Positive Emotions & Resilience

Recently the National Institute of Health noted that there is growing research evidence that suggests having a positive outlet can help your physical health. There is a link between our attitude and our body. Emotional wellness can improve by developing certain skills.  Dr. Fredrickson notes that positive emotions can speak, expand our awareness and open us up to new ideas. She describes the toolkit for our survival. Interestingly Dr. Fredrickson also notes that we do need negative emotions to move us through difficult situations.  Also people who are mostly well she notes, have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back faster. This is what she calls resilience.

Also, developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life (focusing on what’s important to you) contributes to emotional wellness.

Dr. Davidson states that positive emotions can trigger reward pathways in our brains, suggesting that longer activation is linked to helpful changes in the body. This is in contrast to negative emotions with stress, anxiety and the associated changes in the brain.

Interesting, supportive cognitive behavioral therapies and meditation are noted to be associated with resilience and positive emotions.

Consider the changes we can make in our own lives. Consider how we cross the threshold to reach the changes.


Article written by Jerry Bruns, MD

Dr. Bruns is a native of Southern California. He attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and finished his psychiatric residency and clinical fellowship at USC. Dr. Bruns is the founder of La Mer Integrative and Behavioral Medical Group and he has practiced Psychiatry in Ventura County since 1990.   Dr. Bruns special interests include healthy aging and nutrition and their critical role in overall health for the active patient.  He also specializes in anxiety, depression and behavioral management with the elderly and also the developmentally disabled young adults.   Currently Dr. Bruns serves as Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Alzheimer's Association in Ventura County. He is a frequent leader in collegial continuing education programs and directing innovative clinical outpatient programs.