Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in The Local Lifestyle.
A few decades ago, research began to track the science of positive psychology (the study of values, strengths, virtues, and/or talents). Are there any traits that can predict whether or not you’ll perform strongly in your chosen career or within certain roles?
Much of the research has found one common predictor… your level of happiness!
Shawn Achor outlined in his 2011 TED Talk, “Your brain at positive performs significantly better… your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise… your brain is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral, or stressed.”
Who wouldn’t want to perform better just by being a happier person? But with all of the stresses of everyday, it’s often much easier to say, “I’ll be happy” than it is to become that way.
So let’s explore some proven tips as to how to be happier within our everyday lives.
Start a Gratitude Journal
If you want to learn how to be happier, especially on days when you’re feeling in a slump, creating a gratitude journal is the way to go.
This is because science is consistently showing us that people who are inherently grateful have greater positive emotions, a greater sense of belonging, and a lower incidence of depression and stress.
To cultivate a sense of gratitude, relax each night before going to sleep with a journal and favorite pen to write 5-10 things you are grateful for from across the day.
Some days will seem simpler than others, but your mind will become familiar with the activity and will start to create the list each day. Ultimately, you will feel thankful for each day you are alive.
Find Your “Flow”
When our minds are actively engaged in a meaningful activity that challenges our abilities (aka “flow” activities), they are at their happiest. Unfortunately, one of our most used leisure activities, watching television, is when they are least engaged and usually least happy.
Though finding your “flow” activities can involve a bit more time than just walking out the door, too, as “flow” activities always involve an initial investment of time before they become enjoyable.
For example, if you had just picked up a tennis racquet for the first time, you probably wouldn’t find your first tennis match to be incredibly enjoyable. But after practice and learning the skills necessary, it would become an activity you do for fun.
Involving our minds in these “flow” activities will keep them active, engaged, and happier.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
What are some of your favorite tips to make your brain happier?
Create a great life!