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Sunday, February 15, 2015

5 simple ways to Happiness

I recently listened to a Ted Talk that fit all my Ted Talk criteria....entertaining, not very long and relevant to my journey.   It was by Shawn Achor (over 8 million views) and his topic was happiness.  Since I am fascinated by happiness (or lack of) I read and listen to everything I can about it. My personal search for "where did the funny go?" has been constant and illusive.

His talk is only 11 minutes...11 minutes is just about perfect for a Ted Talk, anything more than that and I start making shopping lists.  But I can chew tacks for 11 minutes....

Achors talk mirrors a class I have been taking on mind mastery.  My teacher, a psychologist herself, has proven to me my brain is not as smart as I thought.  Brain has always been a word of honor..Brainiac, Brainy, etc. However, it turns out our brains are easily manipulated.  Which explains a lot, but also means we can retrain those not so smart thoughts. Our brains have been having the same thoughts habitually for a long time.  So we have to retrain our brains.  Brains seem to live in a default emotion of pessimism.

Had any of these thoughts?

"You can't make a living to support your family."
"Financial ruin is right around the corner"
"You are too fat to go to the beach, disneyland, out with the family"
"You are not pretty, you are not worth knowing, you have no talent"
"You cannot start a business, give up"
"I am afraid of loosing my job, my house, my family"

Insert your catastrophic statement, I know you have one.  And remember thoughts aren't real.

Achor says we can retrain our brain in 21 days, mind mastery.  Sounds very Yoda-esque doesn't it?  However the concept has settled on me as truth, and his 5 ways to retrain your brain are simple and easily doable.  And instead of happy hoo-ha he gives the reasons these things work.
For Twenty-One Days.....

1.) Gratitude- write 3 NEW things down every day that you are thankful for.  This starts your brain scanning for positive things instead of negative.
2.) Journaling - journal about one positive thing in the last 24 hours you are grateful for, giving your brain the opportunity to relive it.
3.) Exercise - This trains your brain to realize that behavior matters
4.) Mediation - takes your brain out of the ADHD of life and gets over the multitasking and focus on the event at hand.
5.) Random acts of kindness - write a grateful and positive letter to someone in your inbox every day day, reflecting on the good in people.

Twenty one days....just twenty one days and you can retrain your brain.  But then understand, you aren't finished.  You have to keep going with this, but you will feel so good it won't be hard.

Take your brain out for a walk and discuss the changes you will be making, you are in charge after all.


  1. These are all great tips - and 21 days definitely seems doable. I'm going to go check out that video.

  2. I love that TED talk! I think I will have to go watch it again now. Thanks for bringing it back around again.

  3. I have always heard it only take 3 weeks to create a new habit. Sounds like that might fit this man's rubric. Very nice ideas - thanks for sharing!

  4. I'd be interested in how this works for people. Dead seriously interested.

  5. Thanks for sharing this with me, Donna. This is exactly my kind of reading and I love it! I often engage in these activities, but doubt I have made it a purposeful, 21-day habit. Will share and share abroad :)