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Communication
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[Desk Column] Importance of Living with Positive Emotion
제 207 호    발행일 : 2022.12.05 
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  When I woke up in the morning, it was earlier than I thought. I was even more tired because I went to bed late the previous night to do my assignment. I could have slept more, and I felt more tired because I woke up earlier than expected. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, but there were no toothbrushes left. I was wondering where it went, and I remember that I threw away my toothbrush to change it after brushing my teeth last night. I went to the local store to buy a toothbrush. It was so annoying to go out as soon as I woke up in the morning. In afternoon, I went to school. Colleague who worked on a project with me said that our project passed and that we won the sponsorship. However, I bluntly commented, “Yeah, but did you see the list of things we have to modify?  It’s going to take until midnight tomorrow.” He seemed quite taken aback by my reaction and attitude. Doesn’t it seem like a familiar story? These are things that most people would have experienced at least once. In the above story, the girl continues to complain from the time she woke up in the morning, and she focused only on the negative. As such, we are accustomed to negative emotions. Negative emotions are ingrained in our thoughts and words, so it can easily spread to others. On the other hand, positive emotions focus on the positive parts of emotions induced in conscious and unconscious evaluations of events related to the goal of experiencing or pursuing a task. These positive emotions play a big role in our lives, which can be seen in the following example.
  When I woke up in the morning, it was earlier than I thought. I went to bed late the previous night because of my assignment, but I felt proud that I was living hard because I woke up earlier than expected. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, but there were no toothbrushes left. I was wondering where it went, and I remembered that I threw it away to change my toothbrush after brushing my teeth last night. On my way to buy a toothbrush, I felt better when I heard birds chirping and when I said hello to friends I met on the street. I felt very healthy because I was able to get a little exercise in the morning. In the afternoon, when I went to school, a colleague who worked on a project with me said that our project passed and we won the sponsorship. I was so happy and I felt like I’d been recognized and validated. All the while my troubles and challenges seemed to simply pass by. I think we can do it! I said, suggesting that we plan the amendments quickly. You may have noticed, but what I just shared, and what I shared earlier were based on the same events. However, the atmospheres of the two stories are completely different. It’s based on same events, but it shows a distinct difference depending on how you look at the situation. According to a study by Barbara Frederickson, an authority on positive psychology, positive emotions make us feel better, change our way of thinking, and positive emotions change our future as the basis for us to show our best capabilities. Furthermore, positive emotions offset negative emotions and ultimately play a decisive role in our flourishing. However, what does it mean to Flourish?  Flourish means a flower that blooms to its full potential.
  In this regard, Frederickson called it as Flourishing which means a life within the best range of human function. Then, how can we live our life like this? The answer to this lies in positive sentiment. When we faced with difficult situations, some stand firm and grow one step further, while others are frustrated with the situation and eventually collapse. What is the difference between these two? Is it because there is a special power that only those who overcome the situation have? No matter what situation you are in, you already have what you need to reconstruct your life and the world around you in a better way. However, most people don’t even know if they are using these abilities, or if they even really possess them. This is a “sincere positive sentiment.” We could all capture positive emotions that occur in a very instant, and these positive emotions are not maintained all the time but could increase in our lives. Moreover, it is also something that we can do to gradually change our lives by increasing the amount and the proportion of positive emotions rather than negative emotions. However, the most important thing in positive emotions is authenticity. It can be said that “smiling brings happiness” rather than “smiling makes you happy.” On the other hand, emotions caused by false laughter can have a rather bad effect, Fredrickson says in his book, Let the positivity inside me dance.
  Then, what efforts are needed to increase these positive emotions? It’s an exploration of yourself. It is important to know how to generate positive emotions by having a concrete and clear understanding of the positive emotions you feel, such as “When do I feel positive emotion?” and “What can I do now to cultivate this emotion?” This positive emotion can be a great help in future life. How about taking a moment to find your own positive emotions in your busy and tired daily life? It may not be enough to have an immediate positive effect, but I think it will be a turning point that can greatly change our lives in the long run, so I recommend you try it.
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