Who knew mood rings were back in style? Hint: they aren’t. But what these celestial rings told us during those years when braces were considered cool, is more relevant to your adult self today than ever before.
Since the last 90’s when researchers first coined the term ‘positive psychology’, countless studies have been run proving happiness is not just a byproduct of success. Rather success comes from being happy. And it’s not just success at work. Happiness has been proven to add years to your life and can even make pain less painful. I know I feel like I’m taking crazy pills too.
How Does Happiness Affect Us?
Happiness influences the many aspects of our life that lead to success – how we view ourselves, how we build relationships, and how we stay motivated, persevere and solve problems. When we are happy and positive, our brains become more energetic, creative, motivated, resilient, engaged and productive. It’s like psychologists found the fountain of youth and it was inside us this whole time! Mind. Blown.
So if happiness is the key to success, what can you do to stay positive? To keep the happy vibes when it feels like Armageddon is upon us… and not in the hot Ben Affleck sort of way. Research shows that the three greatest predictors of happiness are optimism (the belief your behavior will make a difference), social connection, and how we perceive stress (as a challenge or a threat).
It’s not just a change of mindset and how we think, but there are many behavioral activities we can do to increase our experience of happiness:
1) Gratitude – Write down three things that you are grateful for each day, try not to repeat
2) Journal – about a positive experience. Make this a routine and write for 2 minutes every day
3) Exercise – Participate in 15 minutes of mindful cardio activity
4) Meditate – Focus on your breathing for 2 minutes a day and
5) Engage in a random, conscious act of kindness – Write an email thanking a friend or colleague, or compliment someone you admire on social media