Hero photograph
Photo by pixabay.com

Positive Education: Positive Emotions

Dave Ross —

There are no ‘bad’ emotions. Feeling both positive and negative emotions is a natural part of being human.

As part of our ‘Positive Education’ Programme here at King’s we recognise and acknowledge the importance of feeling both positive and negative. What matters is how our emotions are balanced — how much of each type of emotion, positive or negative, we experience.

Instead of narrowing our focus like negative emotions can make us do, positive emotions affect our brains in ways that increase our awareness, attention and memory. They help us take in more information, hold several ideas at once and can help us to understand how different ideas relate to each other.

Positive emotions open us up to new possibilities, we are then more able to learn and build on our skills which typically leads to doing better. BUT HOW?

Building habits that encourage us to feel more positive emotions can help us be happier, do better, and reduce our negative emotions.

3 Ways to boost Positive Emotions:

1) Identify and track your positive emotions:

Name the positive emotions you are familiar with and when you notice ‘new ones’ add them to your list (recording this on your phone is a great way to actually do it) e.g. pride, joy, gratitude, hope, interest….

2) Increase the feeling of or use of a positive emotion:

Think about a positive emotion you want to increase e.g. thankful or joyful and think about all the times you’ve felt that emotion e.g. when you play a song or see a friend. Remember those occasions so you can seek out those triggers. Find ‘your trigger’ to that positive emotion.

3) Use a positivity treasure chest to give yourself a boost:

Sometimes we forget the way back to feeling positive. Having a folder on our phones or in our photos on our phones helps us ‘reconnect’ back to the things that help us feel more grateful, positive etc - ‘we all need a cue’ sometimes.