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Why is a Positive Attitude Important?

Judith Lissing, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Meditation Coach, Double Bay, Sydney



The study of Positivity is a growing field within the discipline of Positive Psychology. In particular, the work of Barbara Frederickson has quantified the ratio of optimum positive to negative emotions that we should be feeling every day as 3:1, in order to enhance a sense of well-being in our lives.

Increasing your positive thoughts (1, 2, 3, 4…) can help you to tap into your natural resources and helps to:

  • Build resilience
  • Develop an overall positive attitude
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Enhance concentration
  • Create an increased sense of well-being
  • Increase happiness
  • Improve physical and emotional health
  • Deal with adversity in a positive and constructive way

Many peer-reviewed papers have now been published in this field and some of the more interesting findings include that:

  • Optimistic people are much less likely to die of heart attacks than pessimists, controlling for all known physical risk factors
  • Learning optimism by ages 10-12 halves the rate of depression as these school children go through puberty
  • Happy teenagers go on to earn substantially more income fifteen years later than less happy teenagers, equating for income, grades, and other obvious factors
  • University students with high scores for optimism have half to one-eighth of the risk for developing moderate to severe symptoms of depression relative to the rest of the student population
  • Specific exercises can produce increases in happiness and decreases in depression within six months
  • How you respond to good events that happen to your spouse is a better predictor of future love and commitment than how you respond to bad events
  • A ratio of at least 3 to 1 of positive statements to negative statements results in optimal productivity in the workplace; however a ratio of at least 5:1 is required for a marriage to flourish



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