After reading Principle #1, The Happiness Advantage, I realized that I needed to change my own thinking. Most of us believe: if you are successful, you will be happy. My thinking needed to change to: if you are happy, success will follow. Decades of research has proven this, but we are still stuck in the other belief.
We all have experienced negative emotions causing physical changes in our bodies (upset stomach, back pain, increase of stress) well, positive emotions also affect our brain and body, but in a positive way. Therefore, changing your thinking and realizing the importance to focus and practice happiness first, and probably foremost, changes how your brain works and body feels. Daily focus and practice towards a more positive attitude will cause you not only to feel better but to experience things like clearer thinking, more creativity, being more open to new ideas, and my favorite, happiness is catchy! I posted that I am trying to “Lead by Example” because if I become happier and feel better, so will the people around me. Who doesn’t want that?
Even more interesting to me was the experiment I read about where scientists primed their subjects before hand. One group was primed to experience something happy and positive and the other was primed with something causing stress and anxiety. Not surprisingly, the happier group did better, but not only did they do better, they were better able to problem solve, were more creative and more open-minded.
Positive emotions release chemicals in our brains that make us feel good. Studies also show that these chemicals also increase our learning potential. The way we organize information, quicker and more creative thinking, the ability to see things in a new way, and longer lasting retrieval. Feeling happier also helps us to see more positives in our environment.
Some companies that Shawn mentioned who use this advantage are Yahoo! and Google. Obviously, very successful! They know that happier employees lead to a more successful company.
Shawn advises the following to use the Happiness Advantage in our lives:
Looking forward to something (vacations are nice )
Acts of Kindness
Create positivity in your life
Plan and use your money on activities that bring happiness
Exercise a signature strength
In my next post I will write more about these areas.