Research has shown that positive emotions and especially social connectedness leads to increased health. Kindness and compassion and the sense of belonging all contribute to positive health. In her book, Positivity, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson says that data shows that negative emotions, such as fear, can close down our ability to function, whereas positive emotions open us up to possibility and the ability to move forward.
Dr. Fredrickson's list of the top ten positive emotions is as follows:
Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology, created this list of the top twenty positive feelings and emotions:
- Surprise (pleasant)
As marketers, we know that fear is a motivator, however fear has a negative impact on people (unless there is a real danger to avoid). So, I would encourage you to consider what positive emotions your brand could evoke in people. Consider how your brand can contribute to improved health through positive emotions. While this can be accomplished through advertising, it can also be achieved through customer service and a myriad of other ways. Choose a positive emotion or two (or three) on which to focus and include its development in your brand's plan, complete with objectives, goals, strategies and tactics.