The SOMO TOTD (Task of the Day) is the Positive Portfolio. We’re doing these in our macro pods and thought you’d maybe like to join us for the same!
“Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.” (Oscar Levant)
* How easy is it for you to remember what’s good in your world? *
If you took my suggestion last week to do the THREE GOOD THINGS exercise, I hope you have worked to cultivate a capacity for recognizing more good things in your world. This circumvents what psychologists call the Negativity Bias. It also elicits positive emotion.
* What good are positive emotions? *
Positive psychologists argue that positive emotions are an important part of human flourishing. Barbara Fredrickson is a leader in the field of Positive Psychology. She argues that positive emotions are not just indicators of well-being, but CAUSES of it. Wow.
Fredrickson’s theory is called the Broaden & Build Theory of Positive Emotion. She holds that positive emotions can help us BROADEN our thought-action repertoire and BUILD our intellectual and psychological resources. In other words, positive emotions help us see things more expansively, creating the space to see other good things. Think about how powerful this really is.
* Want to learn an evidenced based way to build positive emotion? *
This POSITIVE PORTFOLIO is one approach to the intentional cultivation of positive emotions.
The positive portfolio is intended to be a verbal, visual, and/or auditory collection of materials conducive of a particular affective state. You are asked to select a particular affective state you would like to practice (e.g. gratitude, confidence, joy, peace, love, acceptance, determination, satisfaction). Then brainstorm what music, poems, pictures, letters, emails, cards, objects, and the like you could include in your portfolio.
Place your portfolio in whatever binder, folder, or container works best given its contents. I used magnets and put one of my portfolios up on my refrigerator. Go wild – think outside the box.
* Then what? *
Here’s the key: Once you have created your positive portfolio, spend 15 minutes each day for the next week cultivating the affective state you have chosen by looking at the pictures, reading the poems and letters, and listening to the music. (If there are new things you think of adding to your portfolio, feel free to do so.)
Be creative . . . and have fun broadening & building. Know that in doing so, you’re adding value to your psychological bank account.