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How You Can Rewire Your Brain for Happiness

I recently watched an inspiring TED talk by Shawn Achor. He refutes conventional wisdom that teaches us that success, equates to happiness. In...

Amy C Written by Amy C · 1 min read >

I recently watched an inspiring TED talk by Shawn Achor. He refutes conventional wisdom that teaches us that success, equates to happiness. In fact, he shows that recent discoveries have shown that this formula is completely backward. Instead, happiness is actually what fuels success. When we are positive our brains are more creative, resilient and productive at work. For example, according to the studies in Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, optimistic salespeople outsell negative sales people by 56%. Happy employees are proven to take significantly less sick days than their negative peers. Positive managers increase customer satisfaction by 42%.

A few points in his talk that really resonated with me:

“It’s not the reality that shapes us but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. If we change the lens not only can we our happiness. We can change every business and educational outcome at the same time.”

“90% of your long term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world. And if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, we can change the way we can then affect reality.”

“The traditional model “If I work harder, I’ll be more successful. If I’m more successful, then, I will be happier is broken for two reasons:

1) Every time your brain has a success you just change the goalpost of what success looks like. If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there.

2) Our brains work in the opposite order. Your brain at positive performs significantly better than at negative-neutral stress… If we can find a way to become positive in the present our brains work more successfully.”

“You can train your brain to be more positive. In 2 minutes span of time done for 21 days in a row you can actually rewire your brain. Write 3 new things of what you’re grateful for 21 days straight. At the end of that, your brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world for the positive and not the negative.”

His talk inspired me to try the exercise of practising gratitude to help rewire my brain. I’ve started “21 Days of Gratitude” – where every day, I write/draw three things that I’m thankful for. Not only is it rewarding for myself as I find myself more grateful and aware of everything I should be appreciative of, it also lets the people I am thankful for know what they mean to me.

Care to join me on this exercise? Leave a comment and share what your grateful for today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Amy C
Amy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to healing the heart. Marie Claire calls her "A relationship expert whose work is like that of a scientific Carrie Bradshaw" and her company has been featured across national media including Good Morning America, Vogue, Glamour, Nightline along with the front page of The New York Times. Her book, Breakup Bootcamp - The Science of Rewiring Your Heart, published by Harper Collins, will be released Fall 2020. Profile

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9 Replies to “How You Can Rewire Your Brain for Happiness”

  1. I have been searching for ways to create a happy self. I set up an Outlook reminder for 5 minutes a day to try this exercise. Day one: Gabriel Sr-for giving me a safe home life and supporting me the best way you know how, Gabriel Jr-for being such a responsible 10 year old, I am proud to be your mom and James-for making me laugh and wanting to be the best 6 year old reader…my 3 men. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Just Be Happy
  3. What a wonderful activity. I’ve noticed that as soon as my coaching clients utter the word, “grateful”, we’re on the way to purposeful, productive days. This helps me think about making that goal more explicit. Thank you!

  4. Today, I am thankful for google… which led me to your fabulous blog! Never stop writing. You’re insatiable. Your the positive symbol of heroism that all girls need to discover. I’ve had an extremely horrible year… 2012 was filled with heart wrenching and body crippling heartache and numerous mistakes that will financially haunt me for the next 6 years. I’m to blame for most of them… I made choices and decisions that shaped this horrible path I chose to fall down. But your blog has given me new insight on how to forgive myself, keep walking in a positive light, and ultimately learn how to (finally) love myself. We all need a little inspiration sometimes and hopefully, this thank you message is just a little something to motivate you, in return, to keep writing. You’ve touched my heart in a special way.

  5. I am greatful for a new day, a clean slate and chance to start fresh. I am greatful that I’ve found someone to help me through the times where I can’t bare to stand alone.

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