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Want Happiness? Check This Formula

Want Happiness? Check This Formula

Research by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, and colleagues has shown that it takes a tipping-point ratio of three positive emotional experiences for every negative one to create a thriving, flourishing life — as opposed to a negative, downward spiral.

Positivity grows through feelings not just of happiness, but also of pride, serenity, amusement, love, hope and interest. And people whose lives are flourishing, says Fredrickson, function on a whole different level — they are more resilient to adversity, better able to achieve goals, and report higher levels of well-being. But getting to that 3-to-1 ratio may take some focused effort: Fredrickson’s research suggests that most Americans have a positivity ratio of just 2-to-1, which tends to lead to a progressively negative outlook over time.

You can find your own ratio of positive-to-negative emotions by taking Fredrickson’s two-minute quiz at Fredrickson recommends taking the quiz each evening for two weeks to get the best picture of your overall ratio. To hear Fredrickson talk more about positivity and how you can improve your ratio, check out

How to Find the Positive in Negative Emotions
Think, Do, Be Positive!
Brilliant Ways to Create Positive Change

Read more: Life, Peace, Spirit

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Kara, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life is the best whole-life health and fitness magazine you’ve never heard of — until now!  We aim to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenge the conventions of hype, gimmicks, and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit to explore 10-plus years of archives, to sign up for our newsletters, and to subscribe to our print or digital editions. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


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9:17AM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Did anyone else find this "article" way too short, and lacking in detail and color?

5:58AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013


3:14AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

I went to a chi-cong practice this morning in a nice setting in a park but could not totally disregard the dog poop...

3:05AM PST on Mar 9, 2013

It all depends if we can take life lightly

1:17AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

Positive energy, Auras and Chakras are extremely important. I think it's unfortunate how numerous people and society do not recognize, realize nor appreciate the small, simple and beautiful things in life that are not costly, materialistic, egotistical, etc.

4:23AM PST on Mar 5, 2013


4:35PM PST on Mar 4, 2013


10:15AM PST on Mar 4, 2013

If only it were that simple...thank you.

3:23AM PST on Feb 17, 2013

thank you

2:21AM PST on Feb 6, 2013

What an interesting thought - thanks for sharing! I scored 1 point more on positivity, so here's to achieving the 3-to-1 ratio!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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