The aim of this article is to promote the goodness of positive psychology that brings wellness in order to live in a more rewarding life and authentic happiness. The objective to promote “flourishing” consists of “Perma” (positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment). How can we bring and promote these objectives awareness to negative and unhappy people and how we can leverage the positivity and happiness scale and influence the people in the society by being mindful and aware of our environmental issue, looking for more good things around us and sharing with friends in the network, do kind things and say kind words to others and being grateful. When you starts doing and act on it with the genuine focus of helping others, you experience similar affect of innate happiness when you see people flourishing.
Learning Positive Psychology is already a footstep towards self flourishing. The conceptual applications are well equipped with various model and techniques to balance one’s mind, attitude and behavioral. Every mankind will definitely face with difficult situations in their life especially when we are dealing with our emotion, behavior and cognitive. When one becomes negative and pessimistic toward unfulfilling life, these emotions will affect human motivation that result in anxiety associating with their moods and temperamental, social withdrawal and interest in learning and growth.
The very first step to start off applying the application of concepts and models will be our own self as a role model after the completion of the Application in Positive Psychology course. I have fully experienced the goodness of this course in which I took away with sustainable well-balanced positivity and a strong set of perspective which can help influencing people on cognitive thoughts. I truly believed that by making the effort setting a goal in helping the community to flourish will be a dual traffic positive self-improvement process. Hence when we act on something positive and do something good to people, other party will assess it positively in cue with the emotion. As Chaiken, S., Liberman, A. & Eagly, A. H. (1989) cited, it has also been suggested that emotions (affect heuristics, feelings and gut-feeling reactions) are often used as shortcuts to process information and influence behavior. The affect infusion model (AIM) is a theoretical model developed by Joseph Forgas in the early 1990s that attempts to explain how emotion and mood interact with one’s ability to process information. Forgas, J.P. (1995) defined the term affect infusion as “the process whereby affectively loaded information exerts an influence on and becomes incorporated into the judgmental process, entering into the judge’s deliberations and eventually coloring the judgmental outcome”. In other words, a process that determines the degree to which mood can affect our judgment. Positive emotions ignite innovation and inspire people in creativity of thoughts and act positively. This act in a cycle and revolves around the universe.
I have been working in couple of multi-national companies where I met many individuals of all nations, races and cultures with different behavioral and cognitive pattern. I constantly see the common problematic behaviors in workforce that are causing damage or limiting trust with one another. Co-workers’ refusal to share information creates a superficial barrier in relationship and used sarcasm often disguised as humor to hurt others and hence create bad negativity working environment. I believe that people has to communicate effectively and connect with one another in a real authentic and deeper personal way. By taking the step to connect with peers and co-workers in getting to know them better helps me to understand their work and also able to identify their strength which will enhance working relationship. As I am in the administrative supporting role, understanding our co-workers area of work is critical in the supporting function for the team and also these help to minimize work conflicts and negative judgmental perspectives. Applying gratitude and kindness in workplace will leverage one’s positivity, well-being and happiness and in turn will help increase the success rate in the company; working faster speed with creativity. One example of a simple test which I have applied daily is to give a smile to colleagues and even to strangers especially in the morning. The positive result is so reflective that it affects the person’s and brings lightness for the start of the day. Godoy, R.; et al. (2005) cited that research continually proves that smiling really does increase attractiveness and likability between humans.
In fact, smiling correlates with greater trust, greater financial earnings, and increased interpersonal cooperation. Offering a random act of kindness to my colleagues by assisting them in some of their administrative work or even making an effort to notice troubled colleagues by cheering them up when they are facing a difficult situation. Even offering them with snacks and crackers to break away their stress focus is an act of kindness and bring bondage to relationship.
In making an effort to connect with colleagues and loves one in simple act of kindness and gratitude exercises, will draw one another closer. Hence better communication and personal information can be share openly and comfortably with trust to enhance inter-personal relationship and it will be easier to connect as well as ability to identify their signature strength (top strengths). In doing so, I will have them log in to Authentic Happiness website to complete the VIA Signature Strength online questionnaires so that they can use their top strengths regularly in their lives which they have identified out of the twenty-four strengths. According to authors Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman (2004) stated that research on character strengths is a fascinating part of positive psychology. Character strengths are “the psychological ingredients—processes or mechanisms—that define the virtues.” Cloninger, C. Robert (2005) cited that practical applications of positive psychology include helping individuals and organizations correctly identify their strengths and use them to increase and sustain their respective levels of well-being. Each trait “provides one of many alternative paths to virtue and well-being.”
