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21 days to happiness with Shawn Achor

From Oprah: Powerful, posi­tive and prac­tical happi­ness habits that build joy—in less than 5 minutes everyday. Over 40 lesson videos with Shawn where he will guide you to master the skill of happi­ness in your own life. Shawn’s Happi­ness Secret—revealing how to inspire happi­ness in others. A person­ality assess­ment to help you answer the ques­tion “How happy are YOU?” · Go to 21 days to happi­ness with Shawn Achor →

The power of starting with ‘yes’

From Tony Schwartz in NY Times: I once served on a committee led by a powerful woman. She had strong views, but what I remember most is that when­ever I spoke, she nodded her head vigor­ously and affir­ma­tively. Over time, I learned that her nodding didn’t mean she neces­sarily agreed with me. Even so, I always sensed that she was listening closely and care­fully consid­ering what I had to say.

Today I make my living in part by speaking to large groups. Instinc­tively, I find myself scan­ning the audi­ence for beacons of affir­ma­tion — people whose posi­tive body language makes me feel valued and ener­gized. If I happen to alight on someone shaking his head nega­tively or looking distracted or bored, I feel a lurch in my stomach and a surge of defen­sive­ness. · Go to The power of starting with ‘yes’ →

Pharrell Williams on the ‘happy’ phenomenon

From NY Times: Happi­ness is a human right. It’s neither a luxury nor a triv­i­ality. It’s given to you at birth, but you must recog­nize its exis­tence. It’s as impor­tant as the breath of air in your lungs. If people aren’t happy, the world is not right. Most people think that once they have found “it” — what­ever that “it” may be for them — then they will have attained “perfect” happi­ness. But happi­ness always comes from within, and many unfor­tu­nately take it for granted, or feel guilty about it or suppress happi­ness instead of setting it free. · Go to Phar­rell Williams on the ‘happy’ phenom­enon →

Only 7 things we truly can control in life

From Catherine Gold­berg at Greatist: By learning how to master the seven things that are within our control, you will start to make more net posi­tive deci­sions, fewer net nega­tive ones, and find that empow­ering, posi­tive behav­iors become second nature. So let go of all the stuff you can’t control and start using your time to master what you can control. Before you know it, you’ll be living your best life ever! · Go to Only 7 things we truly can control in life →

The 10 happiest countries in the world, and why we’re not one of them

From Fast Company: The United Nations just released its second World Happi­ness Report, which ranks coun­tries according to happi­ness levels. Nordic coun­tries are at the top this year, while the U.S., Egypt, and Greece are (surprise!) all more disgrun­tled than they were in years past. · Go to The 10 happiest coun­tries in the world, and why we’re not one of them →

Could simple things like stretching, smiling and sitting up actually make you work better?

From Fast Company: If you’re reading this while slumped over your smart­phone or hunched in front of your laptop, chances are that you’ll be less assertive with the next task you have to tackle.

Why? Because, as a growing body of research is finding, the way you hold your body shapes the way your mood will hold you. In other words, your posture predicts your feelings–and your work. · Go to Could simple things like stretching, smiling and sitting up actu­ally make you work better? →

Building positive relationships: 5 proven strategies from positive psychology

From Suzy Reading: There is no denying the profound effect posi­tive rela­tion­ships, or their absence, have on our well­being, health and happi­ness. Human beings have a basic need to belong – it is an evolu­tionary, biolog­ical drive. Posi­tive rela­tion­ships provide us with support in times of crisis and they amplify our joy by allowing us to share in the good times. In rela­tion­ship we expe­ri­ence love, comfort and accep­tance, adding meaning and purpose to our lives. They create for us an “upward spiral”. The more time, energy and effort we put into building more posi­tive rela­tion­ships, the more we expe­ri­ence posi­tive emotions. The happier we are the more we attract higher-quality rela­tion­ships which in turn, make us happier! It is a contin­uous posi­tive feed­back loop. Investing in building more posi­tive rela­tion­ships is one of the most powerful strate­gies to boost happi­ness. · Go to Building posi­tive rela­tion­ships: 5 proven strate­gies from posi­tive psychology →

Five reasons to focus on flow

From Bridget Grenville-Cleave at Posi­tive Psychology News Daily: In our Posi­tive Psychology Master­classes, we frequently discuss with partic­i­pants the rela­tive merits of flow (also known as engage­ment or absorp­tion) and posi­tive emotions as routes to happi­ness. Based on our indi­vidual expe­ri­ences we all have different perspec­tives. Some put their money firmly on posi­tive emotion being a supe­rior source of happi­ness. The work of Barbara Fredrickson on the Broaden-and-Build theory of posi­tive emotions has opened our eyes to the possi­bility that posi­tive emotions are more impor­tant than we have tradi­tion­ally thought. They don’t just make us feel good, they do us good too. But the more I learn about it, the more I think that the impor­tance of flow as a source of well-being is vastly under­stated.

The best moments in our lives are not the passive, recep­tive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a volun­tary effort to accom­plish some­thing diffi­cult and worth­while. Optimal expe­ri­ence is thus some­thing we make happen.” (Csik­szent­mi­halyi, 1992, p.3) · Go to Five reasons to focus on flow →

  • What is your positivity ratio?

What is your positivity ratio?

In a 2005 article in American Psychologist, Barbara Fredrickson and Marcial Losada suggest that ratios of positive to negative emotions above about 3-to-1 and below about 11-to-1 are what humans need to flourish. In separate research studies — Fredrickson on positive emotions and Losada on characteristics of high-performing business teams — each found a 3.0 tipping-point.

Want to boost your happiness? Control your exit

From Gretchen Rubin: It means, always be able to leave when you want. Drive your­self to a party instead of getting a ride, so you can leave when you’re ready. Try to go to someone else’s house, or a public place, instead of having people over to your house, because there’s nothing worse than seeing someone lean back and cross their legs when you’re ready to go to bed. Or else have people over to your house before some event – before a dinner reser­va­tion or a movie – so you have to leave by a certain time. · Go to Want to boost your happi­ness? Control your exit →

Instead of asking, “How’s it going?” try this instead

From Tim Sanders: Talking about how bad the economy is consti­tutes a side­ways conver­sa­tion. You cannot be afraid enough of the future to make it better — in fact, you’ll often make it worse. Dale Carnegie trained his YMCA students in the 30’s to ignite posi­tive conver­sa­tions by opening with “what’s the good word?”.  It changes the conver­sa­tion, the mood and the direc­tion of the talk. You could also ask people the following: What are enthused about these days? What are your working on these days? Tell me some­thing inter­esting, I’m dying to hear about some­thing new and cool. · Go to Instead of asking, “How’s it going?” try this instead →