Place of Meditation in Attaining Positive Emotions

1. How many of us exercise throughout their lives, consistently, psoitive emotions, like of kindness, patience, love etc.,? Even Maslow's highly 'self-actualized' persons are not free from imperfection. They are highly expected to lose temper, become impatient and show irrational behavior. That is actually a fault of his theory, but our concern is something else. Firstly, we recognize that positive emotions are usually short-lived and fleeting on one hand; and less powerful and less intense on the other.

1 (a). Secondly, we recognize the importance of positive importance in the light of metaphysical and empirical research. We are much familiar with metaphysical assertions about positive emotions, which is very positive. To introduce the view-points of empirical research, I'd like to quote B. L. Fredrick et al., "Positive emotions contribute important downstream life outcomes, including friendship development (Waugh & Fredrickson, 2006), marital satisfaction (Harker & Keltner, 2001), higher incomes (Diever, Nickerson, Lucus, & Sandvik, 2002), and better physical health (Doyle, Gentile, & Cohen, 2006; Richman et al., 2005)." [Article reference is at the end of para 2 (a)]

2. A light study of a research article illuminated the need of meditation in gaining, not fleeting, but stronger, lasting and enduring positive emotions in one's life, to me. The abstract of the research paper goes on as:

"B.L. Fredrickson's (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions asserts that people's daily experiences of positive emotions compound over time to build a variety of consequential personal resources. The authors test this build hypothesis in a field experiment with working adults (n=139), half of whom were randomly-assigned to begin a practice of loving-kindness meditation. Results showed that this meditation practice produced increases over time in daily experiences of positive emotions, which in turn, produced a wide range of personal resources (e.g., increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support and decreased illness symptoms). In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms."*

2 (a). Rest of the article consists of some hypotheses, the testing, the scientific method carried on 139 people, mathematically calculated results, the pros and cons of research, and in the end, a generalized conclusion. All of which is truly in conformity with the title of the paper I'll mention here, which I feel is in itself self-explanatory, rather than pasting whole of the article (which is of course impossible!): *Open Hearts Build Lives: Positive Emotions, Induced Through Loving-Kindness Meditation, Build Consequential Personal Resources. [Authors: Barbara L. Fredrickson, Kimberly A. Coffey & Jolynn Pek (University of North Carolina), Micheal A Cohen & Sandra M. Finkel (University of Michigen)]

(What is your opinion about the 'abstratct'? And, how do we enrich our lives with inducing 'poitive emotion'?)
- Article appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008, Vol. 95, No. 5, 1045-1062

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