We’ve all fallen into thinking “I will be happy when ___________”. Sometimes it’s a mind set we’ve been taught: Eat your vegetables before you can have dessert; There’s no time for happiness just “hard” work. Often it’s simply paddling as fast as we can to keep our head above water.
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, maintains we need to get happy first and success will be easier for when we are in a good mood we work better, are more creative, and cope better.
The neurochemistry says it all
“Positive emotions flood our brain with dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that not only make us feel good, but dial up the learning centers of our brains to higher levels. They help us organize new information, keep that information in the brain longer, and retrieve it faster later on. And they enable us to make and sustain more neural connections, which allows us to think more quickly and creatively, become more skilled at complex analysis and problem solving, and see and invent new ways of doing things.”
Smple activities that will increase the “happy” neurotransmitters in your brain.
Recall a memory of something happy or funny
Take a brisk walk
Watch a funny video clip or cartoon
Hang out with someone who makes you smile
Proven ways to increase happiness which take a bit more time and effort:
1. Meditation (“Joy on Demand”, a book on easy ways to meditate)
2. Think of something you can look forward to doing
3. Perform an act of kindness
4.Modify your physical environment (go outside in nice weather, surround yourself with pictures that remind you of loved ones, happy times, trips, read positive magazines, books, videos or surround yourself with objects or symbols that bring a smile.
5. Exercise 20 – 30 min. 3X week
6. Create & nurture relationships.
7. Use your skills and do something you enjoy