Yesterday I realized it had been exactly a month since I posted about Shawn Achor, a leading expert on happiness and CEO of Good Think Inc. I have been practicing his 5 steps to promote happiness and success and have really enjoyed the process. I admit there were a few missed days but mostly I stuck to it. Focusing on positive things on a daily basis felt good and so did the deep breathing exercise. I used this at work a few times (the breathing) to alleviate stress and it worked. I even took a 10 min walk a couple of times during work for the same reason and the results were amazing. It also felt good to praise people who weren’t expecting it. I had one girl tell me that I “made her whole morning” which in turn, made mine. Overall I have felt a more positive rhythm at play making daily routine easier, and yes I feel pretty happy. Last night I got a seat at a bar in 2 minutes compared to the 15 it usually takes. My favorite parking spot at work has been open for me all month even when I was late and I ran into an old friend that made an off night turn right around. If you missed the 5 steps the 1st time, here they are again. I highly recommend!
1. Write down 3 new things you are grateful for – research shows this improves your optimism
2. Write down 1 positive experience you have had in the last 24 hrs – this gets you to look for meaning in your life rather than tasks
3. Exercise for 10 minutes (min) – this releases endorphins that boost your self-esteem
4. Meditate for two minutes (min) and concentrate on your breathing – slow, deep breathing decreases stress and raises happiness
5. Send one positive note, email, etc. to someone to thank or praise them – this increases your feeling of social support ( a key factor in happiness)