September 14th, 2012

3 Things You Should Do When You’re Having a Bad Day

By Ron Nakamoto

Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, an expert on what it means to flourish in life, has done research that indicates that we need three positive emotional experiences for every negative emotion in order to flourish or thrive in our daily lives.  For Fredrickson, positive emotional experiences include (and this is key for Empowered Wealth) gratitude, hope, joy, love, compassion, and contentment; while negative emotional experiences might include anger, disgust, embarrassment, fear, sadness, and shame.  In her book “Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain” Elaine Fox describes neuroscience research that explains why these negative emotional experiences take so much emotional energy to overcome.  It turns out that the amygdala and related brain structures that respond to perceived danger have more connections with the thinking parts of the brain than do the pleasure seeking parts of the brain.  Furthermore, the prefrontal cortex – the part that has the potential to override these bursts of negative emotion and calm ourselves down – that “thinking” part of the brain has fewer connections back to the amygdala than the amygdala has to the prefrontal cortex.  That’s why it takes three positive emotional experiences to override one negative one.

Empowered Wealth has developed a simple method that applies this science when you’re “having a bad day”.

  1.  Begin with Gratitude.  There are no rules here:  find something, big or small, that you’re grateful for.  Describe it to yourself (here’s a short video about Gratitude that goes into more detail about Gratitude);



  1.  Think of a positive personal experience that you’ve had in the last week.  Describe it to yourself;
  2.  Think of a positive business or professional experience that you’ve had in the past week.  Describe it to yourself.

Here’s a video that gives more background on Positive Focus:


4 Responses to “3 Things You Should Do When You’re Having a Bad Day”

  1. Eve

    I enjoyed reading the blog! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ana Maria Negrin

    Gracias!! Son sugerencias muy fáciles de aplicar, y pueden salvar un mal día. Soy nueva en esto, y busco caminos míos o sugeridos, para cambiar mi sistema del uso de mi propia energía. Estoy dando mis primeros pasos, feliz, y agradecida de haber conocido “The Secret”.

  3. Maralyn

    Focusing on three positive things makes a lot of sense as one bad thought can colour your outlook for quite some time. I show gratitude for as much as i can throughout the day and have made it a way of life.

  4. Aaron

    Great Blog! Stuff like this tends to keep me going these days so Thank You for that! Little things like this remind me that being negative can take alot out of you.

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