Positive Thinking & The Science of Well-Being

Positive Thinking & The Science of Well-Being

Humans are both creatures and creators of their personal and social worlds.

Considerable research has been committed in the area of positive and negative emotions and the impact it has on one’s health and well-being. There are a variety of benefits associated with the experience of positive emotions. These benefits include more efficient thought processes, less stress, better health, and being more productive. Perhaps the most important benefit of positive emotions is resilience.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stressful events and regain composure and a sense of well-being. Positive emotions may increase our resilience and ability to cope by offsetting the effects of negative emotions caused by stressful experiences (Baumgardner and Crothers, 2009).

The ability to recover from stressful events is very important because it allows individuals to not fall prey to the negative impacts of bad emotions. Such impacts might include poor health, poor diet, low productivity and in extremes feelings of worthlessness. The increased resilience created by positive emotional experiences can help people to be more productive and stronger over time. The connection between emotions and well-being is important to positive psychologists because if the connections can be clarified it may be possible to circumvent experience and find ways to benefit from these emotions (Baumgardner and Crothers, 2009). For example, positive psychology understands that people who feel happy or optimistic can impact their lives in a number or ways:

...hope adds the importance of flexible thinking, problem-solving ability, and self-motivation to an understanding of the coping benefits of optimism. Hopeful people, compared to those who are less hopeful, are more skilled in generating alternative means for achieving goals when they encounter roadblocks to their original plans. Hopeful people are better problem-solvers. Hopeful people focus on what needs to be done rather than ruminating about what went wrong. Hope shows patterns similar to optimism in its relationships to adjustment, achievement, and health (Baumgardner and Crothers, 2009).

For these reasons, it is important to determine not just what makes someone feel emotion negatively or positively, but also to determine which stimuli creates the most effective means of achieving these feelings.


Baumgardner, S. R. and Crothers, M. .K. (2009). Positive psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Photo by Erik Brolin on Unsplash


Triola Vincent. Tue, Jan 12, 2021. Positive Thinking & The Science of Well-Being Retrieved from

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