Increasing Positive emotion
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Increasing Positive emotion

Before talking about positive emotions, let us understand what is an emotion? In simple words, an emotion is a conscious subjective feeling that arises out of our experience. Like time, it is fleeting, i.e. it comes and goes. It is not constant. It is important to experience different emotions as they help you to respond effectively to a situation, e.g. you may feel scared when you see a snake and because of the fear response associated with it you tend to run away (also called flight response) which is important for your survival. Another purpose of emotions is to help you connect with others.
There are two kinds of emotions: positive and negative emotions. Positive emotions are those emotions that help you live more fully and deeply. These include feelings of joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, peace, pride, inspiration, love etc. It helps not just in engaging in social relations but also improves your health in the long run. One needs to experience it in their lives in order to obtain its benefit. The second type of emotion, negative emotions, are those emotions that are likely to hinder your growth or pull you back. Some examples of negative emotions are sadness, fear, anger, disgust etc. This doesn’t mean that you should never experience negative emotions at all. Like positive emotions, negative emotions are also part of our lives and experiencing both is necessary. However, too much negative emotion can have a negative impact on us. Hence, having the right balance of both is important.As a human nature, you tend to attend more to negative emotions and less towards positive emotions. In short, negative emotions scream at you, whereas positive emotions only whisper. You fail to perceive a lot of positive aspects of your life because you are too focused on finding the negativity. You also miss out on the fact that you can recreate emotions anytime anywhere. E.g- If you are sad you can think about happy times. As human beings we have the power of imagination and we can use it for our well-being by imagining the happy moments which can be recreated in imagination or otherwise. Rick Hanson, the author of “Hardwiring Happiness” said 
Allowing positive events to sink in for 10-20 seconds, allows them to become part of you. This can create lasting positive effect in you.

That brings me to talking about how positive emotions are related to our well-being. Positive emotions are important for both physical and mental well-being.
Positive emotions broaden your mindset and help to think more clearly. They increase your life satisfaction, reduce depression and it improves your relation with other human beings. They improve your immune system, thereby making you more resilient.
Positive emotions are like nutrients which need to be taken regularly. A good analogy to explain this is
Like plants need daily dosage of sunlight, for their growth, similarly, humans need daily dosage of positive emotions for their well-being.

This does not mean that you should not experience negative emotions at all. Some dose of negative emotions are important for you to flourish. Negative emotions also tend to bring out the best in you. However, too much exposure to negative events can be damaging. In short, experiencing more positive emotions than negative are likely to make you more resilient and capable of handling adverse events.

So we discussed about positive emotions and benefits associated with it. And now the question comes “How”? How do we increase positive emotions?
Here are few tips to increase positive emotions which we can incorporate in our everyday life.
1. Spend some time every day to reflect on what positive events happened on that day.
You can keep a journal for it. Studies show that we experience more positive than negative but fail to recognize them as we see them neutral. E.g. having a meal, sleeping comfortably etc. may be seen as neutral events but actually are positive.
2. Prioritize the activities that you can include every day that gives you positive emotion.
E.g. if listening to music gives you peace, then try to include it in your everyday schedule for some time.
3. Bring more youthful activities like play in your lifestyle.
It is a good way to engage with others. We are social animals and connecting with others makes us happy. A quote that explains it “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” by Dolly Parton. 
4. Be mindful of the moment.
Sometimes we miss out of positive emotion because we are unaware of what is happening around. We are preoccupied with what has happened in the past or what might go wrong in the future. As a result we tend to miss out the present moment and a lot of positive emotions associated with them.
These tend to increase positivity. Do something that shows care for others. Show gratitude to those who show kindness to you.
5. Go out for a walk or run in good weather.
Weather has strong relation with your mood.
6. Have more contact with people who make you feel good or whose company you enjoy.
These tend to increase positivity. Do something that shows care for others. Show gratitude to those who show kindness to you.
7. Make a portfolio of happy times.
It can be pictures or something that you have written. Go through it when you are experiencing negative emotion and see how your mood lifts after that.
8. Appreciate yourself whenever possible.
We as a human nature tend to focus more on our weakness and criticize ourselves for that. What we fail to recognize is that we have strengths. Each of us have something positive in us. Appreciating your strengths rather than criticizing yourself for your weakness can do wonders. It can make you feel good about yourself. It can help you become more self-confident.

To conclude, positive emotions are very important and play integral part in our physical and mental well-being. However, we also need to experience negative emotions to flourish. A right amount of balance is needed with more positive than negative. We are capable of experiencing positivity by including certain activities (with tips discussed above) in our lives. We are responsible for creating positive emotions in us.

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