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Positivity Training; the Book

Feel good, not not bad

alternate titles

by Rob Kall, M.Ed
. 211 N. Sycamore, Newtown, PA 18940, 215-504-1700 fax 215-860-5374

You can learn to feel more good feelings more often and more deeply.

You can learn to have more intense positive experiences more often.

Good feelings and positive experiences are the most important, most valuable parts of your life. Period. Teaching health care providers how to use positive experience training with patients or students, I've stated this basic premise to thousands of physicians, psychologists, nurses, treachers social workers. I challenge them to dispute it. No-one has ever disagreed! Many come up to me at the end of a seminar to tell me, "I can't wait to start using this with my patients . But I'm going to start applying it to myself first." They use it to enhance their lives-- not to fix problems.

Positive experiences and the good feelings which connect them to you mentally, physically and emotionally are your most valuable assets. Your self esteem, positive attitude and ability to be happy and enjoy life all flow from these essential building blocks. But they can trickle or surge, depending on your PE skills. Wisdom dictates we learn more about PEs and good feelings so we can master them. My experience has taught me that anyone can learn and enhance these skills.

Mmmmmm Ooooooo (as in boo) and Ahhhhhhhh.

Good feelings and positive experiences are the most important parts of people's lives. They are what we work and struggle for, fight for and dream about. Smile and think about some positive experiences you've had which gave you good feelings. Make a few 'feeling good' sounds; Mmmmmmm, Ooooh, Aaaahhhhh. Smile bigger and make the sounds louder. Do it a third time-- smile, mmm, ooooh, ahhh.

Did you feel any good feelings just from recalling a good experience or smiling or making a feeling good sound? If you did, then you've experienced a demonstration of how it's possible to turn on good feelings out of the blue. If you didn't, you're among the approximately 50% of the population who in some or all circumstances holds back feeling and or expressing positive emotions. If the exercise didn't turn on any good feelings, this book will teach you many specific techniques and strategies to learn to feel more good feelings, to feel better than you do now.

If the exercise did turn on good feelings for you, you can probably benefit even more from the techniques and strategies you'll learn in this book.

In sports or the arts, some people have natural talents. Others need considerable training to develop barely passable abilities. Some folks start off as "naturals" and when they receive training, it helps them to soar that much higher-- to fine tune their natural abilities. Teach a natural athlete a new throw or serve or swing and he or she will pick it up right away and add it as a new tool to his bag of tricks. Less talented people need the same training even more, but they don't pick up the skills as fast.

The same is true for good feelings and positive experiences. Some people are naturally cheerful and happy, able to express strong emotions and feel deep emotions. Others-- so many others-- are depressed, anxious, angry, or burned out, with shut off, deadened feelings.

This book is the first ever to develop a systematic approach to teaching people skills for having more and better good feelings and positive experiences. Other books tell how to feel good by getting rid of bad feelings or memories or habits. Or they applaud the benefits of laughter and humor. A few have listed pleasures, like a cook book for positive experience. THe problem is, teaching people to get rid of negatives may do nothing to help them feel good. Humor is only one, actually very infrequently mentioned positive experience. And a cook book of positive experiences doesn't help someone who doesn't know how to cook (or beleieves he can't,) or even where the cooking utensils are or how to use them.

This book teaches specific techniques for turning on good feelings at any time. It dissects the anatomy of positive expereicnce, analyzes the different behaviors associated with the many aspects of positive experience, and teaches practical skills for having more and better positive experiences-- skills you can begin using immediately.

Tens of millions of Americans experience difficulty or inability expressing or feeling emotions. A few million are depressed, but most aren't. They suffer from a disorder for the most part ignored by the health care system. They don't have cancer or coronary artery disease, but a vital part of their spirit has died and their metaphorical hearts are very ill indeed. This book can help them to profoundly change their lives, just as therapists and trainers I've taught the techniques to have helped tens of thousands of patients and employees.

 Happy, cheerful people quickly benefit from positive Experience training. They add the new skills to their good feelings repertoire and try them out right away. They learn how to expand their horizons so they see recognize more opportunities for positive experiences and good feelings. They fine tune their feeling good response so they feel even better than they would have before training. YOu can learn to take good experiences and make them better by responding more deeply, connecting to the experience with more parts of your self and to others, and by stretching in new directions.

Depressed, emotionally paralyzed people gradually let down their guard and take more risks. They take much more time to develop the skills and raise the courage to feel really deeply, and really good.

So many psychological interventions and treatments address what to get rid of, what to eliminate, what to stop. They dredge through the crap in your life-- digging up bad memories, painful experiences, bad habits, angry feelings, sad feelings. The goal of thousands of these self-help books is to stop doing things, let go of behaviors and bad feelings.

But when you stop one behavior, you have to replace it with another behavior. This book teaches an optimistic positive view of self change. The goal is to learn new behaviors-- healthy ones-- which will supplant the unwanted behaviors. It's less toil, more fun and more hopeful to work at learning to turn on good feelings and build skills for having more and better positive experiences

This book evolved from my discovery that a huge blind spot exists in the scientific, psychological knowledge base about a profoundly important aspect of human life--the heart warming feeling and experience. I am certain you know what a heartwarming experience is, because I've asked thousands of people in my seminars and lectures and have never had a person who didn't know. And business make tens of billions of dollars in profits marketing and harvesting them. Yet science knows so little about them. It was this blind spot which intrigued me and motivated me to explore this ubiquitous, ever so essential element of our lives.

I began asking my patients to remember heartwarming experiences they'd enjoyed in the past while I monitored their physiological responses with a computerized biofeedback polygraph system. When they'd get into connecting with their warm hearted memories, all the physiology would go in the right direction--muscles would relax, hands would warm up, sweat gland activity would quiet, heart rate and respiration would become more stable. It was like magic-- more powerful than half a dozen other commonly used relaxation and self control techniques.

