Positivity Practice #10: Love

Welcome to Positivity Practice #10. This week is all about Love. If you’re just joining us, we are on our 10th and final positivity practice based on the top 10 positive emotions from Dr. Barbara Fredrickson’s book Positivity: Top Notch Research Reveals the Upward Spiral That Will Change Your Life.

If you recall, we’re learning ways to “broaden and build” upon positive emotions, Dr. Fredrickson’s bedrock philosophy. The most important thing to remember is to be open to them and to savor them.

Love: an intense feeling of deep affection; feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone); a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another; a great interest and pleasure in something.

Synonyms: fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, endearment; adoration, doting, idolization, worship; passion, ardor, desire; compassion, care, caring, regard, solicitude, concern friendliness, friendship, kindness, charity, goodwill, sympathy, altruism, unselfishness, philanthropy, benevolence, humanity.

We’ve made it and we’ve saved the best for last. Love, as research shows, is in fact the #1 recurring positive emotion. What makes it so potent and so powerful? Love incorporates all of the other 9 positive emotions presented these past months: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, and awe. Love blossoms in a safe space and it’s within that context it thrives. Dr. Fredrickson points out that love is far from a static state of being. Rather, it’s a fluid emotion where, when we get a dose, our bodies surges with feel good chemicals. I just love this perspective.

Deliberately practicing love can reap huge rewards. My love of positive psychology intersected with the emergence of spiritual fitness about 10 years ago where a lot of the training was centered around learning how to love your self, your body, and your life. One of the most powerful of those experiences was taking and then teaching intenSati, a form of aerobic exercise using positive affirmations you spoke aloud while exercising. Talk about getting your juices flowing. Learning how to love yourself, your body, and your life is hard work, my friends, but it’s worth it. You’re already on the way if you read my blog!

The “breathe” of the bend burn breathe ethos is all about doing the things that you love to do. As I sit here writing to you from my dining room, the sun is setting  on this last day of the year. I’m typing away as the duck to cooks in the oven (my first) while and my samboer Tim and my cousin Kassy are playing video games in the next room. I’m doing the things that I love to do and with the people that I love. I’m full of pride that I’ve kept my word all year long to do more of the things I already love to do and to try things that I might love, and it’s been a great adventure! I learned musical improv and performed made-up musicals onstage at the Magnet Theatre, I got my cooking chops back creating fun and exciting dishes (thank you Penelope Caras), I learned out to rhythm ride at Cyclebar, and took a painting class at the Art Studio on the Upper West Side.

I leave you this to ring in the New Year: DO THE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE TO DO, THE THINGS THAT YOU THINK YOU MAY LOVE DOING, AND SPEND TIME WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE. Think about it for the next day or so and write down some ideas. We’ll pick that up in the New Year.

Have a joyous New Year and get ready to go All In for 2018!

With much love, Katherine.

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