The ratios
Some "positivity" emotion hits
The effects of being at or above the positivity ratio
Commit to this and you'll never be unhappy

The positivity ratio in relationships and in personal happiness is a big "Duh!"
You cannot afford not to live at least the minimum positivity ratio!!!!!

This is a "forever" commitment, for it creates happiness itself.

This is a guaranteed route for happiness - always, not contingent on condtions!

                                                                               The Buddha Kahuna


If you are below these ratios, you're probably killing neurons and the quality of your life:

The Losada Line2.9 to 6 positive comments to 1 negative for thriving to highly flourishing teams.
The Relationship Positivity Ratio5 to 6 positive to 1 negative for couples who are likely to stay together.  (John Gottman can predict with 90% accuracy who will divorce simply by counting the positives and the negatives)   (Optional: Minimum For A Relationship To Work and/or Why Bother To Communicate.) 
The Happiness Positivity Ratio:  Duh?  5+ to 1.  (No matter what you must create at least this.  See how to do it. )  (See, at some point:  Watch Your Inputs Carefully For They Determine Your Outputs.)

I repeat:  No matter what you must create at least this ratio!

The human evolves for survival, where noticing any potential threat is its key survival tool. This means it is instinctual and automatic - which means that fear/stress response fires over and over, continuing unless you intentionally intervene!  Don't leave it to chance, because the odds are against you

And we have not significantly evolved for the last 10,000 years, but our environment has, so we have more stimuli to screen and more possible dangers - an awesome barrage of potential worries and negative dealings.    Plus we've "made up" a bunch of fictions about what is a threat - such as a loss that really is just a partial give back of accumulated gains, or not being as good as or as rich as someone else, as if that means we will be kicked out of the trip and therefore not survive. 

It is our job however to adjust and manage the process so that our psyches are not just full of anxiety but are actually filled with satisfaction and positives.  And each of the latter is not only composed of a thought or a way of perceiving things, but also of an associated emotion, which gives it a "valence."  (This valence idea is included in these other possibilities to read:  The Essence Of All "Thought" Disciplines  and/or  The Key Problems Of Life And The Path To Their Solutions.)

The causes of depression and happiness are the same - the number of positives and negatives.  You get to choose which "wolf" to feed, the depression or the happiness one.  And regardless of how you were brought up or whether this is easy or hard for you, there is no other choice that to actually do the doing that works - that's it.  That's what creates your life.   Now, it's just up to you to choose....


Smiling person - Look at a smiling face and our mirror neurons create a smile and/or a shift in emotion to the positive.  Post some smiling faces around where you are.  Put some in your "Visuals Notebook" and flip through it often. 

See inspiring or positive images - Especially good in concentrated form, such as a collection in your Visuals Notebook.

Positive people - Just seeing positive people, even without interacting, causes a positive jolt.  Being around positive or progressive people, especially engaged in creating something.  Mastermind group, yoga class, Buddhism group, some churches, philosophy group, exercise group, social club (sit there and count the positives versus negatives [including gossip] and be careful!), good company to work for, and such.
(Support Groups/Communities)

Making positive comments - Just say something positive to someone (or even to yourself) and you'll get an emotional hit.  (Sometimes its subtle, but it has been proven to be there, in studies.)

Reviewing positive strong philosophies, affirmations, sayings

Reading inspiring stories, biographies, positive books - People reject as too corny or expected-to-not-be-inspiring the Chicken Soup For The Soul - but it'll alter your view of life.

Watching positive movies and comedies 

Meditation - Especially "loving-kindness" meditation.  Your emotional control center operates better (for less reactivity), your brain happiness center creates more happiness automatically later (without effort and sometimes without an outside stimulus even), and your prefrontal screening reticular activating system screens out nonsense and false fears better and more automatically (which also affects happiness). 

An act of kindness

Expressing appreciation - Even a thank you has a positive emotional hit.  And expressing heartfelt appreciation to another (even if in a note) goes off the charts.  And it works even in talking to yourself about yourself or writing yourself a letter. 

Expressing gratitude for what's in your life - Just writing down 3 things, even if you're not even actually grateful, you will still have a great fullness.
Upbeat music

Using a skill or a "signature strength" - See also Aptitudes, Talents, And Signature Strengths, and take the test to see what your strengths are!

