5:1 — Odds are you’ll feel better after doing this today

Did you know that there’s a happiness ratio?

It’s 5:1.

Researchers studying married couples in the 1970s concluded there is a key difference between happy and unhappy couples: When in conflict, for every negative interaction, happy couples have at least five positive interactions.

Five positive interactions to one negative interaction. That’s the 5:1 happiness ratio.

The concept has been expanded to parenting. For every “For the 19th time, put your shoes on!”, some suggest, there should be five, “Oh, I love how well you listened!” or “Thank you for getting ready for school on your own!” comments.

The magic ratio has been used to improve workplaces, friendships, classrooms …

I think we need to apply it to ourselves.

How often do you start a day already stressed about all you have to do, frustrated that your kids (or spouse!) aren’t cooperating, or anxious about some other relationship or situation in your life?

How often do you end the day exhausted, feeling guilty over battling with your kids or stressed because you didn’t get fill-in-the-blank-task done?

How often do you see in your business only the failures — your lack of social-media prowess, the sales you didn’t make, the beloved project you worked hard only to discover that nobody really cared?

You’re never going to rid your life of stress.

But as a #Mondaymotivation technique, try the happiness ratio on yourself.

By all means, feel disappointed that you only made three sales at your latest product booth, irritated that your Twitter followers number in the single digits or overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work involved in being a mompreneur.

And, yes, keep working to improve.

But for every, “Ugh, that didn’t work as I planned,” name five positive things about yourself as a mom, business owner and someone who is trying, trying, trying to do both well.

Some examples:

“I am pursuing my dreams.”

“I am a role model for my children.”

“I am learning new skills.”

“I am creating the life I want to live.”

“I am contributing to the world in a meaningful, positive way.”

Identify and learn from your struggles and failures. Absolutely.

But take the time to rejoice in your successes as well. Science says you’ll be happier.



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