Sunday 18 December 2016

Gut Bacteria proven to Interact with Your Brain Chemicals!

See, I told you my stomach and diet affecting my mood wasn't all in my head!

There is increasing evidence that the gut flora... including beneficial bacteria... are more involved in our over all well-being in more than a physical sense.  Gut flora may literally be driving you crazy... or helping make you sane.

Philip Strandwitz and his colleagues at Northeastern University in Boston discovered that they could only grow a species of recently discovered gut bacteria, called KLE1738, consume GABA, a molecule crucial for calming the brain, and the fact that they gobble it up could help explain why the gut microbiome seems to affect mood.

Meaning of Life more important than happiness

You may have heard it said about somebody who has suicided... that they didn't seem unhappy.

"When they crunched the numbers, they discovered a surprising trend: Happiness and unhappiness did not predict suicide. The variable that did, they found, was meaning — or, more precisely, the lack of it."

"Research shows meaning and happiness can be at odds with one another. People with the most meaningful lives were "givers." But those with the happiest lives were "takers."

Getting zero sleep for the first year of your child's life does not make you happy. But as we saw, happiness isn't everything. Parenthood is the ultimate form of giving. And givers lead meaningful lives.

This article goes on to explore a few studies that have shown "meaning" and "giving" provide more long term life enrichment than "happy" and "taking".

1. Belonging
 What groups do you belong to? Quickest way to add meaning to your life is to see them more often. Not part of a group? Join one. No groups to join? Start one. It's as easy as texting people to get together regularly around a common interest.

2. Purpose
First, it's a stable and far-reaching goal. "Make it to the end of the workday without getting fired" doesn't cut it. You need something that motivates you and that you can organize your actions around.
Second, it involves a contribution to the world. It makes a difference in the lives of people who don't happen to be you.

3. Storytelling
In these stories, the tellers move from suffering to salvation — they experience a negative event followed by a positive event that resulted from the negative event and therefore gives their suffering some meaning.

 Professor James Pennebaker has shown that just 20 minutes of writing your story for four days has the power to dramatically improve your life. It helps people overcome anxiety, tragedy, and heartache. Those who wrote about their problems felt happier, slept better, and even got better grades.

4. Transcendence
Seek out moments of "awe".  The awe-inspired people, researchers found, felt a diminished sense of their own importance compared to others, and that likely led them to be more generous… They abandoned the conceit, which many of us have, that they were the center of the world. Instead, they stepped outside of themselves to connect with and focus on others.

Sunday 11 December 2016

Negative Emotions Important Aspect of Enriching Psychology

While we strive to thrive by using the strength of positive psychology, it's important to note that our negative emotions are part of the recipe towards flourishing with Enriching Psychology...  Our negative emotions are indicators to us that something is wrong and thus has to change.  It's the emotional equivalent of our pants getting tighter to remind us to skip the nightly cheesecake desert.

In this Wall Street Journal article, Elizabeth Bernstein explores which negative emotions we can harness, and how to turn them from negative into a catalyst for positive action.

Monday 28 November 2016

Universtiy of Miami Faculty to Study the Benefits of Touch

I love the idea that there is a professional research institute into the benefits of human touch.

Skin-Hungry - Not just a Zombie Problem Anymore

Multiple studies are being performed which are revealing the wide-range effects of people not receiving touch... a condition referred to as being "skin-hungry".

"Touching each other keeps the peace," explains Dr Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute.  In high-touch cultures, incidence of violence, loneliness and depression are lower than in low-touch cultures.  In North America, we've created a culture that is particularly deprived of physical contact, particularly among males.

Touch-hunger, or skin-hunger create a host of psychological problems, as proven by studies about inmates in solitary confinement, and on infant rhesus macaques. 

It's possible to be touch hungry and not even know it—or even to mistake your symptoms for poor mental health. "People who are touch hungry usually present as being depressed individuals," Field says. "They're withdrawn; their voice intonation contour is flat." She adds that people suffering from clinical depression may also often suffer from touch hunger—and this can be seen in an area of the brain called the vagus. "When you massage these people, their depression levels go down and their vagal activity goes up."

We know about the healing power of touch.  Now we just need to foster the culture and institutions that support touch as a way to solve problems, rather than seeing it as a problem.

