Does this Positivity Stuff Actually Make a Difference? Here’s my story

 In Better Life, Negative emotions

I often quote the benefits of spending more time in positive emotions based on a variety of studies, but there’s nothing like a personal example to help make it real so I wanted to share my story.

It was Wed, Nov 7, 2012.  I came to work at my biotech job like any other day.  The first thing on my schedule was a meeting with my boss – a little unusual since he hardly ever visited our site. At 9 am I went downstairs to the conference room and pushed open the door.  As I looked inside, I instantly knew, because there sat my boss and there sat HR (Human Resources).  I knew what this meant because several of my co-workers had been laid off in the past few years and apparently this day it was my turn.

The next several minutes were a blur of paperwork.  Then I was back at my desk packing up my stuff – 11 years worth of stuff.  All these files, projects, emails, and papers that had been so important just a few minutes ago were now meaningless.  They could shred it all.  It was like an out-of-body experience.

But it gets better.  Not only did I lose my job and all my benefits, I decided that I would reinvent myself; changing from working in biotech as a scientist to starting my own speaking and training business.  Talk about stress!

I felt incredibly fortunate that just a little over a year earlier I’d discovered Positive Psychology and had been learning (and practicing) as much as I could.  I don’t know how people get through such change and uncertainty without these tools!  They were critical for my resilience and coping skills.  It still took a few months for the waves of nausea to subside.

Today I notice many other benefits from the past few years of experimenting with a variety of practices from Positive Psychology.  I still get angry, frustrated, sad, and stressed, but now I recover so much faster than before!  I spend more of my waking hours appreciating things, feeling peaceful, and enjoying my life. I’m more patient, understanding, and accepting of others, which has deepened my relationships. My attitude about life and it’s challenges have shifted, making it easier to notice all the wonderful things in my life.  I still have a long way to go, but the differences I’ve noticed definitely make it worth the effort!

How has positivity impacted your life?  How could it benefit from more?


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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association.

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