The Happiness Advantage
As a culture, the majority of us were taught to work hard to achieve success: only then will we be happy, we’re told.
But what if we have that backwards?
Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and founder of Happiness, Inc., wrote a book called The Happiness Advantage. In his book, he shares copious research demonstrating that in order to achieve success, we must first focus on rewiring the brain for happiness.
But how do you do that?
For 21 consecutive days, do these 5 things:
Gratitude x3 – Write down three things you are grateful for today. This is a critical habit that teaches your brain to scan for happiness instead of negativity.
Journal – Write down the details of one positive experience you’ve had in the past 24 hours. This teaches your brain to relive a positive experience, an act that can produce nearly as much pleasure as the original event itself.
Exercise – Exercise is proven to release endorphins which boost mood and increase productivity (plus a ton of other benefits too numerous to list here.
Meditation – Research shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness, lower stress, and even improve immune function.
Random acts of kindness – Performing acts of kindness can decrease stress and contribute to improved mental health.
Create ripples of positivity.
In the modern world, we define happiness as pleasure; however, the ancient Greeks defined it as the joy you feel when moving towards your potential.
Some people believe that we are the way we are as a result of things beyond our control: our genes, our upbringing, our past traumas, our heritage, etc. Much research has been done to test this idea, and the overwhelming conclusion is that we can rewire our brains and, consequently, change the way we experience life.
Scientists call this neuroplasticity.
Here’s the good news: Whether you’re trying to find happiness or achieve success, or both, you can accomplish this by rewiring your brain for happiness. And the happier you are, the more successful you’ll become!
Check out Shawn’s book, The Happiness Advantage. And while you’re at it, try the exercise at the beginning of this post for 21 days and let me know how it goes!
Yours in health,
P.S. I’m doing the 21-day challenge, too!