You finally met your goal at the gym, got a nice letter from your boss, lost weight, accomplished a personal goal, broke a habit, got a promotion, whatever your good news is don’t be afraid to share it.
We can be so reluctant to share good news. We say it all the time “I don’t want to brag,” “I don’t normally share these types of things,” “this isn’t like me,” etc. Why are we holding back? Why are we so afraid to spread our joy? We bond over the negative. We laugh and cry over ours and others misfortunes while keeping the happy moments to ourselves.
More Positive Experiences
Research shows that nearly three times more positive experiences happen in a day than negative, yet it can be so easy to let the negative take over and ruin the day. Good things are happening to us all the time, but we are hesitant to share them.
Maybe it is out of guilt. You don’t want to make others around you feel bad because something great happened to you but they are having a rough time. Maybe you don’t feel deserving of whatever good has happened. Or, you don’t want to boast. Maybe it is a reoccurring form of goodness that you have become accustomed to and now it’s commonplace. Maybe you don’t think others care. Maybe you are afraid that saying something will make it less of a reality.
Lean to the Negative
Research suggests that our brains have an innate tendency to lean towards the negative. We think of the negative in larger terms than the positive.
But, actually, a lot of benefits can come from sharing our joy. Sharing positive experiences gives them more weight in our brains. A study done at Brigham Young University shows that discussing positive experiences leads to increased overall life satisfaction and more energy. It is the same reason why gratitude journals help increase happiness. When we see all the good that is happening in our world the negative doesn’t feel so suffocating.
Think about it—when we talk about the good things that are happening to us we are validating them, we are accepting that we are deserving of the good and are able to relish in those experiences more fully. Many times when we share our joyful experiences we rediscover the support systems around us. Chances are there are a lot of people in your life that would be excited to hear about your accomplishments, your successes, and all those happy moments that are being overlooked.
Lift Others Up
As far as feeling guilty for sharing the good, for many hearing of good things happening to those around us lifts us up. It is so easy to get caught in the negative. There is so much negative news, so much happening around us that can easily crush our spirits. When we hear of these true moments of good in the lives of those around us, it gives us hope. It highlights the beauty in life. Even if these good things may not be happening to us directly.
I mean, really, who hasn’t at least teared-up during a human-interest story on the news. We can find joy in other peoples joy, and sharing your joy can help to increase your overall appreciation for life.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.