Negativity. Negativity narrows your mind and contracts your range of vision. The most common forms of negativity–anger, shame, contempt, disgust, embarrassment, guilt, hate, sadness, fear and stress–constrict your thinking and creativity8.

For people to flourish there needs to be a positivity/negativity ratio of at least three to one. This means that for every negative emotional experience endured, you need to experience at least three positive emotional experiences that uplift you. Three to one is the ratio that research found to be the tipping point, predicting whether people languish or flourish.

Positivity. The term positivity is deliberately broad. As described in the book, Positivity, it includes positive meanings and attitudes that trigger positive emotions your heart rhythms and body chemistry, muscle tension and facial expressions, your resources and relationships. The ten most commonly reported forms of positivity are joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love2.

A positive and open mindset draws you (and your parties) out to explore and interact with the world in more unexpected ways. Each time you do, you learn new things. Positivity creates new connections in your brain, expanding your Reticular Activating System so you have the new information available to you later. There are vast implications of increased positivity to mediation. Indeed, it may be why mediation works at all.

End Notes:
1. Fredrickson, B.L. (2009). Positivity. New York: Crown Publishers, p. 55.
2. Ibid, p. 138.

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