Today I will share something about the Happiness Journal - Write for 2 minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours.
This practice can help us in the following ways....
1. GIVES MEANING IN WORK
This is a strategy to help transform you from a task-based thinker, to a meaning based thinker who scans the world for meaning instead of endless to-dos. This dramatically increases work happiness.
Meaning in Work super-charges your work week with a sense of motivation and passion. It makes your work both more productive and more enjoyable - enabling you to get the greatest possible fulfillment from what you do.
Even the most boring job is an opportunity for self-growth and self-expression. Amy Wrzesniewski found that janitors and doctors were about equally likely to view their work as a job, a career or a calling. The difference is all in your perspective.
If you're not employed, you can focus on the work you would like to do, any household work or other responsibilities you have, or on the job search itself.
2. SAVORING LIFE
As we focus on our goals and problems, it's all too easy to become numb to the joys of daily life. We lose the single-minded focus of a child simply enjoying an ice-cream cone by the pool on a hot summer day.
Savoring is a technique from positive pscyhology that's been proven to increase happiness and life-satisfaction. (And, for you success-minded individuals, who are probably in special need of savoring, remember that anything that increases happiness also makes your brain more productive, resilient, creative and better at problem solving.)
As you train your brain to focus on daily pleasures by repeating this exercise, you allow yourself to enjoy your life more, you become happier and you bring an infectious positive spirit to everything you do.
3. CAUSES EPIGENETIC CHANGES
But one of the things I think is even more exciting is that the latest science suggests that the pace of cell renewal and the form of cell renewal doesn’t just follow some predetermined DNA script. Our emotions affect that level of cellular change.
Each cell membrane has receptors that pick up various environmental signals, and this mechanism controls the "reading" of the genes inside your cells. Your cells can choose to read or not read the genetic blueprint depending on the signals being received from the environment. So having a "cancer program" in your DNA does not automatically mean you're destined to get cancer. Far from it. This genetic information does not ever have to be expressed...
What this suggests is that if we increase our daily diet of positive emotions, we broaden our awareness over time and change who we become in the future.
4. IMPROVES OUR VISION
The human eye is an extremely complex piece of machinery so to speak. It consists of 30 different components working together making us able to see.
You probably wouldn’t expect that feeling happy could make any difference on the functioning of this organ.
Well, actually it can.
A study from the University of Toronto found that our state of mind had an impact of our ability to process information from a number of pictures.
People in a negative state of mind picked up fewer details from the pictures than people with positive emotions. The happy people pretty much saw everything!
Other experiments have reached similar conclusions. One study found for example that a positive state of mind improved our peripheral vision - the part of vision outside the very center of our attention.
5. MAKES US MORE SUCCESSFUL
Let me give you a concrete example. It turns out that, to feel happy, it’s important to have a sense of competence, a sense that you are really good at doing something. One way to become more competent at something is by wanting to be the best at it—the best student, the best dancer, etc. Another way to become competent is to just follow your passion and experience what are called “flow moments”—moments in which you completely lose track of time and the sense of self-consciousness. From the point of view of maximizing happiness, it should be relatively obvious that pursuing your passion and experiencing flow is better than chasing superiority and wanting to be the best at something. What’s less obvious, but what I discovered from looking into the research on the topic is that, even from the point of view of success, it’s better to pursue your passion and experience flow than it is to chase superiority.
But happiness is made up of many small things. Unless we take care of them, we can not be happy. The success at the MACRO level is a result of the small steps taken at the MICRO level. The same thing applies to families, organizations and nations. They improve when the INDIVIDUAL units do.
A chain, after all, can only be as strong as its weakest link!!!
For more Health benefits of happiness read...
Now when we analyse what happens in the brain while writing the Journal...
1. Brain randomly picks something occuring most frequently in the happy experiences and start looking for similar experiences again and again.
Example - If you have written that talking to friend on phone made you happy on day 1, then you may have written taking to parents on phone made you happy on day 3...
Then every phone conversation is seen as a happy experience.
2. The brain releases the same positive or happy hormones as experienced during the event. Thereby making you feel happy again.
3. A collection of such events makes the brain scan for positives before the negatives thus enhancing our Happiness levels further.