-by Matt Leedham
The power of positivity on personal happiness, fulfillment and achievement is astonishing. We’ve already touched on positivity in three recent blog posts, but there’s more to uncover. And if you’re not sold on the concept yet, we’ve got more convincing to do.
There is a burgeoning field of study known as positive psychology that is putting science to work in what was once just a theory. Ultimately, positive psychology is meant to compliment other forms of proven psychology and is being integrated into many professional practices due to the power of positivity on conditions such as depression and anxiety.
This isn’t “new age” stuff. Let me bring in an expert. Shawn Achor has spent over a decade at Harvard, first graduating Magna Cum Laude, then earning an advanced degree before accepting the role of Head Teaching Fellow for Positive Psychology. Shawn then founded Good Think, Inc., and authored the book “The Happiness Advantage.” If you have time, watch his 21 minute speech on his findings at Harvard – don’t worry, it’s quite entertaining.
BUT, if you don’t have time, let me sum up his findings on how to “change your baseline” – in other words, how to inject positivity into your life:
Gratitude – he suggests taking 30 seconds each morning to jot down 5 things you are thankful for. Do this once, he says, and you’ll impact your happiness for the next 24 hours. Do this for 21 days in a row, and you’ll impact your happiness for the next 6 months. (hmmm…we’ve blogged about gratitude too!)
Journaling – write for just 3 minutes a day on a positive experience and research indicates that doctor’s visits drop by 50%
Simplifying vs. Multitasking – simply put, our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking causes stress and anxiety.
Utilizing Strengths – by finding ways to use your strengths each day, research indicates higher levels of energy and more productivity.
Exercise – exercise has been proven to be as powerful an anti-depressant as prescription anti-depressants. Enough said!
Meditation – simply focusing on your breathing throughout the day results in increased gamma waves in your brain which have been indentified in research to impact insight and “eureka!” moments.
Final thought: invest in your own positivity. You will feel happier and achieve more.