Be happy – it sounds great but how do you do it? I started off this year deciding that I wanted to be happier and I want to share some wisdom that was inspired by one of my new favorite books, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. Part 1 covers the first 4 tips.
Happiness Tip #1 – The Happiness Advantage
Research shows that we’re more successful when we’re happier and positive. Happier employees report higher productivity, less stress and are less likely to feel burned out and quit. Optimistic salespeople will outperform their pessimistic counterparts.
Successful people don’t see happiness as a distant reward – for example, I’ll be happy when I lose 15 pounds or get a promotion. No, they realize the importance of being positive NOW and in the future.
Studies also show that we are more likely to be innovative and creative when we are happy.
You might be wondering if you should focus on happiness. After all, if you focus only on good things, won’t you be blind to real problems? The key is not to ignore all the bad things but to have a reasonable, realistic, healthy sense of optimism.
Happiness Tip #2 – Choose Your Mindset
You have the ability to choose how your brain sees the world. When you’re faced with a difficult task or challenge, you can either focus on why you will fail OR you can focus on why you will succeed. For example, you can be more positive by thinking about situations in the past when you did something similar and were successful. You could also focus on your ability to learn new things as a way to be successful. Or you can think about other people who could support or work with you. These thoughts will help you be more positive and happier about the challenge.
What about you? Are you more likely to think about success or failure? It’s up to you to choose.
Happiness Tip #3 – Spot Patterns of Possibilities
Your brain is looking for patterns. Do you look for reinforcement that things are good and will work out? Or are you looking for reinforcement that things aren’t fair? You’ll most likely find what you’re looking for.
One experiment had people write about a positive experience for 20 minutes 3 days a week while the control group wrote about neutral topics. The group that wrote about their positive experiences had big spikes in happiness and the control group didn’t.
Our brains can only focus on so much at one time, when we focus on positive patterns it’s easier to ignore small annoyances and frustrations that used to bother us.
Happiness Tip #4 – Fall Down and Get Back Up
This is about bouncing back from crisis to be stronger and more capable. You can use that downward momentum to propel yourself in the opposite direction – capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even more happy and more successful.
How do you do that? Studies show that if you can see failure as an opportunity for growth, you’re more likely to experience that growth. One way to do that is to change your description. For example, you can describe something as really bad and never going to change or you can say it’s not so bad and you can see how it will be better. Framing the description of what you’re going through as a positive learning opportunity will make it easier for you to bounce forward.
Successful people know that it’s not the adversity but what we do with it that makes the difference.
Think about a setback you’re facing now. How can you adjust your description so it can propel you to something better?
Those are the first 4 tips – I’ll post the rest next week. If you want to learn about all 7 tips right now, you can watch the free Happiness video at https://learn.careertipsforwomen.com/.
These tips are wisdom inspired by one of my new favorite books, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. I highly recommend that you buy a copy. I don’t get anything from the sale except the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve shared a great book.
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