Happiness creates an advantage. What we think about matters. Check out this video for 12 minutes and think with me for a minute or two.
Shawn Achor states in the video that 90% of our “long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world.”
Toward the end of the video, he talks about practices we can do to train our brains for happiness. And while he listed 5 things, I’m going to focus on 2.
The first practice he listed is to think of 3 things we’re truly grateful for. If we write down 3 things we’re grateful for each day for 21 days in a row, we start to rewire our brains, “allowing them to work more optimistically and more successfully.”
The second practice he mentioned is to journal about a positive experience that occurred in the last 24 hours. When we write about a positive experience we’ve had recently, we give our minds the chance to relive it.
So today, I’m beginning my 21 day journey. I know the only way negative wins is if I ignore or obscure the positive. I don’t want to look at the news or talk about politics any more. The negative that seems to ooze from the news media and from the political world drags me down. Negative exists. I’m not hiding from it. But I want to consume it in no greater proportion than it exists. Most of my world isn’t negative.
I see people do cool things everyday. I see people help others at work. We get what we pursue. If we’re constantly reading People magazine, we train our brains that we’re not as pretty or fit or successful as the celebs. If we watch the political news, we train ourselves that both candidates will ruin our country. If we watch the local news, we see mostly bad news, weather, sports, and ads. We may get one positive story at the end.
Media is designed to present the exceptions. But then our brain starts to think everything is negative. He mentioned the example of the organization that put on a “wellness” week but talked about sicknesses each day.
We have much to inspire gratitude in us. Even more, we can become a source of gratitude in others. Take a minute to list your 3 gratitudes for the next 21 days. Who knows, you may become one of the 3 gratitudes listed by someone else by the end of 3 weeks!