Okay I study +ve psychology but…..

Okay I admit it

I study positive psychology

But I can be very negative sometimes…

(Tbh positive psychology encourages you to feel all emotions… But let’s play along)

So today

When I was being negative without any reason… just mood shift

My sister said – When life gives you lemons… You’re supposed to make a tasty lemonade and drink!!!

I said..

“No no girl… When life gives me lemons….

I take it

I sniff it

I cut it

I taste it

I make a wound

And rub that lemon on the wound

And feel all the pain

And then with a dash of positivity

I flush it down the sink”

Who can relate?

This is the reason you are not happy

I remember the time when I went on my first date with my boyfriend.

It was a beautiful rooftop restaurant with delicious food and pleasant music.

I was happy. Of course.

But the thing is that we are in a long distance relationship and don’t see eachother often, so on this date I was worried about how I am looking and what should I be talking about… I was clearly nervous and self conscious.

maybe I should sit with my legs crossed.. and what to do with my hands.. and how am I looking? Should I go for a quick touchup? What should I talk about? Am I laughing too loud.. what will he think about me

I was so busy with this “inner chatter” that I feel bad that I didn’t enjoy the moment to the fullest.

There are many things that would have been much better if I could just be in the moment and take it all in.

I really regret not enjoying that date because after that we couldn’t meet for eight months.

I really wanted to enjoy that date

I was planning for weeks!

I am so in love with this man and I wanted everything to be perfect

But in the hurry and flurry of making everything perfect I forgot to enjoy things as they were

I was so busy thinking about other stuff, about planning the next move and interpreting what he was thinking that I didn’t really pay attention to our conversations and I couldn’t recall the songs we heard the next day.

I felt so bad for messing up that beautiful moment and not really enjoying what was in front of me.

Doesn’t this happen most of the time?

I mean not like we messup every date

But like we’re constantly having this endless inner chatter in our mind!

We constantly keep thinking about things of how they could be or should be instead of accepting wholeheartedly and enjoying the way they are.

Maybe this is the key of happiness. It’s not even much about finding or creating the happy moments it’s just about being open.

Being open and let happiness unfold itself.

Being open and enjoying all the little things in day to day life that make you happy.

Being open to the fact that happiness/ pleasant moments are fleeting but it’s okay.

Being open to the fact that you can also create as many happy and positive moments as you want in your life.

Being open to find happiness and joy even in the most unexpected ways (mundane things for example)

Being open and thinking that even if things don’t go according to plan what’s the worst that can happen? You’ll laugh and think back on this memory years later with a smile on your face.

Whether or not you experience positivity depends vitally on how you think. Positive emotions – like all emotions – arise from how you interpret events and ideas as they unfold. They depend on whether you allow yourself to take a moment to find the good – and on whether once you have found it, you pump that goodness up and let it grow.

– Barbara Fredrickson

Also there’s this another interesting quote I found by her.

If you want to reshape your life for the better, the secret is not to grasp positivity too firmly, denying it’s transient nature. Rather it’s to send more of it into your life – to increase your quantity of positivity over time.

– Barbara Fredrickson

Reading this quote made think about this incident. And I forgave myself for not enjoying that one date and moving forward to create even better memories together.

Positive emotions are fleeting and we need to stop trying to hold on to them but to be open and let them flow. Try to increase positive experiences.

And be mindful in that moment when you see sparks of positivity and happiness.

What’s the best way to respond to good news?

Let’s say your girlfriend tells you that she has been promoted at work.

How would you respond to it?

Will you say –

A. That’s good. Congrats!

B. But now you will have to work extra hours, have you thought about how to manage everything?

C. What’s for dinner?

D. Wow! That’s amazing! Congratulations!! Did your boss like the project you made a week ago? Tell me more about it. Let’s celebrate!

Okay so if you are being honest, maybe you’ll say something from A B and C.

The D option is mostly used by girls and their best friends! Am I right ladies?

(When you tell your girl that you’re promoted or something she’s gonna get really excited and insist you to tell the whole story – what happened, how you felt, everything! And then maybe you’ll end up celebrating all night)

Okay I don’t want to be biased here. But in my experience I haven’t received such type of response from my boyfriend or the boys friends that I have. But girls?! Oh the girls! They always say something like that.

You’re still not getting why am I talking about this are you?

Imagine you are telling your best friend or family member or your cousin about your promotion at work.

Which of the above reaction would you like them to give?

How will you feel when they say “good. congrats!”?

Maybe okay. Not so good.

How will you feel when they tell you about the new challenges or problems you might be facing?

That’s such a turnoff. You were so excited and now it’s ruined. Maybe you won’t feel like sharing good news with this person again (unless of course they play a major role in your life). But still a major turnoff.

How will you feel when they ignore what you are saying completely and talk about something else?

Ouch. Who does that? Definitely not telling you next time.

And how would you feel if they get all hyped up and enhance your mood, encourage you to relive the experience and tell them about it. When you see that spark in their eyes that they are really interested and genuinely happy for you, that will make your day.

No doubt. That’s the best response anyone can give. (I am telling you everything from now on. You’re my best friend! 😉 )

Okay so why am I talking so much about how to respond? Why does it matter so much?

It does.

Take a look at this research –

The work of Shelly Gable, a psychologist at the University of California–Los Angeles, has shown that how we respond to positive events, such as a person sharing his or her accomplishments with us, is a better predictor of relationship success than how we respond to negative events

She has shown 4 ways we respond to accomplishments –

A. That’s good. Congrats!

This is passive constructive response.

B. But now you will have to work extra hours, have you thought about how to manage everything?

This is active destructive response.

C. What’s for dinner?

This is passive destructive response.

D. Wow! That’s amazing! Congratulations!! Did your boss like the project you made a week ago? Tell me more about it. Let’s celebrate!

This active constructive response. (ACR)

ACR creates what Fredrickson and Joiner call “upward spirals” of positive emotions—extending the sharer’s enjoyment beyond the discovery or event itself, and building positive capacity so that the relationship will be better able to weather negative events.

– From the book – Joy of leadership (by Tal Ben Shahar and Angus Ridgway)

So research has found that how you respond to good news of eachother strengthens the relationship. And ACR, active constructive response is the best one to give.

Try next time giving such ACR feedback to your friends, colleagues or even family member’s good news.

Have you noticed this before?

That if someone responds to your good news with the same excitement and enthusiasm and is eager to listen and celebrate with you, you feel closer to that person emotionally.

I have definitely felt so before. (That’s the reason I adore my friends so much…)

But anyway,

Tell me about your experience. Will you try this? Lemme know what you think about it.

May I be kind to myself

When I talk to myself,
May I be kind
For I know that the kindness I plant in my heart,
Determines the way I’ll go

May I be kind to myself
When I make a mistake,
When I am hurt,
When things go wrong

May I be kind to myself
And validate my pain
Say “this hurts”
And remind myself
I am not the only one,
Suffering is a part of life

May I be kind to myself,
Place a hand on my heart
And say
“Keep going, brave one
For this too shall pass”

© Vrunda Chauk

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