Friday, 12 February 2016

Recipe for Happiness

Recipe for Happiness

A while ago a dear friend of mine (also divorced) sent me a link to yet another TED Talk. This time by psychologist Shawn Achor….funny guy.

In his video he shares his belief that we should work to be happy and that being happy in the present inspires productivity. Happy people = happy life right…

Currently people think that the more you have the happier you’ll be. If you drive a fancy car, or live in a big ass house or date the pretty little blond you’ll be happy. There is always something you chase after and you’ll never be satisfied. There’s always something better. Or if you work harder (in a job you probably hate) you’ll be happy. But wait, what happens when you reach that goal of success? You set new targets or set the bar higher and therefore you’ll never quite reach that happiness!? Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't have goals or be a couch potato and accept your life for what it is. Always strive to be the best version you already are, but don’t lose your goal along the way. Don’t lose yourself or the things that make you happy.

Be happy with yourself at the present moment. Today…not tomorrow or next year or in 20 years. If you are happy today, you’ll most likely be happy tomorrow. Easier said than done though…so Shawn speaks about training ourselves to become more positive in the present. As a result our brains work more successfully allowing us to work harder, faster and more intelligently. And you’re happy as a result of it.

So how do you do this? By following 5 simple activities for 21 days (it takes 21 days to make or break a new habit…try it):

1.       3 Gratitudes:  think of 3 new things you are grateful for each day – this retains a pattern which then scans for positive experiences first.
2.       Journalling: write about 1 positive experience within the past 24 hours and in doing so you re-live the experience.
3.       Exercising: this teaches your brain your behaviour matters.
4.       Meditation: teaches you the discipline of focusing on the task in hand rather than frantically trying to multi-task.
5.       Random Acts of Kindness: by consciously performing an act of kindness you will feel better for doing so.