10 Ways to Build Happiness

The greatest experiment is one that speaks to each man and woman who seeks to realize their potential.  It is an experiment that starts with a simple question–are you happy?

 You may be keeping strong and carrying on, but are you also finding ways to extract a sense of fulfillment, happiness and purpose when the going gets tough?

The imperative to focus on true happiness, on what truly gives one fulfillment (as opposed to a cursory rush of adrenaline or a momentary ego boost) is the stuff that great lives, great careers and great accomplishments are made of.

Here are some facts you need to know:

  • Neuroscience confirms that optimizing our cognitive potential means priming our brain to be happy.  Old school:  Get successful then you will be happy. New school:  Prime your brain to be happy in order to optimize your potential and succeed.
  • Happiness leads to greater productivity. “A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements.”  Shawn Anchor, Harvard Business Review, June 2011
  • Happiness fortifies the immune system, positively impacting health and longevity.
  • Studies conclude that certain aspects of our ancestral environment are important to health and wellbeing; sunlight, greenery, physical movement, social interaction are all important to physical and psychological health. (CJ Fitzgerald, KM Canner, Department of Psychology, Oakland University)

Here are ten practical and actionable steps to kickstart results to experience more happiness in your life.

1.  Reduce emotional and cognitive exhaustion.  Find new ways to see changes, challenges and problems that help you build greater emotional and cognitive dexterity.  Impossible? Think again.  

2.  Take time to take time.  Taking even five minute breaks (zone out time, no stress, no pressure, no problems) every 90 minutes will go a long way in driving greater productivity and happiness.  Here are a list of great exercises that take less than 3 minutes.  Enjoy!

3.  Reset your GPS. Become solution-focused.  Start looking or the solution amidst the problem because your brain is an idiot savant that will seek out confirmation of what you are thinking and believing.

4.  Embrace your ability to become a possibility thinker because the greatest solutions are born of the most challenging problems.  Success is all about seeing things differently.  Each time you can catch yourself falling into a habitual pattern of thinking, and step forward by looking at a challenge or problem with new eyes you are building resiliency as well as cognitive and emotional adaptability.

5.  Start your day the right way… with a smile.  The way you start the day is important.  If you get up on the wrong side of the bed, start again.  Find something that shifts your mood, so that you start your day on the right foot.

6.  Take five minutes or more a day to put your brain in an alpha state.  Here is a practical transformative exercise you can do in less than 2 minutes. Bonus, if you stick to it and try it consistently for a week you will see that it works!  Simple, practical and powerful!

7.  Make happiness a priority for yourself and for others.  Become purpose-centered.  Understand what really drives you, what gives you the greatest sense of fulfillment and use this self knowledge to find new ways to live and work purposefully.

8.  Improve your relationship with yourself and others.  Find new ways to socialize, to develop social bonds of trust and kinship at work and in your personal life.  Enhancing the quality of your interaction with others adding a human and social dimension to your work and life is critical on a number of levels.

9. Create an environment that makes you happy. Sunlight, greenery, physical movement, social interaction are all important.  Determine what you need to feel better and adjust your work and or living environment accordingly.

10.  Put on a happy face.  Believe it or not the simple act of smiling is a mood elevator. Use your smile  more frequently.  It helps and it works!


Copyright: balazschristina / 123RF Stock Photo

Executive Coach, Consultant, Trainer, Speaker and Writer, Irene is a trailblazer whose R-E-A-C-H™ methodology and 3Q Edge™ focus have helped forward-thinking people and organizations in Canada, USA and Europe USE strengths, changes, challenges and failures to achieve breakthrough results in their careers, communication, leadership and lives; exceptional results that stick and grow at the speed of change. Yes, 3Q is unique in that it helps people build the mindset and skill-set that enables and optimizes potential in the face of change and challenges. First female CEO of a steel company in Canada, Irene Becker has a track record of accomplishments in business and in the community at large. Passionate about the integrity of her work, Irene just returned from her first keynote in the UK and works with clients face to face, by telephone, Skype or video conferencing.

  • DJK7

    Wonderful advice – simple to understand, putting the ‘human’ part back into our interpersonal interactions – and of course, highly ‘actionable’. Thanks Irene!

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  • JohnRichardBell

    Your post substantiates my view that a CEO’s first responsibility is the employee. The second responsibility is the customer. The third responsibility is the shareholder. Why? Because happy employees make for happy customers, and happy customers make for happy shareholders.

  • http://www.happiness1st.com/ Happiness 1st

    The real key to sustainable happiness is skill based, not circumstance based. If one relies on circumstances (environment, relationships,activities) only temporary happiness that lasts as long as circumstances are favorable. Perspective and mindset can be developed using practical skills and create sustainable happiness where the lowest emotional state a person dips to, even when circumstances are not good, is hopefulness. Hopefulness is above where much of the world lives. Life can be great. It’s up to you.

  • http://www.WhatisCodependency.com/ Darlene Lancer

    Building Self-esteem, and with that valuing our needs, values, emotions, and boundaries create well-being and happiness. Our actions change our feelings. Often it requires risk.
    Darlene Lancer LMFT
    Author of “10 Steps to Self-Esteem” and “Conquering Shame and Codependency”

  • There’s a more human way to do business.

    In the Social Age, it’s how we engage with customers, collaborators and strategic partners that matters; it’s how we create workplace optimism that sets us apart; it’s how we recruit, retain (and repel) employees that becomes our differentiator. This isn’t a “people first, profits second” movement, but a “profits as a direct result of putting people first” movement.

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