September 21, 2011
Vol 1, Issue 42
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Personal Well-Being

An upward spiral


A Great Idea ...

"When people feel positive emotion, they are jolted into a different way of thinking and acting. Their thinking becomes creative and broad-minded, and their actions become adventurous and exploratory. This expanded repertoire creates mastery over challenges, which in turn generates more positive emotion, which should further broaden-and-build thinking and actions, and so on." (Martin E. P. Seligman in his book, Authentic Happiness pp. 210-211)

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In Other Words ...

When we are feeling positive, we are more creative and use better problem-solving skills. These allow us to complete tasks and learn new skills, which leads to more positive emotion, leading to an upward spiral that leads to feeling better and accomplishing more.

How this Applies to You ...

When you face a difficult situation, rather than getting overwhelmed by it, take a break and do something that makes you happy. Take a walk, talk with a friend, or do something fun. As you create a more positive mood, you will be able to approach the challenge with a broader and more creative mindset.

To Find Out More ...

For more great ideas (or to share your ideas), check out our Navigating Life's Journey blog 


For excellent (and free!) programs on improving your personal well being, check out The Personal Journey and Managing Stress at  


For more information, we recommend Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman or Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson.

Ashley Winberry                                                                                          
U of A Division of Agriculture
Family and Consumer Sciences
2301 S. University Avenue
Little Rock, AR  72204
(501) 671-2214

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.