Sources of Positive Emotions

This is a self development exercise about positive emotions.

Grab a piece of note paper to note down your answers (you won’t need to do a lot of writing).

Positive emotions
For each of the following emotions, identify the main sources of that emotion in your life.

joy, serenity (including calm/relaxation), excitement, pride, inspiration, awe, gratitude, interest, amusement, hope, and love

How many different sources you list for each emotion is up to you, but aiming for 4-6 sources per emotion is a good place to start.

You might list some things under more than one emotion. For example, your work might be a significant source of both pride and interest.

Why do this exercise?

1. You might notice that some of the things that are important sources of positive emotions in your life are things you don’t do very often. For example, walking in nature might be an important source of serenity/calm for you but you might only do it every few weeks. Heightening your awareness of cause-effect relationships in your life e.g., X behaviour causes Y emotion, can help you choose positive emotion generating behaviours more often.

2. Heightening your awareness of behaviour cause > emotion effect relationships can also prompt you to savor the positive emotions you experience when doing that activity more than previously.

3. You might notice imbalances whereby you have abundant sources of some emotions but fewer sources of others. This might prompt you to explore new sources of emotions you want to have more diverse sources of.