Thursday 3 November 2016

How Good News and Bad News Affect Our Health

"If it bleeds, it leads" is a common refrain heard in news rooms, at least according to every Hollywood movie I've seen on the topic of media.  However, after the initial "positive effect" (as in increase in ratings) of an avalanche of negative news, there comes a breaking point where people become desensitized to the information presented, and then disengage entirely, seeking out ignorance as the balm to their frazzled nerves.

Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a professor at University of Texas–San Antonio,has conducted a study proving that negative news leads to increased levels of helplessness, hopelessness, depression, isolation, anxiety, contempt and hostility towards others, desensitization to the information presented and eventual disengagement.

In another study, Jodie Jackson, MSc in Positive Psychology, a research associate for the Constructive Journalism Project found that reading news stories that focus on solutions, achievements and peace building can lead to increased levels of optimism, hope and self-efficacy, where people believe the world can get better and they feel empowered to contribute. 

It has also shown that people have improved mood levels, better perspective, a restored faith in humanity, higher levels of active coping and increased engagement. Harvard professor Steven Pinker has long advised that the world, despite what we read in the news, is, in fact, actually in an upwards spiral.

It is important to note that reporting positive news does not require that we ignore negative news; rather, it requires that we not ignore positive news and that, where feasible, we include it into the wider narrative.  

To keep people coming back for more, and to better reflect the whole-world's experience, we need to be move beyond "Bleed Leads" to "Try Symmetry"

Read the whole article at:

Sunday 23 October 2016

Pessimists Live Longer than Optimists

A study from 2013 says that "Pessimists Live Longer than Optimists".  The optimist in me says "Glad to see that there is something going right for my Pessimistic peers", while the pessimist in me says "Yeah, but we all end up dead in the end."

Julie Norem’s 2001 book “The Positive Power of Negative Thinking” advocates for “defensive pessimism,” in which people envision the absolute worst outcomes, and prepare accordingly.

"If someone’s not smiling, we think not just that there’s something wrong, but that there’s something wrong with them. Further, our insistence on happiness erodes our ability to cope when things get really bad . . . as they inevitably will, when we’re so infected with HappyThink that we buy too much, save too little, marry too soon, try to run 26.2 miles on 10 miles of training." said Norem in the Boston Globe interview referenced below.

A study published in the journal Psychology and Aging said “Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade,” said its lead author, Frieder R. Lang of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.

This is where Enriching Psychology™ strengths shine through... it's about understanding the gaps, seeing the roadblocks, overcoming the hurdles in a strong, persistent... and dare I say... hopeful, optimistic way that leads to the best outcomes.

Sunday 16 October 2016

Asking the Right Question Can Help Solidify Good Habits

We've all heard the strength of making a powerful positive statement to help us develop new habits.  Research is now saying we should be asking a positive question instead... with a simple answer of "yes" being very powerful.

Will you read this article to find out how to better your chances of changing a habit?

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Experiences Bring Longer Term Happiness

Positive Psychology studies teach us that experiences make us happier than material things for a longer period of time.  We know about the effect of the "Hedonic Treadmill", where we acclimatize to our new reality. (The new car smell goes away and we're stuck with 4 more years of payments.). But why doesn't the same adaptation appear to happen with experiences?

One theory that Thomas Gilovich, a professor of Psychology at Cornell University, has for the long-lasting effects of an experience over material possessions is that it would be more likely to bring them closer together with other humans. Social interaction provides us with higher degrees of happiness.

 "As a result," says Gilovich, "one reason that experiential purchases tend to provide more enduring satisfaction is that they more readily, more broadly, and more deeply connect us to others. "

Sunday 25 September 2016

What is the Therapeutic Value of Human Touch?

Increasingly, I've been hearing stories of how our "western lifestyle", with its drive towards independence and self-sufficiency may be doing us harm in the realms of physical, emotional and mental health.  One of my exploration tracks is to determine the value and benefit of human contact and touch (or not).  Here's a story that just touches on the topic.

- Hugs strengthen the immune system
- Holding hands dissipates stress
- Snuggling improves empathy and communication

Sunday 11 September 2016

Psychobiotics - new science of how intestinal flora affects our emotions and brain patterns

In my early 20's, I had pneumonia, and was treated with 3 rounds of anti-biotics. They may have saved my life so I'm grateful. And they also really messed up my digestion, and then my over all health. Within 2 years I went from being a fit, happy young man, to a fat, old and moody grump! I luckily met an environmental doctor who diagnosed my intestinal flora issues (all the good bacteria were also killed off) and I was on the road to recovery. For decades now I've had to manage this chronic issue, and the accompanying mental stresses... Eat the wrong thing, and I'd be noticeably depressed!