Listening (without, or barely, talking, for a sustained period) to another 

Talking to a friend

Pauses or "empty space" - A 3 second pause (even better if shut your eyes) of doing no thinking plus a relaxing breath.  (For the time involved throughout the day, you get a big return, but few people "get it", so they don't do it.)  Utilize for greater calm, perspective, and positivity The Pause.

See also Creating "Up".    Form your own list and put it into your Reminders Notebook to review and add to. 


Happiness, contentment (even without more good stuff in your life)

More open minded, broader thinking, more creativity, more curious, more exploratory.

Greater empathy and social grace

"Upward spiral of well-being" - There is always a spiral - its upward if you keep on "positiving" and its downward if you do less than a 2 to 1 positive to negative ratio.  Note that quite a few people come closer to 75% negative in their thoughts - and what do you think that will do to someone?!

Better health, living longer at a higher quality of life

You become better coordinated

You become more present

You have a higher perspective on the situation and on life  


You may have to stretch at first.  You may have to revise your nonsensical and illusory negative beliefs (= any belief that produces a negative or bad feeling) and purposely still in positive statements (even if you do not yet believe them).  You may have to practice catching your negative thoughts and to say "stop" and practice saying the opposite of the negative thought.  You may have to memorize a bunch of positive statements and substitute thoughts.  You may have to write out a complete, comprehensive positive personal philosophy (read the Philosophy sequence and formulate your own [or even just copy these, even if you don't believe it yet...and then review and read aloud] - there is incredible power in forming a super-strong philosophical foundation for life!!!).

And then it will all come together.

Once you get it into full gear and are fully committed, you'll find it is self-building and actually becomes more automatic and/or easier. 

AND I will absolutely guarantee that you'll be happy no matter the circumstances.


Take the positivity ratio tests on Barbara Fredrickson's site

And then register on her site to fill in the worksheet, which is stored on the site for you, where you record what happened to you the past day in terms of positivity and non-positivity, "episode" by episode throughout the day.  This takes some time and should only be done every few weeks.  It reduces memory bias and is a useful viewing through the magnifying glass.  It comes up with a Day Reconstruction Method Report that is quite illuminating.   Very, very detailed, but an incredible inquiry in-depth, to get the extra benefit.


Just as in all of life the value or size of impact matters. 

If you eat 3 bon bons, but someone calls you an idiot (and you feel bad), the 3 to 1 ratio might not mean that you are "even" in feelings of happiness versus unhappiness.

Surely, if we buy three cheap pens they do not have the same total value as buying a very nice car or piece of furniture or ...  It is never quantity that determines value, but the size of the impact and importance of what is done or we receive.

In behavioral economics (and as the basis of all economics), we are seeking the maximum "happiness units", as happiness is the unit of value.  (In economics, these are call "utils", or units of usefulness to have us feel value.)  See Economics - The Philosophy - "The Maximization Of Units Of Satisfaction".    

If I have a thought that I am a worthless being, that will certainly be given a weight of more units than the thought that I was successful at three things on my to do list, especially if I discount the value of those as being no big deal and/or no positive value since "things we are supposed to do have no value" or have no value if "they are not exceptional" or "showing off my prowess".  

(You must be clear on the concept of "weighting" something as being of more importance or "value" than something else.  This is discussed in It's All About Tradeoffs - Identify These Clearly And Then Decide.   If you don't do this, you will make a large number of damaging and/or erroneous decisions - and not live as good a life.  So knowing how to make good decisions at this level is essential!)

The point here is that we should use this ratio in terms of units of positive or negative value not in terms of the quantity of the thoughts.  (The term "valence", as applied to what is thought about what happens ins life, is a key concept in psychology and one you definitely should know!  It is discussed in What Is The Value Of Life Itself?  What Do I Get Out Of It?    

See and do

The Positives Portfolio - For Viewing Often
The Essence Of All "Thought" Disciplines - The Process: Getting To Happiness And Dissolving Unhappiness - If all the wisemen used this, then "d'ya think you ouughta"...

The Key Problems Of Life And The Path To Their Solutions - These are the big three.  Handle these and life improves dramatically.
The Pause - Vital for perspective, the brain, and for a low stress life.

Support Groups/Communities - Increasing Personal Power Through Group Support - One of the most powerful effects on an individual's life, habits, outlook, and way of being.

Watch Your Inputs Carefully For They Determine Your Outputs - Garbage in, garbage out.  What else could happen from taking in garbage?

Minimum For A Relationship To Work
Why Bother To Communicate.