve the good moments. It doesn’t have to be completing a project. Celebrate just taking the time paint your nails or pet a dog. If it makes you happy, keep doing it! (Unless it’s self-destructive; maybe re-evaluate those decisions)
Those of you reading this post, I would love if you would help me out and write the things that make you happy, or what kind of things you are proud of accomplishing! For example, I just got an email from Panera that I have a free bagel waiting for me. Let’s get some good vibes flowing!