Do you know your Positivity Ratio?

Published on June 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

3:1 is a healthy positivity ratio. That’s 3 positive emotions to every 1 negative emotion.

But don’t stop there. 3:1 merely meets the “Meh”or “I’m OK” or “Fine” standard.  Positivity ratios can soar as high as 11:1 before they start to appear manic and delusional.

In the workplace, a ratio of 6:1 is ideal.  This ratio of positivity to negativity allows teams to thrive and flourish and get stuff done.


When stressed, I sometimes take 1 minute to savor the beauty of these exquisite roses.
They are from the garden of Marty Seligman. Just looking at them puts me in a state of awe and wonder. Beauty in nature is soothing and calming.

Here are some ways to raise your positivity ratio at work. All of them require only 3-10 minutes.

  • Listen to your favorite music with your eyes closed and fully experiencing it.
  • Tell a clever joke or story.
  • Share a funny Youtube video.
  • Take time to have a little bit of fun. Play is fuel for rebooting the brain. Recreation = RE CREATE.
  • Savor the beauty of nature. Take a 10 minute walk outside. Even looking at photos of nature can be effective.
  • Take a micro-spa break: For three minutes. Watch your breath come in and out. Visualize fresh mountain or beach air in and exhale the toxic air in your lungs out.

Raising positivity requires slowing down.Try inserting little gaps of goodness, savoring, laughter into your work day.


This post was written by Lisa Jacobson

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