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How Positive Emotions Impact Life Success

The benefits of positive emotions are far reaching, and involve much more than just being “happy.”

Research has revealed that positive emotions can enhance our relationships, increase our resilience, and even improve our physical health.

Not to mention that people who rate themselves to be happier make more income are more successful by many standards.

It has also been shown that happiness isn’t necessarily a byproduct of success, but that greater levels of success come from being happy. In this sense being happy increases our chances for life success.

There are many aspects that can help us to be more successful in life, such as how we view ourselves, the relationships we build, and being able to stay motivated, persevere, and solve problems.

Below are a few ways that positive emotions can contribute to your success.

A positive perception of self

When we are in a good mood and a positive state of mind our self-feelings and self-concept will be more positive. Think of a time when you were full of positivity. How did this impact your self-perception?

You probably expected more positive results and were confident in your abilities. A positive attitude can help us focus on our positive traits and attributes, and subsequently have more faith in our ability to achieve what we desire to achieve.

More social and outgoing

When we are in a positive mood we are often more social and outgoing. We will have more energy, be more gregarious, and open to interact with others.

I know when my mood is good, I am more likely to initiate conversation and approach others with a bright and jovial attitude. I look for the good traits in others and what could bring us together. Relationships just seem more rewarding when we have a positive mood.

Be more active and energetic

How does your activity level change when your mood changes? When someone is depressed for instance, they tend to be lethargic, want to sleep, and lack the energy needed to get things done. When our mood is positive we are more likely to be active and energetic.

It becomes more natural and easy to be enthusiastic and excited, and it becomes easier to get more accomplished. When you are feeling sluggish engage in leisure activities that can increase energy like going for a walk or exercising.

Enjoyment of activities

How much more interested are you in your hobbies and pastimes when you’re in a good mood? Everything becomes more pleasurable when we are happy and full of joy. Even the most mundane task can be viewed with value when we are in a good mood.

Think of how your emotions and mood is impacted when you use your skills and talents. When we have flow experiences, or are in the zone and engaged in enjoyable activity that challenge us, it increases our psychological well-being.

Creativity and problem solving

Positive emotions broaden our ability to think outside the box and look for novel solutions. Often when we need the most novel and out-of-the-box idea we tend to become frustrated and upset, which prevents our thinking from broadening and opening up to new possibilities.

When we have emotions such as interest, inspiration, and curiosity it is likely we’ll be open to creative and unique ideas. The more positive we feel the more possibilities we are willing to accept.

Our ability to achieve what we want in life and reach our goals is related to what we believe to be possible, what we make of the present moment, and our outlook for the future.

By being open-minded to new possibilities, connecting with successful and like-minded people, and developing empowering beliefs about what we’re capable of, we can experience more positive emotions and begin living in a way that is conducive to success.

Photo credit: homesbythomas

How Positive Emotions Impact Life Success

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2011). How Positive Emotions Impact Life Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Jun 2011
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