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Shawn Achor’s 6 Daily Happiness Exercises

With many states following a “Stay At Home” order, we know the majority of you are working from home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re glad you’re practicing social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you need to be in social isolation. We are a social species, and isolation is not healthy for long periods of time. So, we’ve got 6 daily happiness exercises for your team. Leaders who accentuate the positive and encourage employees to practice self-care will have stronger teams when we return to our offices.

Try out these 6 daily exercises from Shawn Achor, author of the Happiness Advantage. They are proven to improve your mood and increase mental health during uncertain times. Because we each have a choice in how we show up each day, being intentional about positive psychology and wellness can increase employee engagement and productivity.

According to an interview with Achor in Forbes, “Happiness is not the belief that everything is great, happiness is the belief that change is possible. In Before Happiness I define happiness as ‘the joy one feels striving for one’s potential.’ Small mental victories, especially in a rough economy, led us to a cascade of success based on positive changes.”

Achor explores a different way of thinking and creating happiness. Instead of thinking that success or accomplishment creates happiness, he posits that happiness drives performance. If we exercise our mind, that makes us more positive. Turns out, a positive mindset makes us happier and more successful.

1. Gratitude Exercises

Write down three things you are grateful for that occurred over the last 24 hours. They don’t have to be profound. It could be a really good cup of coffee, the warmth of a sunny day or collaboration with a colleague.

Gratitude exercise graphic

2. The Daily Happiness Doubler

Take one positive experience from the past 24 hours and spend two minutes writing down every detail about that experience. As you remember it, your brain labels it as meaningful and deepens the imprint. It’s a double-dose of daily happiness.

The Doubler graphic

3. The Fun Fifteen

Do 15 minutes of fun cardio activity, like dancing, gardening or walking the dog every day. The effects of daily cardio can be as effective as taking an antidepressant.The fun fifteen graphic

4. Meditation

Every day take two minutes to stop whatever you’re doing and concentrate on breathing. Even a short, mindful break can result in a calmer, happier you.Meditation graphic

5. Conscious Act of Kindness

At the start of every day, send a short email or text praising someone you know. Our brains become addicted to feeling good by making others feel good.

Conscious act of kindness graphic

6. Deepen Social Connections

Spend time with family and friends. Our social connections are one of the best predictors for success and health and even life expectancy.Deepen connection graphic

 

Another bonus tip is staying hydrated. Start your morning with two big glasses of water to hydrate and refresh your brain. And remember to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Try adding these simple daily exercises into your stay at home routine. Challenge yourself and share with your friends and family. Spread the positivity!

If you enjoyed these 6 daily happiness exercises, we recommend you read Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage.

 

Published on: April 1, 2020

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