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Positivity is more than just a feeling of happiness or optimism. It is a mindset that embraces the possibilities of life and seeks to overcome challenges with grace and gratitude. Positivity is also a key factor in achieving self-transcendence, which is the state of going beyond one’s personal boundaries and connecting with something greater than oneself. In this article, we will explore how positivity can help us reach self-transcendence, and how we can cultivate this quality in our daily lives.

Positivity and self-transcendence

self-transcendence and positivity are two important concepts in psychology that can help us achieve greater wellbeing and happiness. Positivity refers to the tendency to focus on the positive aspects of life, such as joy, gratitude, hope, and optimism. self-transcendence refers to the ability to go beyond one’s own ego and connect with something larger and more meaningful, such as nature, spirituality, or humanity.

Both positivity and self-transcendence can enhance our mental and physical health, as well as our relationships and performance. Research has shown that people who are more positive and self-transcendent tend to have higher levels of life satisfaction, resilience, creativity, and altruism. They also experience less stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

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How can we cultivate positivity and self-transcendence in our lives? One way is to practice mindfulness, which is the awareness of the present moment with curiosity and openness. Mindfulness can help us appreciate the beauty and wonder of life, as well as recognize our interdependence with all living beings. Another way is to engage in activities that foster a sense of awe, such as exploring nature, art, or music. awe can inspire us to feel more connected and grateful for the world around us. A third way is to find a purpose or a cause that aligns with our values and passions. Having a purpose can motivate us to contribute to something greater than ourselves and make a positive difference in the world.

Benefits of positivity

Positivity is the tendency to have a favourable attitude and outlook on life. It is often associated with many benefits for mental and physical health, as well as for personal and professional success. Some of the benefits of positivity are:

stress relief: Positive thinkers cope more effectively with stressful situations, and are less likely to dwell on their frustrations or things that they cannot change. They also tend to use more adaptive coping strategies, such as problem-solving, seeking social support, and finding meaning in adversity.

  • Increased immunity: Positive thinking can have a powerful effect on the body’s immune system, which protects us from infections and diseases. Research has shown that positive emotions can enhance the immune response to vaccines and reduce inflammation. Positive thinkers may also have lower levels of stress hormones, which can impair immunity.
  • Improved wellness: Positive thinking can improve overall well-being, including a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular problems, less depression, and an increased lifespan. Positive thinkers may also lead healthier lifestyles, by avoiding unhealthy behaviours, engaging in physical activity, and following medical advice.
  • Better resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulties and challenges. Positive thinking can increase resilience by fostering optimism, confidence, and self-efficacy. Positive thinkers are more likely to view setbacks as temporary, specific, and external, rather than permanent, global, and internal. They are also more likely to learn from their failures and grow from their experiences.
  • Increased happiness and life satisfaction: Positive thinking can enhance happiness and life satisfaction by influencing how we perceive and interpret our circumstances. Positive thinkers are more likely to appreciate what they have, express gratitude, and savour positive moments. They are also more likely to pursue meaningful goals that align with their values and strengths.
  • Greater connection to others: Positive thinking can foster positive relationships with others, by increasing trust, empathy, and cooperation. Positive thinkers are more likely to seek social support, share positive emotions, and give compliments. They are also more likely to attract other positive people who share their values and interests.

These are some of the benefits of positivity that can improve your mental health and quality of life. By cultivating a positive mindset, you can reap these rewards and overcome challenges with more ease and grace.

Challenges to positivity

Positivity is the tendency to have a positive outlook on life and to expect good things to happen. It is often associated with happiness, optimism, resilience, and well-being. However, positivity is not always easy to maintain, and there are several challenges that can hinder it. Some of these challenges are:

  • negative emotions: Emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, and guilt can overwhelm us and make us feel pessimistic, hopeless, or helpless. These emotions are natural and inevitable, but they can also cloud our judgment and prevent us from seeing the positive aspects of our situation. To overcome negative emotions, we need to acknowledge them, express them in healthy ways, and seek support from others when needed.
  • cognitive distortions: cognitive distortions are irrational or exaggerated thoughts that distort our perception of reality. They can make us focus on the negative aspects of our experience, ignore the positive ones, or blame ourselves or others for our problems. Some common cognitive distortions are: all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, catastrophizing, personalization, and filtering. To overcome cognitive distortions, we need to challenge them with evidence, reframe them in more realistic ways, and practice positive affirmations.
  • External factors: External factors are the events or circumstances that happen outside our control. They can affect our mood, motivation, and self-esteem. Some examples of external factors are: stress, trauma, loss, conflict, illness, or injustice. To overcome external factors, we need to accept what we cannot change, focus on what we can control, and seek solutions or opportunities for growth.
Great positive thinkers

Some examples of great positive thinkers are:

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  • Martin Seligman: He is a psychologist and the founder of positive psychology, a subfield that studies what makes people happy and fulfilled. He has developed theories and interventions to help people cultivate optimism, resilience, and meaning in life.
  • Angela Saini: She is a science journalist and the author of several books that challenge stereotypes and biases in science and society. She has written about topics such as race, gender, intelligence, and pseudoscience. She has been praised for her rigorous research and clear writing that expose the flaws and prejudices in scientific claims.
  • Cornel West: He is a philosopher, activist, and public intellectual who has written and spoken extensively about issues of race, democracy, justice, and culture. He has advocated for social change and human dignity through his academic work, political engagement, and artistic expression. He has been described as a “provocative democratic intellectual” who inspires people to think critically and compassionately.
  • Oprah Winfrey: She is a media mogul, philanthropist, and cultural icon who has influenced millions of people around the world with her television show, magazine, book club, and network. She has overcome poverty, abuse, and discrimination to become one of the most successful and influential women in history. She has used her platform to promote education, empowerment, and positive thinking among her audience.
  • Albert Einstein: He is a physicist and a Nobel laureate who revolutionized our understanding of space, time, energy, and matter with his theory of relativity. He was also a pacifist, a humanist, and a social activist who advocated for peace, freedom, and justice. He was known for his curiosity, creativity, and imagination that led him to discover new insights into the nature of reality.
Positivity meditation

Further reading

If you are interested in learning more about positivity and how to cultivate it in your life, here are some weblinks that discuss this topic:

Positive Psychology’s Character Strengths | The Positivity Project: This website introduces the 24 character strengths that are recognized by positive psychology as the foundation of human flourishing. You can take a survey to discover your own character strengths and learn how to use them to enhance your positivity.

Why Sharing Good News Matters – MIT Sloan Management Review: This article explains how leaders can boost employee morale by sharing positive stories and creating a culture of optimism. It also provides some tips on how to share good news effectively and authentically.

The Six Keys to Positive Communication – Greater Good: This article summarizes the findings of a research project that analysed over 500 emails from two organizations with different cultures. It identifies six key features of positive communication that can foster trust, collaboration, and happiness in the workplace.

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