In order for human beings to flourish, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson argues, we need to get essential daily nutrients—not only from food, but also from a laugh, a hug or even a smaller moment of positive emotion, especially with someone with whom we click.
Some key elements arise from the psychology subspecialties of relationship science and emotion science, Fredrickson said. The first science adds caring, or investment in another person for his or her own sake rather than for selfish ends, and “perceived responsiveness,” or the feeling that the other person understands, validates and cares for us- The second adds biobehavioral components (“emotions are embodied thoughts, equally affecting mind and body at the same time”); a view of caring as a series of moments, “not something you turn on and off like a toggle switch”; and a theory called “broaden and build,” which Fredrickson has developed. It holds that positive emotions serve to broaden people’s awareness; this, over time, builds enduring resources for living such as relationships and resilience.
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