Now modern fMRI techniques and other studies as proving the brain/gut connection when it comes to our mental health and happiness. Fecal transplants have been shown to improve mental health and anxiety disorders. 

(In the vein of journalistic honesty, there are many who would say I was always moody!)

Yeah for science... for now I think I'll stick with my pro-biotics and careful diet.  But I shall never say never.. just "Blech!"

Sunday 4 September 2016

Chinese Proverb on how our Thoughts Affect Our Destiny

Chinese proverb:
Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

Sunday 28 August 2016

Exercise... precisely timed... can help new learners retain knowledge

The test was conducted with only three test criteria... after learning the same topic, 1/3 of the group did not perform any exercise, another 1/3 did 35 minutes of exercise right afterwards, and the last 1/3 did exercise 4 hours later.

When tested two days later, it was the group that exercised 4 hours afterwards that did the best.  The next best group was the one that did NO exercise, and the one that exercised right afterwards was last (but quite close to the 2nd place).

Human Touch is Critical for Childhood Development... so why not adults?

The article at the link below isn't particularly scientific, but it speaks from the heart about the importance of human touch the basic development of children, and then questions how we move away from that as adults.

In other cultures, such as India, it's not uncommon to see groups of adults of the same gender holding hands as they walk.  We are only beginning to discover the incredible healing power, and health maintaining benefits of this everyday, casual human touch.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Those Who Donate a lot are Happier Than Those Who Donate a Little

Hmmm... I love positive news, so sometimes it's hard for me to put on my cynical hat... it just really doesn't look good with these glasses and shoes!  But I did find myself thinking "Isn't THAT convenient" to a post on a website about fundraising for non-profit groups that indicates that giving more means the donator will be happier than those who donated a little or nothing at all.

Yet still, it is the first study of its kind, and it will be nice to see what the real life enriching benefits of giving are.  Is there anything about HOW we give that makes a difference, for example.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Positive Psychology Conference to Discuss Terrorism and Mental Health

The world's largest Meaning Conference will meet in Toronto July 28th to 31st 2016 Leading researchers and clinicians will gather at the Novotel North York Hotel to tackle the problem of terrorism and the mental health crisis and explore ways to promote wellbeing.

Monday 25 July 2016

Plants Respond to Human Touch and Interaction

We now know that even plants respond to touch!  Scientists are still studying the implications of this finding, but it certainly says a lot about the power of touch.  The plants responded, registered for up to half an hour afterwards, to having a leaf moved or being sprayed.   When asked about how it felt, the test plant, an Arabidopsis said "I feel... "

Nah, just kidding.

Scientists did say plants’ stress response seems to be similar to an immune response in animals and that the response deserves further study.  They have discovered the more the plant is touched, the greater the chance it's flowering will be delayed.

Saturday 2 July 2016

Your Life Experience Affects Your DNA and Future Generations

Crazy!  I know from my Positive Paychology studies, that our outlook on life can affect our genetics...  Just as healthy eating and exercise can help moderate a genetic predisposition to heart problems, a positive psychology helps us to be more life carefree Uncle Goforit, and less like careful Aunt StaySafe.

But more than affect our genetics it can affect our children and grandchildren as they are created from the particular twists in your DNA strands du jour!

Friday 1 July 2016

Mild Adversity in Life May Make You Happier!

My mother was a modern woman of the '70s. Any thing that could be made convenient, was. Fish now came in over-ready pre-made breaded sticks; throw out the frying pan! Popcorn could now be popped in a tiny microwave oven; puncture all the Jiffy-pop trays and throw them in the river!

But in our quest for ongoing convenience and ease, we may be setting ourselves up to be less happy, since even mild adversities make us happier in the end. The article below speaks of even more serious adversities, such as bullying or having a serious illness... nobody wants these... and it's good to know if you suffer through these, the silver lining may be that you more often see the silver lining. And I don't mean "silver lining the bottom of the river bed" from all the Jiffy pop trays... but I digress.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Why We Need to Lead Through Love

I think that any writing that uses the phrases "...head-spinningly great, jaw-clenchingly urgent, or brain-meltingly obvious" is just mind-blowingly amazing!