Human’s heart is just like a love bank and the more love you deposited in it, the more positive emotion you will received for your well-being. Same goes for the relationship with our family and loves one. When we quarrel, bear grudges, criticize or blame one another and show disrespect; these are the common traits of negative emotion that create bad impact to the heart and withdraw from the love bank account. Constant withdrawal (negative emotion) will bleed off your saving in the love bank (depleting your emotional balance) and impair your soul. Typically mankind often remembers negative things in details more than the positive side. “The brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres,” said Professor Nass, who co-authored “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships” (Penguin 2010). Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones, he said. Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them — than happy ones. Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University, captured the idea in the title of a journal article he co-authored in 2001, “Bad Is Stronger Than Good,” which appeared in The Review of General Psychology. “Research over and over again shows this is a basic and wide-ranging principle of psychology,” he said. “It’s in human nature, and there are even signs of it in animals,” in experiments with rats.
Lately, I have started to share more positive happy pictures and quotes in my Facebook page and have brought awareness to my circle of friends. Some of them are more inspire and feeling happier when they view my page. And at times I will circulate funny articles to friends just to brighten their days and sharing positive information. Just imagine if you are staying around with a negative and angry person, you will feel distress and your energy level will be sapped away as well as dampening your spirit. Sometime it will deflate even the most optimistic outlook. We have to make use of the technology to help in delivering positive message across to miserable people when you are avoiding them physically. In this way, you are refraining from being drag into their emotional baggage and sadness. However, I would also suggest on posting personal happy photos discreetly in particular to different segment of friends in your Facebook page. In a study survey by Sociologist Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge (2012) stated that Facebook is making us sad on the kinds of pictures people post on their page. Strangely people feel much sadder when they view their friends leading a much better life than them and in which they will tend to compare that life is so much unfair when they are comparing. It takes a little bit of work to group your categories of friends whom you will like to share more personal pictures or newsfeed and those who you feel is just acquaintances but will like to share more positive outlook of information to them. I always like to share good photos that can express the story of happiness with friends will be a memorable and savouring process. It can be a picture of you and your mum having a good tea-time at a local street food stall enjoying the aroma of a traditional coffee, street pictures of the less fortunate one on the street when you visit the third world country can heightened the elevation of emotion. Or even upload some happy moment of videos on Facebook to share with friends. We can start educating your circle of friends of being mindful that we can bring into our day-to-day activities. As a whole, Facebook can be a good social platform to help connect with one another over the globe in real-time and give social support and advise.
With support network group with the like-minded individual in Positive Psychology community, we can empower one another when we stumble on any difficult situations or problems and sharing on information to their friends to build a bigger network around the globe with our common vision “I’m Contagious”. Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence (Aristotle).
Baumeister, R.F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K.D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology, 5, 323-370.
Chaiken, S., Liberman, A. & Eagly, A. H. (1989). Heuristic and systematic information processing within and beyond the persuasion context. In Uleman, J. S. & Bargh, J. A. (Eds.), Unintended thought, 212-252. New York: Guilford Press
Cloninger, C. Robert (2005). “Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification”. American Journal of Psychiatry (American Psychiatric Association) 162 (162): 820–821. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.4.820-a. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=177494. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
Clifford Nass & Corina Yen (2010). “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships”. ISBN: 1617230014.
Forgas, J.P. (1995). “Mood and judgment: The Affect Infusion Model (AIM)”. Psychological Bulletin 117 (1): 39–66. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.117.1.39.PMID 7870863.
Godoy, R.; et al. (2005). “Do smiles have a face value? Panel evidence from Amazonian Indians”. Journal of Economic Psychology 26 (4): 469–490. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2004.10.004.
Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. February 2012, 15(2): 117-121. doi:10.1089/cyber.2011.0324.
Peterson, Christopher; Seligman, Martin E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification.. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516701-5.
Schwarz, N.; Clore, G. L. (1983). “Mood, misattribution, and judgments of well-being: Informative and directive functions of affective states”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45 (3): 513–523. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1683.
Mabel Ang from The School of Positive Psychology