We Need to Create Our Positive Emotions, Not Hope for Them

We Need to Create Our Positive Emotions, Not Hope for Them

 

Ah night shifts…a perfect time to watch some TEDx talks 🙂

 

And what a good one that was watched!

 

In Shawn Achor’s, “The Happy Secret to Better Work”, he explains how our viewpoint on ‘becoming happy’ is flawed. 

 

In our world, most of us believe and behave following the idea that our outside circumstances make us happy (and even if you know this probably isn’t true, we often fail at behaving in other ways). This is why we always have new milestones to accomplish, new desires, new material objects, etc.

 

But what if happiness didn’t come with these things?

 

What if being happy actually needs to happen first? 

 

If you knew greater success and enjoyment from life came after you embodied happiness today, what behaviors would you start adopting more? What behaviors would you drop? How would you start living ‘as happy’ today?

 

Shawn Achor explains,

“We’re finding it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.”

 

Shawn’s talk focused on business and education but the concept translates into all areas of our lives.

 

If we changed the lens we looked through each day…how would this affect our relationships? Our work life? Our family life? Our viewpoint on what we can accomplish? Our ideas of how we want to live our lives?

 

Shawn’s talk hones in on the importance of positive psychology – consciously focusing more on positives – our strengths, appreciation, our dreams and ideas, our opportunities. What’s going right in our lives instead of what’s going wrong AND… what could go even more right with a little more positivity and determination. 

 

Another quote from the talk…

 

“90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world. And if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, we can change the way that we can then affect reality.”

 

90%!!!!

 

So basically, we’re giving away our happiness to our negatively biased mind. 

 

“We’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon, as a society. And that’s because we think we have to be successful, then we’ll be happier. But our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise.”

 

Shawn then goes on to explain that there are ways to train the brain to become more positive and as you probably know, I’m all about that 😀

I was further thrilled by the list of 5 things he explains can raise levels of happiness in the present. They include:

 

  1. Expressing Gratitude – simply listing 3 things before going to sleep each night
  2. Journaling – about positive experiences to relive them
  3. Exercise – 20 minutes per day
  4. Meditation – to train our “ADHD” brains to focus on the present
  5. Random Acts of Kindness – such as complimenting and doing things for others

 

The above actions work to increase happiness in the present moment by raising levels of our feel good hormone, dopamine.

 

The concept of positive psychology and the above list is exactly why I’ve changed my daily lifestyle. It’s the exact reason I choose to meditate. Why I choose to journal. Why I choose to challenge by thoughts and perspectives on paper…yes, I do the activities that I teach my clients! And it’s why I choose to frequently work on raising my self-esteem and confidence, again on paper (as that’s the most effective way).

 

It’s all because I notice astronomical differences in my mood, my thoughts, my desires and my actions. I’ve also gotten more accomplished when I switched to raising my happiness on the current day instead of hoping or wishing to reach it sometime in the future.

 

To watch the full Tedx talk, check it out here! He’s also quite the humorous guy 🙂

 

With that, I encourage you today to challenge the lens you’re looking at your world and your current situations through. Commit to doing some positive actions such as meditating, exercising or expressing gratitude.

 

The efforts and actions we put in each day to feel positive is what will affect our levels of happiness the most.

 

Always rooting for you,

Shawna 🙂

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