And there is much more to this post.  It focuses on how our passion for our purpose, when combined with an old model of leadership which involves fear and bullying to force our point of view, is in the end no different than the "leadership" of demagogues and bullies themselves. 

We have to rewire our brain to first accept people, in their entire life journeys, and then lead them to see their own truth through love.  And according to the blogger, our very existence depends on making this change!

Sunday 19 June 2016

Product Marketers have a Valueable Lesson to Help Hide Changes

Often when a habit fails, it's because the change is too dramatic for our routine-obsessed "animal brain".  There is something we can learn from major food manufacturers to help.

If the price of a product increase, we will usually notice this.  It is a conscious component that we are confronted with every time... last week this was $6.49, and this week it's $6.99.

So to absorb the increased cost of raw materials and transportation, manufacturers are quietly changing another number; the package size.  What was once 650 ml is now 600 ml. 

This is a great way to change habits... a tiny bit at a time, and do so by starting "around the edges".  Marketers know better than to hit the consumer "cold turkey" with a shocking price increase, as their customers will react, and perhaps not in a favourable manner.  So have the price increase accompany a promotion, or for a larger size (which you then gradually reduce in size.)

I remember this phenomenon during the hey-day of the 1970s when inflation was running in the high single digits (and eventually low double-digits) in Canada.  My favourite brand of Hostess Potato chips were .10 cents.  And then Hostess came out with a "new, bigger size" for .15 cents... effectively a 50% price rise.  Months later, the old size disappeared and only the new "bigger size" was available.

But it was the 70s, so they were already planning their next price increase, which was a shocking 67% increase (I'm actually;y figuring this out for the first time, and I'm shocked!)  There was suddenly a .25 cent bag of chips... which was bigger... but at the same time, the previous big bag became the same size as the old regular size.

And so it continued throughout the 70s and early 80s, as the price went to .50, then .75, then .99... and everytime there was a bonus offered while we acclimatized to the new higher prices.

Sunday 12 June 2016

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting

Once we become aware of our triggers and conscious of our food decisions, we are able to then make small changes which have a big effect.

In this article, the authors offer up 4 practical tips to help different types of overeaters.  I personally like the "Chew sugarfree gum while shopping, and buy 7% less junk food."

Saturday 28 May 2016

This Habit Changer is Shocking!

I've spent many years exploring the powers of positive psychology and the mind to help me change habits and transform myself into the dream productive, creative powerhouse that I imagine myself to be.

I've come to know it's not always easy... Sometimes there is pain.  And now there is literally a device that is a throwback to the days of old fashioned negative conditioning... It's a device that will shock you when you do something you don't want!   They claims it's effective in days... Even hours... As your brain begins to associate habits with pain instead of pleasure.

You usually have to shock yourself!  So I wonder how the wearer convinces their brain to keep pressing the shock button?  And... Why wouldn't the wearer just buy a .10 cent elastic band and snap their own wrist with it?

Sunday 22 May 2016

Plan on a Relapse as You Change a Habit

Two psychologists, James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, came up with a model of how people change harmful habits that may help you. They found that when people set about changing a particular habit, like smoking, they don’t always succeed the first time around — instead, they found that relapse is common and forms part of their overall model of change.

Monday 9 May 2016

Using Technology to Help Change Habits

I'm trying to remember back to those dark, dark days... back in 2008 for example... before I had this marvellous little device in my pocket that could solve all of my problems.  And if you think I'm exaggerating when I say "all", I will says that two years ago as I was hiking through the woods, I was being attacked by mosquitoes, but had forgotten to bring any bug spray.  In desperation, I searched the app store for "Mosquitoes" and found apps that will emit sound frequencies in a range that drives Mosquitoes crazy, and they stay away!

So maybe it won't solve ALL my problems, but I'm barely kidding!

One of the peskier problems to bite humans is trying to change our habits.  Below is a review of some apps designed to help.  There are stills step around understanding our beliefs about things, and mental blocks, but these apps can be an important step in the whole process.

Sunday 1 May 2016

Enjoyable Habits Give Us Energy

Well, maybe enjoyable habits don't GIVE us energy, but a recent study indicates that people who enjoyed a task (habit) have more energy to complete the next task, than those who didn't enjoy the first task (and just slogged through it.)

