I’m a total bookie, and normally I have 2-3 books in process on my nightstand. I will blow through a fiction book, but when I’m reading non-fiction I have a tendency to read a bit and then put it down to pick up later. I sample and digest. Then I sample again.
But, once I picked up the book Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD., I ate it in one big bite!
I am on a mission to help women change their thinking and beliefs so they can live Life Just Right™. My goal is to have every women feeling her own power, her own confidence, and living her own dang life (not someone else’s). And, ladies, if you’re on board with my mission, then this book’s gotta be on your shelf (or your e-reader)!
Here’s what I find to be exceedingly powerful about Dr. Fredrickson’s book, Positivity.
The author is a scientist and her passion is researching positivity
This is not simply a book of good ideas and happy thoughts; it is researched findings about how our thinking and feeling affects our lives. But, it doesn’t read like a stuffy journal article; as far as I’m concerned, it’s a page turner.
The premise is you are in charge of the way you think and feel about your life. Not a new statement or idea, but it’s being backed up by science. And, the author shares many of her studies so that you can easily see how she came to her conclusions. BTW — the studies are really cool and interesting.
Dr. Fredrickson calls the effects of increased positivity the build and broaden theory. Positivity builds many things in your life like, psychological strengths, physical health, and social connections. And, it broadens your mind which allows you to be open to creativity, other people, and solutions to problems.
“At a fundamental level, then, positivity alters your brain and changes the way you interact with the world,”
Balance is key
Dr. Fredrickson says that negativity has a role and that we are not aiming to eliminate it altogether. Phew! That just seems too hard, and I’m in agreement with her point that our crappy days often create the places we can grow.
There’s also a magic ratio of positivity to negativity – 3 to 1. That doesn’t seem so hard, does it? Under this ratio and your life diminishes. Above this ratio and you flourish!
But wait! Too much positivity is also not the goal. Nobody likes the shiny, perky Pollyanna, and the author shows us clearly that once a certain ratio of positivity to negativity is reached, positivity begins to lose it’s (ahem) positive effects.
Tools, resources, and what to do
So, what if you’re one of the 80% who fall below the crucial 3 to 1 positivity to negativity ratio?
No worries, Dr. Fredrickson lays out a whole slew of very specific ways to increase your positivity in her positivity toolkit.
For example, she recommends that you create a ‘kindness day’ in which you perform acts of kindness that make a difference and have some cost to you. Why all the kindness in one day and not little kind bits every day? Because her research has shown that there is greater impact to your positivity if you bulk up your kindness rather than spreading it out. Interesting, yes?!
If you simply can’t wait to get your hands on the book, you can go over to www.positivityratio.com and take a positivity quiz to determine what your ratio is.
But, I recommend reading the whole book, digesting, and then reading again.
The world (and you) could certainly benefit from a bigger positivity ratio!
Where do you think your positivity to negativity ratio lies? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.