A little happiness goes a long way

A little happiness goes a long way

As I perused my inbox this morning I came across some articles from the latest Harvard Business Review, and in particular the January-February 2012 edition.

The theme? “The value of happiness” and, in particular, “positive intelligence” and the power of having a positive mindset, even amidst times of stress and anxiety.

I must admit to being delighted as I read these articles, and could feel the smile upon my face which, of course made me feel more positive myself.

Shawn Achor states that whilst there has been a great deal of research into the “science of happiness” (and I’m sure you’re read the work of Martin Seligman on positive psychology and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow) the simple fact is that

research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves … (and) people who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge.

He gives a few tips to get started:

  • Jot down three things you are grateful for;
  • Write a positive message to someone in your social support network;
  • Meditate at your desk for two minutes;
  • Exercise for 10 minutes, and
  • Take two minutes to describe in a journal the most meaningful experience of the past 24 hours.

The articles are well worth a read and, despite all of the gloom and doom around us, the sniping politicians and crumbling world economy, there are so many things to be grateful for.  This is especially evident when we see young children and in our family the expanding brood of 0 – 2 year olds is enough to make us all smile.

So, a little challenge for 2012 – to maintain the positive mindset which can have a huge impact on everything that we do, and bring others along with us.