How can you define your new habit in a way that is enjoyable?  Can you reframe it?  Is there a version of it that would be more enjoyable? 

Monday 25 April 2016

Neural Plasticity Reveals How Learning Is An All-Sensory, Whole-Brain Affair

In the field of adult education, we've talked about "learning styles" for decades, and our proof was based on the findings of Social Science... or 'this is what we see happening when try out this technique.'

Thanks to Neuroscience, and modern techniques to see the brain in action, we now know there is much more involved in acquiring, and retaining, new information. "... Scientific studies reveal that a unique combination of brain hemispheres, paired with expressive-receptive, rational-emotional, and sensory and intelligence preferences, make up a person’s neurological design. For maximum comprehension and retention, all lobes in both hemispheres of the brain should be involved in information processing. "

"All people have different preferences, and it is essential that any learning organization needs to design learning experiences and learning environments that are aligned with how the human mind learns.” And on top of this, we are better understanding that... “Drivers like brain fitness, sleep, stress, diet, skills, mind-set, movement and the physical environment can negatively (or positively) impact how people process information and how the brain learns.”

Read more about it on the Association for Talent Development blog:

Sunday 24 April 2016

Understanding If Your Habit is Goal-Directed vs Stimulus-Response Behaviour

An indepth exploration of how a goal-directed behaviour (or habit) is different from a Stimulus-Response, and how each of them are formed in our brains, and then acted upon.

"Normal eating is goal-directed behavior; compulsive overeating is not. Compulsive overeating is a complex stimulus-response behavior. The stimulus varies (boredom, anger, happiness, sexual frustration, anxiety, and emotional triggers, etc.). The strength of the response may also differ. It could range from eating until your stomach feels slightly uncomfortable to eating until you vomit. Regardless, at the end of the day, compulsive overeating is just a goal-directed habit that has become a stimulus-response habit running amuck. [1] How does this neuro-drama unfold in the brain?"

Sunday 10 April 2016

For Habit Change, Start Small

Start Tiny Actually.  It's a way to get momentuum started... or reverse the negative momentum.  What's something you can do in less than 30 seconds?

Wednesday 23 March 2016

What it Takes to Make a Goal or Habit Stick... and it may be Happiness!

Grechen Rubin has made a very important realization since her best-selling book "The Happiness Project". She learned that, more than anything else, its habits that drive happiness and that the two are very much connected. That realization has led to her most recent book "Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.

Could Setting Goals be Preventing Us From Changing?

An interesting article from Susan Bond, author of "The Anti-Goals Guide" claiming that setting our small goals may actually be preventing us from achieving the big goal.  We have to be careful about how we frame the changes we want to make.  Extrinsic (external) goals usually fail, goals that are made in response to a negative event don't last, or really ambitious goals fade really quickly.  We fall victim to "False Hope Syndrome".   We have to move away from "habit formation" to "intrinsic motivation" (internal).  It's now how we behave, but how we think.

Wow! Strategic Neural Stimulation to help us learn faster, better... and maybe cure some neurological diseases!

Sounds like science fiction... for now of course.  A program called DARPA is being investigated for its ability to not only return the brain to normal functioning, but through stimulation, to give it extra cognitive capabilities.  We'll be able to learn more, faster!

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Coming Out Ritual available on the Web

In 2006, when I was a Lay Chaplain with the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, I had the honour of creating a ceremony to celebrate the transition of members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered, Queer (LGBTQ) community.  This may be a transition to a different gender, or a public declaration of who they are as a queer person.

In western countries, and Canada in particular, society has come a long way in its understanding of LGBTQ matters, and some are already moving beyond "tolerance" and "acceptance" to a point where a person's orientation is an innocuous as their eye colour.  There are those among us, though, who still experience (or worry about) oppression, rejection, alienation, shunning, psychological or physical violence.  Marking their new life with a celebration is a way for that person to take control of something that seems negative, and turn it into a powerful, emotional, and positive event.

This came about when I heard about my friend Seamus' coming out many decades ago.  His parents celebrated with a party, and gave him information and contacts with gay people to help him with his transition.  I was struck by how different his experience was from most people in decades gone by, that it gave me the idea to create a celebration, using time-honoured tenants of rituals to help mark this momentous occasion.

