Prioritizing Positivity

prioritizing positivity

Today I watched a great movie with my family called Inside Out. The movie called forth a kid called Riley which is on the edge of her 11st birthday. Inside her head, these little creatures, or emotions, help Riley go through her everyday lives.

Basic Emotions

The emotions are: Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, and Fear.

I believe this is based upon Oatley and Johnson-Laird theory on basic emotions, except Fear is actually Anxiety.

So the main emotions on this little kid is Joy, which is usually do when we were kids. We experienced joy through our lives and gradually experienced other emotions as well. As we progressed to the movie, it made clear that as we grow adults, we are supposed to experience emotions simultaneously to maximize happiness. This is pictured by the upgraded control system which Riley has, where all emotions have their own control panel, not main control panel. There is an addition button called “Puberty” which indicates that Riley is going through phase of changing from kids to teenager.

Prioritizing Positivity

Riley has five main core memories, which is the factors of prioritizing positivity. There are playing hockey, goofball, spending time with friends, truth, and hanging out with her parents. These core memories each represent an island, which I think symbolize huge memory base.

Prioritizing positivity is an act deliberately carrying out to trigger memory about things that we personally enjoy in our lives. Lahna Catalino, a researcher from University of California, wrote a fabulous essay about it on Greater Good blog. She suggest three steps on how we can achieve happiness through prioritizing positivity:

  1. Don’t think into extremes. Self-help books, motivators, seminars many times have black and white emotions, and only regard positivity as the main factors to happiness. We live in a world which is not black and white, but also deep gray and plentiful of colors, so hoping that every day we only fill our lives with only Joy will make us suffer as the movie described how Joy will have to dominate other feelings but unable to do that. It’s unrealistic, and not healthy. Just accept the fact that emotions are there to guide us and to learn to know ourselves.
  2. Remember when you feel happy. Remembering you feel happy is very personalized. You must aware of things that can make you happy. Maybe writing a diary or a blog like this one is helpful to record things that makes you happy. If you can’t think of any, Lahna suggests two main activities, romantic things and sports.
  3. Schedule. Spread out your positivity through the week so you can experience it every single day, even only a factor of it. Make it social to make it more intense and you will not miss it.

In conclusion, prioritizing positivity is a helpful guide to embrace our emotions and letting go instead of hoping for only positivity comes into our lives. Experience live to the fullest extends, not just artificial lives with “The Secrets” vibrations into it.