10 Ways to Build Happiness
The greatest experiment is one that speaks to each man and woman who seeks to realize their potential. It is an experiment that starts with a simple question–are you happy?
You may be keeping strong and carrying on, but are you also finding ways to extract a sense of fulfillment, happiness and purpose when the going gets tough?
The imperative to focus on true happiness, on what truly gives one fulfillment (as opposed to a cursory rush of adrenaline or a momentary ego boost) is the stuff that great lives, great careers and great accomplishments are made of.
Here are some facts you need to know:
- Neuroscience confirms that optimizing our cognitive potential means priming our brain to be happy. Old school: Get successful then you will be happy. New school: Prime your brain to be happy in order to optimize your potential and succeed.
- Happiness leads to greater productivity. “A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements.” Shawn Anchor, Harvard Business Review, June 2011
- Happiness fortifies the immune system, positively impacting health and longevity.
- Studies conclude that certain aspects of our ancestral environment are important to health and wellbeing; sunlight, greenery, physical movement, social interaction are all important to physical and psychological health. (CJ Fitzgerald, KM Canner, Department of Psychology, Oakland University)
Here are ten practical and actionable steps to kickstart results to experience more happiness in your life.
1. Reduce emotional and cognitive exhaustion. Find new ways to see changes, challenges and problems that help you build greater emotional and cognitive dexterity. Impossible? Think again.
2. Take time to take time. Taking even five minute breaks (zone out time, no stress, no pressure, no problems) every 90 minutes will go a long way in driving greater productivity and happiness. Here are a list of great exercises that take less than 3 minutes. Enjoy!
3. Reset your GPS. Become solution-focused. Start looking or the solution amidst the problem because your brain is an idiot savant that will seek out confirmation of what you are thinking and believing.
4. Embrace your ability to become a possibility thinker because the greatest solutions are born of the most challenging problems. Success is all about seeing things differently. Each time you can catch yourself falling into a habitual pattern of thinking, and step forward by looking at a challenge or problem with new eyes you are building resiliency as well as cognitive and emotional adaptability.
5. Start your day the right way… with a smile. The way you start the day is important. If you get up on the wrong side of the bed, start again. Find something that shifts your mood, so that you start your day on the right foot.
6. Take five minutes or more a day to put your brain in an alpha state. Here is a practical transformative exercise you can do in less than 2 minutes. Bonus, if you stick to it and try it consistently for a week you will see that it works! Simple, practical and powerful!
7. Make happiness a priority for yourself and for others. Become purpose-centered. Understand what really drives you, what gives you the greatest sense of fulfillment and use this self knowledge to find new ways to live and work purposefully.
8. Improve your relationship with yourself and others. Find new ways to socialize, to develop social bonds of trust and kinship at work and in your personal life. Enhancing the quality of your interaction with others adding a human and social dimension to your work and life is critical on a number of levels.
9. Create an environment that makes you happy. Sunlight, greenery, physical movement, social interaction are all important. Determine what you need to feel better and adjust your work and or living environment accordingly.
10. Put on a happy face. Believe it or not the simple act of smiling is a mood elevator. Use your smile more frequently. It helps and it works!
Copyright: balazschristina / 123RF Stock Photo