With everything going on in the world, it may be tough to feel optimistic and positive, but we need it more than ever. Shawn Achor, author of “The Happiness Advantage” has done the research and has come up with four habits that he says can be the key to more happiness in life. And the best part? Doing all four only takes 21 minutes each day.
Achor says one of the habits, spending two minutes a day thinking about what you’re grateful for, can have a big impact on health and happiness. And expressing gratitude to someone else during the day can do the same. According to the author, these practices can increase optimism and social connections, which are two of the biggest predictors of long-term happiness. Ready to make gratitude a part of your daily life? Here are Achor’s four happiness hygiene habits to make it happen.
- Two minutes of emailing – Write a two-minute max email every day to praise or thank a different person in your life. You may get positive emails back in response, but the habit also increases your social connection – meaning the depth and meaning in your social relationships – and Achor says it’s the greatest predictor of long-term happiness.
- Fifteen minutes of movement – Just a quarter-hour of cardio a day “can be the equivalent of taking an antidepressant,” according to Achor. He explains that it’s like “a gateway drug” because people who start with this small amount of exercise tend to start adding on more positive habits.
- Two minutes of meditation – Before you roll your eyes and think you “can’t” meditate, know that he’s only suggesting two minutes of “simply watching your breath go in and out.” Simple, right? And that habit has been found to improve accuracy on tasks by 10%, as well as lower stress and improve sleep.
- Two minutes of journaling – Think about a positive, meaningful experience that happened over the last 24 hours, then jot down three bullet point details about it, like where you were, what you said and what you were wearing. This quick gratitude journaling can “significantly decrease pain symptoms, decrease stress and increase the amount of meaning you feel in your life,” Achor says
Source: Good Morning America