Skill Level Appropriate for all
- Most people think if you become successful, you'll be happy. That makes sense, but in recent years, the field of positive psychology has shown that in many ways, we actually have that equation backwards. Research has shown that if you're happy, that actually makes you more creative, more productive and as a result, oftentimes more successful. So the real question is how can we become happier? It turns out they have some interesting answers for that too. I spoke with my friend Shawn Achor, a positive psychology researcher and the author of Before Happiness and he shared four key tips with me that you can implement right away to make a meaningful difference in your happiness.
The first is to try meditation, which sounds hard, and it can be if you imagine spending an hour sitting cross-legged. But you can see a decrease in your stress levels with only two minutes of just paying attention to your breath going in and out. That's fast enough, and simple enough, that even the most impatient of us can make it happen. Another strategy is to reframe what's stressing you out. Your inbox, which freaks out many of us, could be viewed as an out of control to do list, teeming with unmet obligations.
But, Shawn says, you could also reframe this and look at it as a source of opportunity. Maybe there's an exciting business opportunity waiting to be discovered in one of your messages, or a chance to meet someone really interesting. It's all about your perspective. A third possibility is to exercise. We all know it's good for us, but we put it off because we assume it has to take an hour and we don't have time to go to the gym and then shower afterward. But it turns out that only 15 minutes of daily exercise has the same level of psychological benefits as an antidepressant.
It's a small investment for a pretty potent reward. And finally, Shawn's favorite suggestion is a simple gratitude exercise. For 21 days, you commit to sending a short email thanking someone who's positively impacted your life. It could be a coworker who helped you that day, a teacher from middle school whose lessons stuck with you, an old friend you've lost touch with, or even your spouse. The key is to be specific about what they did and how it impacted you. The responses you get back can be quite powerful and profound, and will almost always bring you closer to that person.
When you see what kind of positive energy you can put out into the world with such a simple gesture, you may well want to continue the practice beyond 21 days. We're all seeking happiness, and too often, we assume we have to do something, like earn a certain amount of money or reach a certain career threshold in order to get it, but the truth is, we're more likely to earn that money and win that promotion if we're already happy. It's because we're sharing positive creative energy with others, which is very attractive. With these steps, you can start to bring more happiness into your life directly right now.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.