Positivity isn’t my default setting. In a year like 2020 with coronavirus, natural disasters, and politics deeply dividing our nation, it is easy for me to slip into waves of anxiety and depression. Being an empath to a fault, I internalize pain and struggle to the point where it negatively impacts my daily life. Luckily I have a partner who can pull me out of this, because I married a human Golden Retriever. Penn is big, he’s hairy, and generally he is pretty happy. Like 99% of the time. So why not have him give us some tips to stay positive? It can’t hurt.
The funny part is that Penn has never given this any thought until the recording of this podcast. That’s how naturally being positive comes to him. We recently finished writing a book about marriage and one of his tips is something we learned in the book. The tip is that you have to occasionally check yourself and what mood you are projecting to those around you.
Naming Your Feelings
Your mood is contagious. If you have a negative or pessimistic attitude, you are going to pass that on to the people around you. In fact, bad moods are more contagious than good moods. Scientific researchers call this phenomenon emotional contagion (EC) where one person’s mood can be transferred to another.
If you do find yourself in a negative state, it helps to name the emotion you are feeling and talk about it. In a UCLA study, groups of people interacted with a large tarantula spider and were told to behave in different ways. Some expressed how they were feeling, some diminished how they were feeling, and some didn’t say anything at all. The groups of people later gathered again with the spider and the participants who expressed their feelings were less afraid of the spider. It’s important to name your feelings to help you feel better.
If you are struggling to be positive in 2020, give our podcast a listen and see what Penn positivity tips you can use. Do you have your own tips? Let us know in the comments!