It worked so well, I began instructing my patients to start keeping records of their heartwarming experiences-- either new ones or old ones. I also began searching research data-bases to see what was know about the heartwarming experience-- to almost no avail. Scientists had ignored what poets and philosophers and bards had contemplated and studied at great depth. Heartwarming was an archetypal phenomenon which was ignored and deplored by the high priests of the quantifieable double-blind study.

My patients began to bring in their lists of heartwarmers.

examples Go to Hearwarming anecdotes page

But sometimes they wouldn't follow my rules. They'd list other kinds of good experiences which were clearly not heartwarmers, even though they were positive experiences-- the joy of love, discovery, completion, nice feelings of connection, good luck, learning, growth, giving, sharing, getting organized, being appreciated. All different varieties of positive experiences. So I changed my instructions, so they were assigned to record all kinds of positive experiences.

I asked my colleagues throughout the US what they knew about heartwarming and its cousins. They almost always told me about some researcher doing humor or laughter research. Strangely, my clients and later, my workshop and seminar participants almost never (less than one out of 1000) listed humor or comedy experiences among the positive experiences.

So many people let so much of themselves of their potential happiness and joy and ability to contribute to the world begin to die, to lie fallow by not living life to its fullest. It's like gangrene of the heart and spirit. ONce the pain or advoidance or the numbing confort of safe routine starts to take effect, it gradually spreads, like cancer, and kills the propnsity towards trying new things, and opening up to different behaviors. Rather than smiling with their whole body,,,,, with their walk, their hand gestures, with hugs and belly laughs, people's smiles shrivel up and weaken, until gradually, all they have left is a frail, tired, effortful, half hearted tug at the corners of their mouth.

I'm not talking about people with any physical illness-- at least not initially. I beleive that the death of one's heart and spirit dramatically increases risk and susceptibility to other diseases. But first there is the pathology of the metaphorical heart.

This book is a guide for opening up the heart, for bringing the dead of heart and spirit back to life. It's goal is to help spark, invigorate, arouse, and awaken people who are idling through their lives and jobs like fading embers, dimming and lustrous. Yet as I mentioned earlier, the people who seem to get the fastest most powerful immediate benefits are the healthiest. They grab the ideas in the book like high soaring eagles catching the positive experience ideas like currents of warmer air which lift them ever higher.

After reading this book, you'll begin to look at people and the bright spots in your life differently. You'll start to notice and appreciate the simpler beauties and opportunities to feel good and share those good feelings with others, to smile more often and find more reaasons to smile.

It's the kind of book you give to people you love, want to help.

It is written with inspiration from Steven Covey, M. Scott Peck, Norman Cousins, the human potential movement, Will Rogers, William James, Emerson, Thoreau, Disreali, Joubert, Franklin, Samuel Johnson, Addison, Shakespeare, Seneca, Epictetus and hundreds of other writers and philosophers, psychologists and researchers I've studied and conversed with to put together this simple approach to magnifying happiness and the capacity for feeling good.

Outline:      Positivity Training; Feel Good, not not bad.



1-Varieties of positive experience; Heartwarming, sparkling, touching, soaring, liberating, empowering, funny, fun moments, etc
Anatomies of Positive Experience, Positive States & Happiness

2-Anatomy of Positive Experience; The six facets of Success of the moment
3-Anatomy of Good Feelings; how and why we feel
The Six Facets of Positive Experience
4-Prepare for good feelings mentally and physically; whole body smiling
5-Plan, schedule, research, anticipate positive experiences; beyond vacations and saturday nights
6- Recognize, identify, initiate and Embrace your opportunities; for good feelings and positive experiences
7-Optimal Experiencing; Intensify, deepen, make the most of the moment
8-Making, Keeping, Retrieving Good Memories; your most valued assets
9-Use the Positive Experience Later; transplant and clone positive experiences; to expand your success and happiness to new areas of your life
The waves of Positive Experience Go Up and Down.
10-Turning Chaos into opportunity; facing adversity and making peace with personal flaws
11-Inhibitors of good feelings and positive experiences; take the happiness inhibitor test.
Mind Body Mastery;
12- Calming down, taking control; stress regulation, biofeedback, zen walking
13-Straighten out your self talk and behavior Be Your Own Friend; with Cognitive and behavioral skills
Positive Experience Training
14- Putting it all together; into your life
15- PE and the bottom line; work, working, business
16- Applying PE training to healing
17-The Future of positive experience and Happiness
A: KPEI -Kall positive Experience Inventory: a check off list of varieties of positive experience to help you dig up and organize your memories, add complexity and intensity to new PEs, and identify PE areas you ignore.
B: Reading and Resource list
C: Bibliography


At the top of every other page, in a different typeface, a touching or very common positive experience anecdote or a quotation will be listed.

Alternate titles:

Anatomy of Positive Experience
Positive Experience Anatomy
Positive States
Heartwarming: as a Verb
Smiling Heart
Building & Maximizing Your Inner strengths

Heart Assets
Good Feelings & Positive Experiences
The Smile Reflex
Mmmm, Ooooh and Aaaaaaah
The Positive Experience
Positive Experiencing
Systematic Happiness
The Nuts and bolts of Fabulous Feelings and Wonderful moments
Fabulous Feelings, Wonderful moments
The nuts and bolts of happiness
Wonderful moment Magic
Wonderful moment Science
Make a Wonderful Life
Best Feelings
Soft magic of the heart
Fabulous moment management
Happiness Skills
The Skill of Joy
Happiness 101
Wonderful experiences
wonderful experience Training