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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Positive emotions and minor positive events are more likely to occur in people’s daily lives than negative emotions and stressors. This chapter provides an overview of theoretical perspectives and previous research linking positive experiences with stress and health. A conceptual framework is proposed that describes constructs within the realm of “daily positive experiences.” The framework posits that daily positive experiences contribute to health through biological, behavioral, and stress-buffering pathways. The sociodemographic patterning of daily positive experiences by age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status is described. Multidisciplinary work is presented linking between-person differences and within-person (day-to-day) variations in daily positive experiences to stressor reactivity, inflammation, and diurnal cortisol rhythms. The chapter concludes with a discussion of unanswered questions and key areas for future discovery and innovation. The study of everyday positive experiences provides insights into health and well-being that go beyond what can be learned from focusing solely on negative experiences.

Keywords: positive experiences, stress, health, daily positive experiences, daily positive affect, daily positive events, positive events, stressor reactivity, inflammation, diurnal cortisol rhythms

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