Following on from my post “Things that make you happy“, I came across this study the other day.
It says that positive emotions are often overlooked in psychology studies – despite the big impact they have on health and wellbeing (Fredrickson, 2003), and goes on to look specifically at the effect of awe. The study found that there is a positive link between how much people experience this emotion and their health (by reducing the amount of small proteins in the body which promote inflammation).
Awe is one of the 10 separate positive emotions identified by Fredrickson.
Can you think of something that causes you to feel awe? How much awe do you experience in your life? Do you make time and effort to feel awe?
While browsing online, I found an image that really struck me. It said “Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things that you do every day. Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly.” This fits in with my blog post of last week.
How many of us don’t make time for the things that make us happy? Of course, we all have to do things every day that maybe we don’t want to… but in between, are we really doing all we can to maximise our happiness? Do we perhaps make excuses instead? Or perhaps we aren’t recognising those happy events for what they are?
“Positive Psychology” teaches us that, in general, the number of positive events in our daily lives is more than the number of negative events. However, positive events and emotions tend to be much more subtle and easy to miss – negative events have a greater impact and it is easy to fall into the trap of focussing only on those.
So, what makes you happy? Is it on both of your lists? Can you find the time and energy to include happy events in your daily life… and notice them?