SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 14, 2015

Go for “happy” now, don’t wait!

My quirky nature demanded that I share this with you today, for I am in total agreement with the basic concept expressed herein.  This is an article I found in today’s Columbus DISPATCH and it struck a chord with me.  

Though I may have developed my personal lifestyle and way of being slightly differently,  I don’t really think its relevant to deliberate the issues and variables,  for we are each so unique and seem to attract those experiences to ourselves that enable our growth potential best.  In all things we have choice even when there seems no apparent control over circumstances.  For me, acceptance allows the development of gratitude which is akin to serenity, harmony and strength. . . one could call this happiness. . . the beauty of the blessings of the  “now.”  

How much sweeter life is when we aren’t busy comparing. .  . which  can seem to lead to a sense of lack or not enough.  How much more life is as we sense our oneness with others. .  .   .   and perhaps, align ourselves with activity which grants our nature to flourish and sing.          

I couldn’t agree more with Shawn Achor, the happiness researcher,  and believe the points he makes to be on target.  For I have seen far too many who toil away and yet not realizing their goals, remain unfulfilled, become jaded, negative — suggesting to me their purpose in life isn’t being realized.  Life is a gift and meant to be enjoyed. (NO MATTER WHAT)  When this happens, we are out of balance and probably can’t see the good even when it is there.   Mindset spirals downward disallowing freedom and/or fun.   Sometimes we just stand in our own way and don’t know what to do.   This following article on the benefits of  this process Shawn Achor has discussed here sound like a real winner to me.  Following this plan with those few points he makes can’t help but help turn one’s life around.    

Thank you Shawn,  this old lady is gonna incorporate your advice too.    Jan

 

To achieve happiness: 5 habits, 2 minutes

With anyone who thinks of happiness as a luxury or as something that occurs after a lifetime of sacrifice on the drive to a goal, happiness researcher Shawn Achor begs to differ.

His mission is to change minds, hearts and lives.   Being happy, he contends, isn’t just about feeling good.

His research has found that simple “happiness habits” — which take no longer than brushing your teeth — make you happier and, as a result, healthier, more creative and productive at work, and closer to loved ones.

Achor, the head of the Good-think research company and the author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, recently shared insights about his research.

Q: Talk about happiness seems all the rage. Why?

A: I think we’re living through twin revolutions. The high-tech revolution allows us to have information at our fingertips at any moment. And hidden behind that is a more powerful one: Because of that technology, we’ve been able to understand the human brain better than ever.

By changing our mindset and habits, we can actually dramatically change the course of life; improve intelligence, productivity; improve the quality of our lives; and improve every single education and business outcome.

Q: Many people see happiness as something to earn later, after you have found success. How do you make the case for the importance of happiness?

A: Happiness is such an incredible advantage in our life. When the human brain is positive, our intelligence rises; we stop diverting resources to think about anxiety.

Our creativity triples. Productive energy rises by 31 percent. The likelihood of promotion rises by 40 percent. Sales rise by 37 percent. These figures are all from studies we’ve done.

Most people keep waiting on happiness, putting off happiness until they’re successful or until they achieve some goal — which means we limit both happiness and success. That formula doesn’t work.

Q: What might readers do to create more happiness in their lives?

A: I’ve been looking at five habits that are akin to brushing your teeth — very short habits that, if you do them every day, will improve your health but also improve your levels of happiness:

• Three acts of gratitude. Spend two minutes a day scanning the world for three new things you’re grateful for. Do that for 21 days. . . . It’s the fastest way of teaching optimism.

• The “doubler.” For two minutes a day, think of one positive experience that’s occurred during the past 24 hours. Bullet-point each detail you can remember. It works because the brain can’t tell the difference between visualization and actual experience. So you’ve just doubled the most meaningful experience in your brain. Do it for 21 days. Your brain connects the dots for you; then you have this trajectory of meaning running throughout life.

• The fun 15. Do 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day. It’s the equivalent of taking an antidepressant for the first six months but with a 30 percent lower relapse rate over the next two years.

• Breathing. We did this at Google. We had them (employees) take their hands off their keyboards two minutes a day and go from multitasking to simply watching their breath go in and out. This raises accuracy rates, improves levels of happiness, drops stress levels.

• Acts of kindness. The final habit is the most powerful. . . . For two minutes each day, start work by writing a two-minute positive email or text praising or thanking one person you know. Do it for a different person each day.

People who do this not only get great emails and texts back, and are perceived as positive leaders because of the praise and recognition, but their social-connection score is at the top end of the scale.

Q: What happiness habits do you use?

A: My wife and I are both happiness researchers, and we’re on the road more than 200 days a year. So we have to put this happiness research into practice, especially with a 1-year-old.

I journal every day, especially when I’m on planes. I exercise every day.

I’m constantly investing in people around me, especially when I feel stressed, sad or lonely.

It’s not the macro things that matter, but it’s the micro choices for happiness that sustain happiness the best.

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2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for posting this article, Jan. I’m going to print it out and use it daily.

    Comment by Mary — August 11, 2015 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

    • Greetings Mary, good to hear from you. I found this ‘Happiness engineer’ to be an excellent find and couldn’t resist posting it. Anything at all which assists us in seeing the beauty which IS there and surrounding us as we wend down that path we’ve chosen is a good thing, isn’t it? Especially good when its tasty and exciting too. Keep enjoying the flavor, Mary. ..be happy!….Jan

      Comment by Jan Turner — August 12, 2015 @ 4:16 pm | Reply


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