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Positive Emotions Keep You Happy, Healthy and Strong All Holiday Season


Can finding bargains be good for your soul? I say yes. It stirs up positive emotions that flood your body with all the wonderful chemicals that boost your immune system.

Dr. Fredrickson put together a top 10 list of positive emotions, in order of most frequent to least. Allow yourself an opportunity to scroll through the list and ask yourself, “When did I last fully experience this emotion?” The answers may surprise you.


Joy happens in an instant — a perfect moment captured when everything is just exactly as it should be. Think of a wonderful holiday morning with your family, an unexpected present that delights you, or seeing the first smile on your baby’s face. What brings you Joy?


Gratitude is a moment of realizing someone has gone out of their way for you, or simply feeling overwhelmed with your heart opening at a special moment, or after being moved in some way. With gratitude comes a desire to give in return or ‘pay it forward’ in some way. When did you last experienced deep Gratitude?


Serenity is like a mellow, relaxed, or sustained version of Joy. Serenity is a sense of peace that comes to your soul, when you realize there’s nothing you have to do. Serenity is indulging in a favorite luxury, and being mindful enough to take it in. Serenity is the moment on vacation when you finally let go. Has Serenity crossed your door lately?


Interest is a heightened state that calls your attention to something new that inspires fascination, and curiosity. Like a shiny new toy to capture your imagination when you’re a child, interest is alive and invigorating. Interest wakes you up, and leaves you wanting more. What Interests you these days?


Dr. Fredrickson describes it best: “Unlike other emotions that arise out of comfort and safety, hope springs out of dire circumstances, as a beacon of light. Deep within the core of hope is the belief that things can change, turn out better. Possibilities exist. Hope sustains you and motivates you to turn things around.” What brings you Hope?


Have you ever done something really well that took a little time and effort? Maybe you reached a goal you never thought was attainable? You pat yourself on the back with unadulterated Pride. Stand back, take that deep breath and let it in — you earned it. What have you done that made your proud?


Think of amusement as delightful surprises that make you laugh or smile. It’s those unexpected moments that interrupt your focus and crack you up. It’s a great feeling to have amusement sparkle out of the doldrums and instantly change your perspective. Have you had any amusement in your life recently?


Inspiration is a moment that touches your heart and nearly takes your breath away — or takes in your breath, as the word literally translates. Inspiration whispers between the strands of your hair, as you watch a perfect sunset, delight in a rainbow after the rain, witness academic or athletic excellence, or observe unexpected triumphs over adversity. What brings Inspiration in your life?


Awe happens when you come across goodness on a grand scale, and you feel overwhelmed by greatness. Awe is triggered when we are faced with the vastness of nature, or the cosmos. Gazing at the Milky Way and counting the stars, or standing at the top of the Grand Canyon triggers awe. Have you had a moment of awe lately?


The #1 most frequent positive emotion is here. Love encompasses all of the above: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration and even awe. Love is all that and more. When we experience love, our bodies are flooded with the “feel good” hormones that reduce stress and even lengthen our lives.

How did you make out on your list? Are you experiencing these emotions on a regular basis, occasionally, or hardly any at all? Most importantly, how can you experience them more often?

Let’s try an experiment together. All you need are some sticky notes.

Put each of the ten positive words on a sticky note. For the next ten days, peel off one at a time, and take that word with you for the day, wherever you go, as your  “fpositive mission.” Put your daily sticky note on your dashboard, in your pocket or on the bathroom mirror. Take in the essence of each word, and try to bring it out in others.

Adapted from “What Are The Top 10 Positive Emotions?”




Here’s a way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Make this soup for dinner and serve a bowl up for lunch the next day.

  • 1 lb. turkey
  • Water to cover (5–6 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup jicama, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 14-oz. can tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • tsp. mace
  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked

Place turkey in water with bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, and celery in a stockpot on high heat until it boils. Then cover the soup, turn heat on low, and simmer. After 30 minutes, remove the bay leaves and discard them. Add the jicama, onion, carrot, zucchini, tomatoes, salt, garlic, pepper, oregano, and mace. Bring the soup back to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft (about 30 minutes). Then add the cooked wild rice and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serves 6

Recipe is from Souping is the New Juicing.


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