Traditionally you associate the emotion of love with the romantic, unconditional relationship with a soulmate or the love you feel for your family. Positive psychology professor, Barbara L. Fredrickson in her book Love 2.0 redefines this traditional notion of love. She describes love as micro-moments of warmth and connection that you share with any living being. The amazing revelation is that you can cultivate feelings of love and connection with even strangers through “shared positivity”.
Basically, love is an emotion. It is a mind-body relationship activated by micro-moments any time you connect with someone else over a shared positive feeling. Research shows that when you “click” with someone your gestures, biochemistries and your neural responses mirror each other creating a moment of “shared positivity”. It can be as simple as a wonderful and animated brainstorm with your colleagues, a coffee catch up with some mums to a warm smile to your checkout attendant at the fuel station. As humans we thrive on these positive feelings of connection. These are powerful feelings of belonging within a tribe called the human race. The more micro-moments you experience the more you will be happier. Decades of research has shown that people who are more socially connected live longer and healthier lives.
How can you cultivate these micro-moments of love? Well very easily. First, by being present and paying more attention to all the people who happen to be in your life. Feeling gratitude and empathy for each human being, cultivates feelings of positive emotion and connection. You can practice love kindness meditations—a Buddhist-based practice in which you send out positive wishes to yourself and people in your community. If you think that you are missing love in your life – think again. Love is all around you. Activate a positive encounter by simply smiling at a stranger or expressing your gratitude to work colleagues or the barista that made your amazing cup of soy flat white. Create as many micro-moments of shared positivity in your day and see how your cup really is overflowing.