The template for this ritual is now available online for the world to use and share.

Monday 29 February 2016

Use Marketing to Help You Achieve Your Goal

Use the power of association to help you with your goals. Golden Arches mean McDonald's! Running Shoes by the door mean "go running".

Sunday 14 February 2016

Asking the Question "Why" Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Most of us have had the experience of having a goal, and knowing what we're supposed to do to achieve that goal... and yet not doing it!  "I should be out at the gym... which is only 150 metres (yard) away... right now.  I'll do it right after I clean this popcorn popper and check my spam e-mail folder to be sure I haven't missed any big financial wins from Africa!"

A big reason for this is because we may be pursuing something that isn't REALLY important to us.  When we are faced with a change of habits, "...we need to activate a part of the brain called the ventromedial prefontal cortex, which is simply the part of the brain that processes risk and fear. It also plays a role in decision-making and habits."

There's a quick exercise you can follow to determine if you're really trying to change a habit that is inline with your core values... because those are the only habit changes that have a decent chance of sticking!

iThrive Competition to Develop Empathy Games for Teens

Empathy is a key element of Enriching Psychology™, and while some people seem to have a more natural aptitude towards empathy, it's also a skill that can be modelled and learned. is an organization that encourages creative teams to design and develop digital games that empower teens to develop their skills for empathy and other proven positive psychology principles.

Every team has at least one student, and the competition winners win prize money to help them complete their game development, and is eligible for display in iThrive’s “Psyched Up” Arcade, which will have a presence at multiple respected gaming conferences across the US.

Their website says it best: "iThrive’s work is rooted in–and seeks to advance–science at the intersection of teen development, social and emotional skills, positive psychology, gaming, and game design. We collaborate with top researchers in these fields to explore how great video games can support teen flourishing."

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Science is Proving Religion is Right!

A homily by Danny Enright

Let me start with a story about gods and creation.

An incomprehensibly long time ago, everything that is, got started somehow. Out of all this came primates and some of them began to walk on two legs, developed a pre-frontal cortex and starting asking each other out on dates.

These were humans.

At that point, we began to wonder about things, and because we didn’t have all the answers to some of the great mysteries, we figured that someone must be in control, so we created gods….

Read the rest at the link to a PDF document, below:

Monday 11 January 2016

Use Successful Marketing Technique to Help With Habits

We are subjected daily to dozens, hundreds or even thousands of marketing messages to get us to buy something.

The industry uses environmental triggers to trick us into associating one thing with the need to buy their products, so why couldn't we use the same concept to remind ourselves to accomplish our objectives.

The marketing industry has spend billions of dollars figuring out what works! Let's really benefit from that knowledge!

Saturday 9 January 2016

A Brief Hug and 10 Minutes of Hand-holding Protects Your Health

Study results revealed by the American Psychosomatic Society indicates that hugs and hand-holding "could carry over and protect you throughout the day," says psychologist Karen Grewen with the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The effects of touch from anybody is beneficial, but the better you know somebody and the more intimate you are with them, the bigger the benefits.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Negative Emotions Can Be "Positive"... or Useful

There is a general misconception that "Positive Psychology" means everything is "free ice-cream", "meerkats wearing tweed jackets serving you drinks" or "looking at a nuclear mushroom cloud through rose-coloured, radioactive resistant glasses."  That's why I prefer to use the term "Enriching Psychology" as a title for this blog, because what enriches us doesn't always start from a purely positive place.

For example, I discovered that as I enter my middle-aged years, working out is not as easy, productive and pain-free as it once was.  I really did use to be easy, and I enjoyed it.  Now I enjoy it just as much, but it's more work... and I kept thinking under the Positive Psychology model, I was doing something wrong that it felt like work.

Then I realized that the RESULTS are what matter, and yes, sometimes I had to put in a little bit of work, and the payoff was even more meaningful.

In "The Positive Side of Negative Emotions", the authors propose that "...anger is, or can be anyway, a positive emotion., mobilizing energy and focusing attention, especially to write a perceived wrong, perhaps as a sign of strength.   Negative social emotions may have positive consequences, examining embarrassment, shame, guilt, jealousy and envy in the hands of Henniger and Harris. In an analogy to pain, in social settings, this may be useful to us, to avoid further damage or discomfort, with personal and social benefits.