04 Feb Do You Have to Feel Good All the Time?
If you’re reading this you probably know I’m a fan of happiness!
But if you’re a regular reader you’ll also know that I don’t believe anyone will be, or should try to be happy ALL the time.
The so called “negative emotions” are normal and appropriate; it’s perfectly OK not to be OK sometimes.
All of which is why I’m happy to share this Psychology Today article by Ilene Berns-Zare …
- Mixed emotions—positive and negative—are naturally part of the human experience.
- Even brief, mild positive emotions can help reduce the impact of negative emotions.
- While we don’t have to feel good all the time to experience fulfillment, some strategies can help us move toward greater balance and resilience.
Positive psychology is not about “Don’t worry, be happy.” In some ways, terms like positivity, flourishing, and positive emotions can be misleading.
Adversities, difficulties, and a range of mixed emotions are part of life. And we don’t have to feel good all the time to live with well-being and fulfillment. Research shows that when we experience negative emotions, even brief mild states of positive emotions have much more potency than we might think (Fredrickson, 2009). Even in small doses, positive emotions can help dilute the impact of negative emotions.
Explaining a few terms may be helpful. Flourishing means living with well-being in a way that is pleasant, engaged, purposeful, and connected to others (Seligman, 2011). Positive emotions occur when you find pleasure in experiences, such as gratitude, contentment, humor, joy, optimism, happiness, interest, love, hope. Negative emotions occur when you do not find pleasure or experience less pleasure, such as anger, grief, sadness, fear, loneliness, or powerlessness. Resilience is the ability to adapt well to life’s difficulties.
For example, Jamie relocated to a new city. She is happy and relieved to have made the transition but also feels sadness and loss as she misses her familiar surroundings and friends. How can Jamie accommodate the mixture of feelings she is experiencing?
During these challenging times when there’s so much suffering in the world, many people are encountering a wide range of emotions. During periods of challenge or adversity, we may feel less than good—and mixed emotions (positive and negative) are a natural response. Research by Raul Berrios, Ph.D., and associates, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies (2017), indicates that mixed emotions are related to creating meaning and well-being in life. Berrios suggests that seeking meaning and experiencing mixed emotions can play a positive role in building overall well-being.
We don’t have to feel good all the time to experience life as meaningful and fulfilling. Ups and downs, positive and negative emotions, are part of life. The term eudaimonic well-being relates to resilience and experiencing life as meaningful or purposeful. According to Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., the key to eudaimonic well-being is moving toward a balance of positive and negative emotions (2009).
To achieve this, we can learn to recognize and accept our many emotions, explore these emotions as they arise, and remind ourselves that the feelings will pass. Then we can dig into our toolboxes of resources and make choices about how to respond…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE