“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: A Positivity Roundup

With increases in cheerfulness paralleled by increases in stress, there’s no way to definitively call the holidays (or any other season) the “most wonderful” of all—at least, not for everybody. However, any time that you incorporate a bit of positive thinking into your day, the benefits are considerable. Whether you’re an inveterate optimist and everything is going well, or whether you’re in therapy or counseling for depression and savor occasional moments of positive reprieve, positivity is good for you. Here’s an overview of positive-psychology news that’s been published in the past month.

A positive mood improves creativity, and positive work environments create the greatest opportunity for innovation and problem solving. Internet giant Google is a great example of a positive, creative work environment: their offices are full of bicycles, healthy snacks, bright colors, and pool tables. While those aren’t realistic for most companies, a few changes can go a long way toward creating a more positive business culture. Encouraging group activities, allowing employees to personalize their space, and providing emotional and psychological support such as stress counseling and insurance coverage for therapy—these all make work a positive influence on a person’s life, thus improving their creativity and quality of work. It’s a win-win.

Even smiling is linked with a greater quality of life and in some cases, longevity. In “Smile Big: you’re Going To Have a Good, Long Life,” Daniel Tomasulo, Ph.D. shares the fascinating history behind the study of smiling, including the psychological implications of a genuine smile versus an artificial smile. Of course, laughter also has wonderfully positive effects on the mind and heart. Finally, the infamous nun study showed that a positive attitude not only prolongs life but can actually counter the affects of some degenerative conditions. You may be thinking, “Great. Positivity is good for you, but I’m depressed, stressed, and lonely. What do you have for me?” It’s all relative: working through your negative feelings with a therapist or counselor is a huge positive step. You can also use these tips for savoring the past year, and take heart in the fact that stress management, empathy, and positive thinking improve with age.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Carol

    Carol

    December 26th, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    There are some people who lack the power of positve thinking.

    Those are the ones that I cannot stand to be around for too long or they just absolutely bring me down!

  • joanna

    joanna

    December 26th, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    nice to see that the things I frequent and actually enjoy- contribute to better health.
    to me,laughter sure is the best medicine.no negative thing is as big to me that it cannot be fixed with a good joke.and I hope I am able to have this habit all along with me till the very end.

  • Therapist

    Therapist

    December 27th, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    It’s true that smile brings a relaxing effects on not only the person smiling but also the person seeing a smile. As far as positive thinking is concerned, you are right it’s a matter of age too.

  • Charlotte

    Charlotte

    December 27th, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    This is something that everyone has to get on board with. One negative nellie in the office is enough to bring everybody down.

  • Lucy d

    Lucy d

    December 27th, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    If we try and celebrate the festive season in the traditional way of the family coming together and the emphasis being on love and are an not the monetary value of gifts being exchanged then there will definitely be more positivity all around and much happier people all around.

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