Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism It is not the conviction that

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism it

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more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well. But the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” xii A leading Positive Psychology scholar, researcher and writer is Barbara Frederickson xiii , whose books include Positivity (2009), and Love 2.0 (2013) xiv . Frederickson developed the Broaden-and-Build Theory of positive emotions which argues that over time positive emotions help develop cognitive, social and resources that can lead to increased resilience and flourishing. Through her research studies, she found that positive emotions momentarily expand attention and thinking. When people are induced to feel a positive emotion, they seem to have a larger perspective, they can take in more information, see more connections and be more creative. She also found that positive emotions also erase or un-do the effect of negative emotions. The cardiovascular reactivity of negative emotions (such as anger fear and sadness) can be quelled by experiencing a positive emotion, which down regulates negative emotions, including the psychological and physiological effects of these emotions. For example, in an experiment when Frederickson gave participants an acute stressor - they were to give a public speech with no preparation time - they went into a heightened state of arousal with sweaty palms and increased heart rate. After being told that they didn’t have to give this talk, they were randomly assigned to watch a video clip that was rated as positive, negative or neutral. Frederickson then observed how long it took each participant to recover from the anxiety about the possible speech. Her results showed that positive emotions led to the quickest return to a resting state - faster than either the neutral or negative emotions. Finally, Frederickson found that our emotions obey a tipping point. With three positive emotions to one negative emotion, our moods can be lifted and we can move from languishing to flourishing. She talked about the ratios needed to shift one’s mood - about three to one, and the ratio needed for a team to work well together in a work setting - about five to one. Her research correlates with the findings of Dr. John Gottman xv , who found that for a marriage to stay vital, partners need to experience five positive interactions to offset one negative interaction. Barbara Frederickson’s prodigious work in the field of Positive Psychology has demonstrated that positivity feels good, sparks our motivation, improves how our minds work, undoes the effects of negative emotions and obeys a tipping point. Positive emotions can actually shift how we experience ourselves and our lives. Her scientific experiments show that positive emotions xvi create more flexible, creative thought patterns and more effective behavior than negative emotions, which narrow down our attention and lead to deeply engrained habits.
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