These Simple Two-Minute Mind Exercises Can Dramatically Increase Your Happiness Right Now
Happiness is not some faraway goal that you need to achieve, it’s actually hiding right under your nose. Happiness is an attitude of mind that you cultivate on a daily basis!
You may have, without realising it, been training your mind away from ‘being happy’ just because you’ve never had happiness explained to you in this way before. After all, you live what you truly know and understand. Unless you have been doing deep inner work, the chances are you living the result of your programmed life.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, talks about our pursuit of happiness during an age of technology and industrialisation:
I think the world has actually been malnourished as we’ve focused so much on productivity and ignored happiness and meaning to our own detriment.”
Although Achor notes that happiness is something employers can certainly limit and influence, he finds that “happiness is actually an individual choice” and rises in step with social connection.
If happiness is, in fact, a simple daily choice, then you may ask why we aren’t all happy right now. What, exactly, is the hold up?
“Most people keep waiting on happiness, putting off happiness until they’re successful or until they achieve some goal,” says Achor. This means we are consequently limiting both happiness and success, negatively impacting both.
Happiness is an incredible advantage both at home and also at work. According to Achor, when we’re happy at work, “our creativity triples. Productive energy rises by 31 percent. The likelihood of promotion rises by 40 percent. Sales rise by 37 percent.”
The riveting NY best-selling series “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch tells us that we must first embody a state of being first to see the manifestations or outcomes of that state in our lives. Certain events unfold as a result of being happy, we don’t become happy because we have certain people, events and outcomes in our lives. Whilst the ego in all of us says “I’ll be happy when…” and then gives us an inexhaustible and never-ending list to achieve, this is the primary reason why most people give up on being happy NOW.
To create more happiness in your life, Achor prescribes three easy two-minute exercises that, if you do them every day, can improve your overall health as well as your levels of happiness.
1. Think of a positive experience from the last day for two minutes.
Bullet-point every detail from the experience that you can remember in order to visualize and experience what happened.
2. Spend two minutes a day finding three new things you are grateful for.
This will train your brain to see things through a more optimistic lens.
3. For two minutes, start work each day by writing a positive message thanking or praising someone you know.
This will benefit both you and the person who receives your kind words.
By devoting anything from a mere 120 to 360 seconds each day to boosting your happiness, you will not only change the quality of your habit state of mind, but you will also dramatically change the course of your life. That’s truly powerful stuff!
So why wouldn’t you do this? Well, the fact is that “life” suddenly shows up! That is, you get sucked into your usual habits and patterns of thinking and doing, which counteract your positive intentions.
Even the simplest positive things we can do to boost our happiness take time to build up as a solid habit that, once ingrained, we won’t let go of so easily.
Keep coming back to this positive routine – especially when life drags you off course.
Check out Shawn Achor’s TED Talk on The Happiness Advantage below.