RESPONSE PAPER #1
Before starting to define what positive emotions are I believe that is necessary to conceptualize in first place what we mean when we talk about emotions. By this term we understand a “psycho-physiological phenomenon or state that represents efficient modes of adaptation to various changes in environmental demands” *; this is,the way in how people respond to events, which implies, like Christopher Peterson said, not only subjective feelings but also characteristic patterns of psychological arousal, thoughts and behaviour.
In other words emotions are affective states, intense but shorter in time, that arises as part of the individual reactions to events that happen around us and allow the individual to set itsposition with respect their environment. The experience of an emotion usually involves a set of cognitions, attitudes and beliefs about the world, used to assess a particular situation and therefore influences how we perceive the situation. Each individual experiences a particular emotion depending on the past experiences, learning, character and situation.
According to this there are different types ofemotions, exists the positives and the negatives emotions, I want to focus my attention in the first ones. Positives emotions are characterized for help us to grow as a person, energize us for positive action, solve problems, improve the quality of our relationships and increase our sense of emotional well-being. They are usually of short duration and also they occupy the foreground ofconsciousness. Some of them are joy, love, interest, satisfaction, pride, contentment and hope between others.
In addition, they help to broaden the range of our thoughts and actions, which allows us to go beyond one specific activity, taking into account in this way, a wider range of possibilities and options to face or resolve any kind of situation. With this what I want to emphasize is that theyencourage us to investigate, to engage, to have new experiences and explore the world, reason why positive emotions can become a life enhancing.
Moreover it’s important to stress the work of Barbara Fredrickson about the broaden and build theory, where she emphasizes the role of positive emotions as a means to resolve many of the problems that generate negative emotions and how through them the humanbeing can get to overcome difficult times and come out stronger from them.
I personally agree with what these authors propose for this concept, positive emotions are important in the human being, they carry indirect and long term adaptive benefits. Also are essential elements of optimal functioning because they improve the way of thinking, they makes us being more open and flexible minded,allowing to find not only one if not different creative ways to resolve problems, and also because of this, they contribute to improve coping with adversity, to be prepare to manage future threats thanks to the personal resources that this type of emotions drives to develop and build on the person (physical, cognitive, social and psychological). This all are reasons why experiences of positive emotionsare signal of well being, and also the reason why I choose this concept to explain. It’s a new term that I learn in class that call my attention for all the benefits that this kind of states can promote in our health and life.
And because the natural tendency is to study which threatens the well being of the people there are not too many investigations about positive emotions. Personally Ibelieve that
is very important to extend these studies and arrive at new conclusions because as already shown positive emotions solve development issues, personal growth and social connection, thus transforming into a powerful resource to change the lives of ordinary people in a more satisfactory way.
According to this and to make my own life worth living I decide to make the Three Good Things...