The Power Of Positivity

How your mindset affects your daily life

Eden Loveridge, Staff Writer

With the new year comes new goals for everyone. People want to read more, to lose weight, to make money, to simply improve their lives. With all of these goals come the different ways to reach them. Some people read self-help books, listen to podcasts, hire life coaches, or work with gym trainers. Positivity, however, is a way of improving one’s life and aptitude that is an alternative to many of these ways of self-improvement.
It is no secret that positivity is good for people. There are countless psychological studies surrounding the subjects of positiviy. For example: the study “Health Benefits of Happiness,” conducted by professors from the University of Illinois and the University of Texas at Dallas, connects longevity to optimism.
Social psychologist, Barbara Fredrickson has dedicated her life to researching how positive thinking can change a person and their life.
“Positive emotions have inherent value to human growth and development and cultivation of these emotions will help people lead fuller lives,” Fredrickson said.
Fredrickson developed the popular broaden-and-build theory. This theory explores how positive emotions did little to activate human’s survival instinct, as negative emotions did, but rather helped develop the intellectual growth of humans as a species. This allowed humans to lead fuller, happier lives depending on their mindset.
Later on in her career, Fredrickson also co-developed the positivity/negativity ratio with Marcial Losada. This theory argues that the ratio 3:1 is a specific ratio of positivity and negativity in people that can lead to happy and successful lives.
“Just as zero degrees Celsius is a special number in thermodynamics, the 3-to-1 positivity ratio may well be a magic number in human psychology,” Fredrickson said.
Both of these theories, developed by a well-known professor and psychologist support the fact that positivity is the key to success. There is a theory, surrounding the power of thought, that has recently gained popularity known as the law of attraction (LOA). The law of attraction, as defined by thelawofattraction.com, is “the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on.”
Essentially the idea is that everything is made up of energy—even our thoughts. The energy that we put out into the universe comes back to us. If one puts positive energy, or “vibes,” out into the universe, that positivity will come back into their life in some form. It can best be summed up by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay “Self Reliance” when he said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
The law of attraction has been claimed to be used by ordinary people around the world to get that promotion at work, earn a few extra bucks, or even go to the school of their dreams. You simply have to search online to find hundreds of stories about people who have found success by positively envisioning and pursuing their goals.
This theory claims that if one is singularly positive in pursuing what they truly want, it will come to them. However, it goes both ways. Negativity also brings itself back. They believe that in order to manipulate the universe in your favor, it is necessary to pursue what you want with determined, unwavering positivity. People bring this about by creating vision boards and continually reminding themselves through mantras of the goals they have set.
This universal “law” has presumably been around for as long as the universe has. It has inspired hundreds of books and movies in the past decade, most notably the book-turned-movie, “The Secret.” This book has sparked the interest of people from around the world with its accounts of successful use of the LOA from professors and even its endorsement from Oprah.
The general idea is simple: Positivity will be a constructive influence on one’s life, no matter how they approach it. It’s an ancient idea and variations of it have been demonstrated by accredited professionals. All that most people want is to be happy, and it is fitting that positivity is the key to happiness. So regardless of if you believe the universe truly returns what it takes or that your mindset really influences your actions, your attitude helps determines what you achieve.