There’s an excellent article by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson downloadable in PDF form here.
Fredrickson is a leading figure in the positive psychology movement but
isn’t referred to much in the EI world – more’s the pity as her
research is throwing up some very valuable insights. Her ‘broaden and build‘ theory suggests that positive emotions, even if experienced only briefly, expand our emotional reserves and help us to get through difficult times.
If I was taking a Daily Mail sensationalist headline-writing approach to Fredrickson’s work, I would have titled it
Positive Emotions Are Better For You Than Giving Up Smoking!
This is indeed one of the findings she quotes, along with:
Positive Emotions Help You Make Better Decisions
Positive Emotions Make You A Better Negotiator
and Positive Emotions Ward Off Heart Disease!
The article, “The Value Of Positive Emotions” is well worth reading.