The Power of Positivity
Updated: Jan 6, 2020
The Power of Positivity in All Things – Even Work
From suits heading into board meetings and office buildings to flannels and jeans gathering at coffee shops and planning team-building exercises at escape rooms, the corporate world is shifting. Consumers are demanding authenticity, transparency, and positivity. And we as business owners should be responding to that demand. Power suits will remain for power people, while flannels, yoga pants, and t-shirts might just be the fashion identity of the up-and-coming common business owner. With this in mind, when we started Smoke Signal, we both realized it was out of a need to get away from negative mindsets in the workplace as well as from a desire to promote the positive things that businesses are doing around us. Not "woo-woo" themed, we promise — let’s dive deeper into the research and philosophy behind the power of positivity.
Don’t Fret, Negative Thoughts and Reactions Are Prewired Back in the day, as hunters and gather — we're talking WAY back in the day — we needed our fight/flight responses in order to survive. When you happened upon a bear in the woods, and both of you were hungry, the ‘negative’ thoughts of fear and death that arose were for your protection. These negative thoughts helped you hone in on danger and plot how to get the %&#@ away as fast and safely as possible! Today, in a modern world where most of us are unlikely to encounter a bear on our way home from work, we repress our natural fear responses. Yet, we still have this prewired fight vs. flight pathway in our heredity. When we argue with a loved one, get stuck in traffic, or space a meeting, our brains shut down and focus on the problem, making action nearly impossible. A basic survival instinct remains ingrained as true survival inside us. So, don’t fret, we all are here working to navigate the the dangers and stress of the modern world (which hopefully doesn't include life-threatening bear attacks) that continue to produce a fight or flight response within us.
The Science Behind Positive Thinking Recent research from Johns Hopkins has shown that positive people survive longer and often outsmart and outlast illnesses. While researchers continue to look for conclusive evidence on the connection between positivity and certain diseases, the renowned hospital CAN report that there is a clear connection between positivity and general, physical well-being. Positivity has been shown not only to improve cardiovascular health, but also to produce better outcomes for patients who have suffered from brain injury, brain tumors, and strokes.
The studies on positivity continue. At the University of North Carolina, research showed that thinking positively, even in pseudo-positive situations where participants in the study were shown positive environments (meaning they did not generate these thoughts themselves) people were able to generate overall experiences of positive emotions, thus creating opportunities for creativity to soar. All of this sounds like good news to us! The great author, Emily Dickinson may be onto something with her famous “I dwell in possibility” mantra.
Taking Steps to Include More Positivity
If you are still not sure how to increase positivity into your job or daily routines, why not take some actionable steps? In order to ensure your overall sense of positivity permeates your day, well-being, and health, we have a few ideas:
1. SMILE. It really is that simple. Some ways that can increase smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, could be to watch videos that make you smile. YouTube is full of them! From the silliness of cat and dog antics to the comedic duo of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, you are sure to find something that can make you LOL. And, if you can't seem to muster a grin, fake it until you make it. University of Kansas researchers found even fake smiling can reduce blood pressure while lowering the heart rate. Why not take some time and smile today, even if you're not feeling it?
2. Open Communication. Remaining bottled up is a sure way to kill the emotional environment in an office. Workplace drama is a real thing, and not talking about it leads to suspicion, which leads to gossip, which takes you down a path nobody want to go. Keeping open lines of communication ensures that everyone around you will understand where each individual stands when it comes to giving advice or taking a new path on a project. When problems arise, even though confrontation sounds like a bad word, why not reframe your mind to thinking of it as an opportunity for everyone to grow together? Which leads us to our third step…
3. Reframing. When stressful situations arise — at work, in traffic, or at home — why not try to ‘trick’ your mind into finding the positivity in the situation? If your daily commute is in the middle of rush hour, take this time to learn a new skill via a podcast or audio book. Most likely, there is nothing you can do to change the traffic, which is where reframing becomes valuable. If this does not work and the commute is too difficult to reframe, consider taking an alternate route home as an adventure, avoiding traffic by opting for a scenic route.
Why We're Introducing Ourselves with Positivity First
At Smoke Signal Media Productions, we strive to be authentic, transparent, and you guessed it – positive! Tracy and Rachel (co-creators of SSMP) met in a yoga class that thrived on community and positivity. We realized pretty quickly that this mindset is not always a focus within the strenuous atmosphere of businesses. Owning a small business can feel lonely, breed copious amounts of stress, and be quite simply a helluva lot of hard work. Why not strive to keep fun, positivity, and hard work in the same room together? Let’s face it, as far as we all know we only live once, and within that, why not spread the power of possibility, positivity, and being happy? Cutting to the core, isn’t that what we are all striving for at the end of the day?
Smoke Signal Media Productions — Positive Branding from Coast to Coast When we look back on our lives, we want to be known as a company that promoted the beautiful and powerful work of others. Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, but with a global mindset and outreach, Smoke Signal Media Productions builds authentic messaging through digital brand content and design work. Your story is the one we want to grow, and we do this as partners. Looking to send your signal into the sky? Contact us today via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for more content and inspiration.
Love & Light,