The ‘Happiness Advantage’ written by Shawn Anchor was very well received that he managed to give one of the most popular TED talk titled ‘The happy secret to better work’.
The gist of his talk is to be happy to become successful in all aspects of life.
Most of us are prone to think that hard work comes first and happiness is often the result.
However in his book, he goes to show with years of research on the topic of happiness, that it is in fact the opposite that is true.
Through his study and stay at Harvard and his many travels, he have gathered data to prove that indeed when you put happiness first, you succeed better at whatever that you have set out to pursue.
His book continues to give concrete ideas on how you can begin your journey to succeed and perform better by giving happiness a chance.
I will briefly go through some of which in this blog post.
Neurologists have proven time and time again on how meditation can alter your brain functions. Hence more of us are including meditation in our daily routine. Meditation has become so practical these days that you do not need to sit for hours like the monk do. Simply go to youtube or your app store to download and hear a mediation to your liking. Studies show that just five minutes a day can lead to more calmness and contentment. I am sure everyone of us will like to have a taste of that in our busy lives.
#2- Find something to look forward to
“The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.” This was a quote mentioned by the author, John Green. It is indeed the anticipation of something that gets us all excited. This is good news as it means that even if you cannot go for the vacation or the movie you have been dying to watch. Just putting it down in your calendar and thinking about it can increase your levels of endorphins. How crazy is that? Book your calendars away my friends (even if it is not possible at the current moment)
#3- Commit Conscious acts of kindness
I have learnt from a young age that kindness always repays. It is also known that committing acts of kindness towards friends and strangers can cause stress levels to decrease. Try committing one or two acts of kindness a day and see how you feel. You often will feel better about yourself for doing something nice. You do not have to over complicate kindness as well. Simply giving up your seat or sparing someone loose change will all work too.
#4- Infuse positivity into your surroundings
This is big for me at least. Every time i find myself in an uninspiring, decluttered space. I almost immediately shut down. This does not mean that you have to drastically change your environment. You can quickly reflect on the feelings you feel at your current space, be it your house, room, office or even lecture theatre. If you find yourself feeling low, you could simply add or decorate your space with things that make you feel better. I mostly write from home so my room is my default workspace. What i do is to always make sure, i have some fresh flowers (daisies, if you ask me) and i also like to light some candles. You might well be different and be good with hanging pictures of your loved ones at your space. Also, you can infuse more positivity by going out to get some sunlight in the day and out to nature for a walk. All of these will definitely help lift your spirits.
#5- Spend Money (but not on stuff)
Money is not the root of all evil. I am proud to say that i love money. It is how you spend it that determines your quality of life and character. The book explains how when research was conducted, those who spend money on experiences with their loved ones happened to feel happier than those who spend money on shoes, bag and accessories. Also, those who spend money on others almost often feel happier at the end of the day. So take that trip with your loved ones or surprise them with a valuable gift.
#6- Exercise a signature strength
This is so essential. I feel as the older we get, we tend to not prioritise activities that make us sparkle. It could be traveling, a craft, sport, language or even culinary practice. Exercising what you love to do is valuable to your sanity. It also makes you unique in a sense. If we all just prioritize a 9-5 job and leave no time for ourselves. Imagine how sad that will be. Pursue what you love regardless of the college debt, mortgage or marriage that you are in. You will definitely be able to better handle of all it when you give yourself the permission to do what you love.
Last but not least, to physically exercise. It is almost a no brainer that exercising regularly helps us keep fit and healthy. You might have also heard that exercising regularly helps release endorphins that are pleasure-inducing. It not only helps in boosting your mood but your performance at work or school. The best part of it all is that there is a variety to choose from and that you can always switch to another if you get tired of one form. One may thrive on running and another might prefer to do yoga. Find what makes you happy and stick to it.
I hope you can take notes and start incorporating a thing or two from all of the above.
All the best in your pursuit to happiness. xx.