Oooh! I am excited because this week I attended a conference on the habits of happy people presented by Dr. Brian King, and what I found out is that I know a lot, if not much of what there is to know, about the science of happiness. Yes, some people might be frustrated to have paid to attend an event in which they didn’t acquire much knowledge, but you see happy people (aka me) tend to have positive outlooks on things, so my take away was that I AM ON POINT with everything I am doing and teaching you. So today I decided to share with you the top X things I took away from this conference
10 things you should know about happy people
- 40% of your happiness is within your direct control (50% is genetically determined and 10 % is based on circumstances).
- Money doesn’t buy happiness, but happy people earn more money.
- Hedonic adaptation, the ability to return to a baseline of happiness despite major negative or positive events- is the reason why buying new stuff won’t keep you happy.
- Resilience (your ability to recover from adverse events) and outlook (positive or negative view of life) at the most highly correlated brain based styles correlated with happiness.
- Happy people manage their stress well: they view problems as predictable, controllable and temporary.
- Happy people work at it!
- 20 min of mindfulness over a minimum of 8 weeks can produce brain activity changes… where? In the left frontal cortex of course!
- Happy people are physically active (which means they move they walk, dance, some do strenuous physical activity but it is not necessary as long as they are active).
- Happy people live with purpose: happy people are goal driven, commit to MEANINGFUL goals, and actively engage in behaviors that improve their life.
- Life in Focus helps people cultivate happiness!
What can you make of all of this?
- Your happiness is within your control – the choices you make everyday will impact whether or not you are happy. Yes, you have a personal set point that predisposes you to be more or less happy, and life circumstances can be rough at times, but 40% is a huge amount of influence to have on anything. If you knew you had a 40% chance of winning the lottery would you not try? This is the lottery of life… participate, actively and increase your chances of winning.
- Having enough money to live is important, money does also afford us some freedom, but stop thinking that winning the lottery is your key to happiness; unless we are talking about the lottery of life, in which case go for it! Plus, science is telling you that if you cultivate happiness you’ll probably make more money so it’s a win-win situation. If you feel like spending money is the key, then spend it on experiences, not only will they make you happy, but reminiscing about them will provide happiness boosts for much longer than that new phone.
- You have a scientific explanation for why this article is worth reading; hedonic adaptation folks! No one on their death bed ever said “I wish I had bought more stuff!”
- Learn how to bounce back when life knocks you down, and if that seems too hard, practice optimism . How? Take time in your day to envision the best possible outcome, the best possible future, the best possible you. You are flexing a cognitive muscle and the pay off is huge, but like any other skill it requires practice.
- STRESS MANAGEMENT is the name of the game. Try my 5 step stress management technique. If you don’t want to go there at the very least realize this truth – hiding from the monster underneath your bed only keeps it real. Face the monster and realize he doesn’t exist. Avoidance will not teach you resilience; it will not cultivate a sense of control over your stressors.
- Once you are done with this post move away from the screen, call a friend, loved one or a stranger and hang out. Connect with other humans, make physical, emotional and meaningful connections. When you go out with people for crying out loud PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN and make eye contact and have a real conversation with one another. Let people know if you appreciate or love them.
- Practice mindfulness, it’s free, and it changes your brain. Enough said!
- Move, move and move. Don’t go from sitting in your car to sitting at your desk to sitting at the lunch table, back to your desk, car and then couch for the night. Get up, walk, dance (I am writing this at my makeshift standing desk and I am dancing as I write – I feel quite happy right now).
- Identify the things you value and need, come up with goals that are meaningful and create a plan of action. If you need help with any piece of that I am right here to help you.
Happiness be mine
Want to be happy, me too. But more than happy I want to be fulfilled, which is a longer term gig. Sign up for the Dream to Reality Webinar that will be hosted Friday Feb 26th at noon PST. Let’s talk about what it takes to make your dreams become a reality. Learn how to bypass current roadblocks and build happiness, but more importantly fulfillment into your life right now.