What about positive emotions? By Desirée Colombo
In the last decades, most psychological research has focused on negative emotions and on repairing negative wounds (Seligman, Rashid, & Parks, 2006), while just little research has been conducted in constructing positive emotions about present, past and future (Seligman, 2011). Accordingly, a bounce of studies explored the emotion regulation strategies we use to deal with our daily negative emotions. But what about positive emotions?
Using a Personal Digital Assistante (PDA), Heiy and colleagues asked 92 people to report on their experienced positive and negative emotions for ten days, and to choose the adopted emotion regulation strategy (Heiy & Cheavens, 2014). Results evidenced that in response to positive emotions people used a repertoire of strategies as large as the one adopted to deal with negative emotions. Those strategies were applied with the aim of increasing and/or maintaining the ongoing positive feelings.
In other words, we should not only know how to manage negative emotions and decrease their intensity, but also how to make the most from the positive emotions we experience every day. Here is the list of some of the most adopted strategies to increase and/or maintain ongoing positive affect.
Heiy, J. E., & Cheavens, J. S. (2014). Back to basics: A naturalistic assessment of the experience and regulation of emotion. Emotion, 14(5), 878–891. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037231
Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Authentic Happiness Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment. Ebl. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.161.5.936
Seligman, M. E. P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A. C. (2006). Positive psychotherapy. American Psychologist. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.61.8.774
The AffecTech project is an international collaborative network that advances personal health technologies for affective disorders – depression, anxiety and bipolar. AffecTech is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks, via the programme H2020 – EU.1.3.1. – Fostering new skills by means of excellent initial training of researchers.
Desirée Colombo is an AffecTech researcher and PhD student at the Universidad Jaume I, Spain. Her research focuses on mobile technologies for the understanding, assessment and intervention of emotion dysregulation in depression.