Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happiness leads to greater success


Shawn Achor, a Harvard-trained positive psychologist, says the same chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, that allow humans to experience the giddiness of love, also activate the learning centers of our brains. Achor continues, "Your happy and relaxed brain has more intellectual capacity than your brain under stress.” "Being positive actually helps us learn more."

Tips for Positive Thinking

Happy people tend to perform better on the job, have higher sales, cope with difficulties better, and avoid burnout. The great news about these various studies is that negative thinking can be learned, but so can positive thinking. Since our brains are flexible, take a look at the following tips you can try right now that will train your brain and start putting you on your path to positive thinking, happiness, and success.

1. Express three “gratitudes”
Are you thankful for a steady job? Your family? Your friends? Your health? By all means, express it. Write down your gratitude and/or say it out loud. Say them aloud to your significant other.

2. Keep a journal
Writing in a journal instills positive thinking. Just carry a small notepad or journal with you wherever you go.

3. Get physical
Exercise. Studies have shown that exercise reduced the relapse rate for depression by 9% for the study participants.

4. Meditate
Calm the brain by daily meditation - think about nothing, free up your mind of the usual clutter. If you focus on your breathing just five minutes a day, this will help you, even if you are not meditating.

5. Random acts of kindness
Think how you felt when someone gave you a random act of kindness. Just think how great the person must have felt. When was the last time you did something thoughtful for another person? When you did, how did you feel?

Create a happiness habit

Remember, the key to creating happiness is to train your brain. The research shows we can do it, so now it is up to you to get started.

Sources: Jennifer Openshaw, a nationally recognized entrepreneur and financial commentator, is author of " The Millionaire Zone ." Through SuperFutures.org , she offers a youth leadership program at the United Nations. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @jopenshaw or email at jennifer@familyfn.com; Fredrickson, B. L. (2003). The value of positive emotions. American Scientist, 91, 330-335.

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