So, I’m a little behind the times, and I’ve just recently discovered the amazingness that is TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design), and I’ve rediscovered all the wonderfulness that awaits you in the podcast universe. During this rediscovery, I came across this video featuring Shawn Achor, all about the science behind positivity, the science of being happy, and how to apply it towards every day life.
In his talks, Shawn describes many, many ways that society has changed how we view the world, and how our brains have been re-wired to view negatives in our lives, and that we are eternally in a cycle of negativity, striving for positivity, instead of being positive, and looking for more positivity.
Towards the end, he lists off a few key things that you can do everyday to improve your overall happiness, and re-wire your brain to see more happiness around you, By looking for three gratitudes everyday, you program your brain to see the good in your life, even in the smallest things throughout the day.
The next thing we should all be doing, in one form or another, is journaling. By reflecting on our days and thinking about what we’ve accomplished, what needs to happen, how we’re feeling, and what we still want to do, we keep our minds sharp and aware of our surroundings. I’ve kept a pretty regular journal, through my online private blog, and through blogs like this one.
The third item he listed was exercise. This should be a no-brainer. Exercise releases endorphins, which is a powerful drug that makes you feel good about yourself. There really is such a thing as runner’s high, and people who regularly lift weights really do become addicted to the gym. Not to mention it extends our lifespan, keeps us in shape, gives us better breath control, the ability to handle and reduce stress in our lives, and so much more.
Next, he lists off meditation. Meditation is a powerful tool that allows us to really break down and isolate ourselves from the always on, need it now, instant gratification world we live in. Re-centering, stretching the body, and focusing on breathing really works wonders, even if it’s only once in a while.
Lastly, Mr. Achor lists Random Acts of Kindness as another way we can improve our own self-images, confidence, and positivity in our lives. Giving back to others, volunteering for charities, helping out a homeless person once in a while, or even just doing something nice for a friend or family member always leaves you feeling better and happier. If everyone performed random acts of kindness, the world would be a nicer place to live in.