Have you ever had a really great day then ended up talking about the terrible items on the evening news once you got home to your partner?
On average, we tend to have three times as many positive experiences during a day compared to negative experiences, but in spite of this our natural ‘negativity bias’ causes more bad news to feature in our everyday conversations. This tendency was vital to our survival as cave dwellers but research has shown that .. “an enthusiastic or supportive response correlates with commitment, satisfaction, intimacy and trust.
A recent study looked at the benefits of sharing good news. Lambert and his colleagues (2013) proposed, “…that the sharing of positive experience will uniquely contribute to positive affect.” Across four separate studies findings indicate that the sharing of a positive interaction not only is related to a momentary increase in positive mood but is also correlated with higher life satisfaction when it is practiced long-term.
This differs from simply attempting to savor an experience or write down things you for which you are grateful. To put it another way, we sometimes make the mistake of treating happiness as if it is a personal, individualistic pursuit. It is important to remember that humans are social creatures and that happiness can often be found in our interactions. In this case social savoring by sharing positive experiences can pay happiness dividends. The people in your life have the potential to increase your happiness and you theirs. This idea-that we are “co-responsible” for one another’s happiness-can seem radical to those who believe that happiness is related to “self-help.”
We could all be just a little bit more satisfied if we shared what’s going well in our lives!”
(Newsletter 01/10/2013 http://positiveacorn.com)
Sharing with others – Seek out others to share your experiences and tell them how much you value the moments you share.
Memory building – Take mental and photographic snapshots, as well as physical souvenirs from events in your life, and reminisce later with your loved ones.
Congratulate yourselves – Don’t be afraid to tell yourself how great you are for getting this far, and remember how much work got you here.
Sharpen your perception – Focus on certain senses and block out others: try closing your eyes when listening to music.
Absorption – Allow yourself to become totally immersed in your experiences, or in your partner, and try not to think .. just feel ..
What moments would you like to savour? I’d love to read your Comments on this page, or let me know at www.facebook.com/apcounselling