But positive emotion is a powerful force as well. Life is, after all, a constant search for just this! Studies now show that happiness is not only a sign of flourishing but also the impulse that creates well-being.
Just as sunlight makes gardens grow, joy makes us more alive and adventurous. It moves us forward and outward, pushing us to explore novel objects and places and engage with loved ones and strangers.
In psychological terms, it sends us into "approach" behavior"--but in a softer, more inquisitive way than does anger, which has a harder, more assertive quality. Negative emotions, such as anger and fear, narrow our focus, while positive emotion expands the range of our thoughts and creates the urge to play and experiment.
Positive emotions and beliefs fuel resilience and help us bounce back from adversity. They generate even more positive emotions in an upward spiral. This is surely part of the power of love. Love, at its best, bring a cornucopia of good things: joy and contentment, safety and trust, intense interest and involvement, curiosity and openness.
Dr. Sue Johnson, Love Sense