Do positive thoughts outweigh negative thoughts?
Or is your ratio smaller than you thought?
Positive psychologists have landed on a generalized ratio that expresses how many people actually flourish in life. Ultimately, flourishing is quite rare. Only 1 in 5 people meet the criteria of flourishing.
That statistic was quite jarring. Only 1 in 5 of us is actually meeting our potential for fulfillment and happiness.
Positive psychologist Barbara Fredrickson came up with the positivity ratio of 3:1. Ultimately, that is the tipping point of human flourishing. 3 positive emotions for every 1 negative. But the vast majority of us hover somewhere around 2:1. Positive still outweighs the negative, but not by much. Most of us are teetering on the verge of depression.
In Fredrickson's book - Positivity - she expressed that 80% of people she had tested fell below the 3:1 ratio threshold. Most averaging at the 2:1 ratio, with a 1:1 ratio bringing us to depression and suffering.
It is an astounding fact to realize that so many of us are just on the cusp of depression. Not to mention the fact that the majority of us are experiencing the bare minimum of joy and never actually approaching the true potential for our lives.
Where would you guess that your own positivity ratio falls?
This is a hard question that we should all consider asking ourselves.
Consider tracking your positive and negative emotions and moments throughout the course of a single day. Write down when you feel moments of joy, and moments of stress, fear, and general negativity. It may be surprising to see how your own ratio compares.
If you are like most, and find that your ratio is surprisingly low, it may be time to consciously think about ways to increase positivity throughout your day. Adding in small moments that bring you joy, rest, and genuine happiness.
As you raise your positivity ratio, your overall quality of life will skyrocket.
"As you raise your ratio about 3 to 1, a transformation occurs. You feel more alive, creative and resilient. You have a palpable sense of personal growth and of making a positive difference. This is flourishing." - Positivity, Barbara Fredrickson