Science today is now supporting many beliefs that Eastern traditions have held for quite some time.
Positive emotions, thanks to the ground-breaking work of Barbra Fredrickson, have been found to evoke an array of beneficial properties within us.
When experiencing positive emotions we are more likely to be creative, to more frequently perceive the abundance of opportunities available to us, to be more open-minded, to allow ourselves to play, and to be more open to relationships with others.
These emotions broaden our thinking and attention, allowing us to have more positive thoughts, and of a far greater variety.
It is pleasing to know that joy and contentment can eliminate stress felt at a psychological level. So deliberately using positives emotions, at times when negative emotions mostly dominate (like stress at work) can dispel the lingering effects stress has on your body.
While negative emotions decrease your resilience and ability to cope in difficult situations, positive emotions such as contentment, enjoyment, satisfaction, happy playfulness, love, warm friendship and affection, can enhance your resilience, improving your ability to bounce back after a challenging or hard times or events.
Positive emotions, according to previous thought, were just seen as fleeting, however, they help us to build enduring intellectual, physical, psychological, and social resources. As an example, social skills can be increased through enjoying times with friends, while the positive emotions that accompany play can develop self-mastery and greaten physical abilities.
Finally just as negative emotions can lead to downward spirals of depression, positive emotions can lead to upward developmental spirals, transforming people into better versions of themselves and improving emotional wellbeing.