Increasing Your Productivity via Happiness
Shawn Achor, a world renowned expert on human potential, long ago propounded a theory. That of increasing your productivity via happiness.
It is now a proven fact that happiness increases productivity and fuels success. This is because when happy, the brain is more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic and resilient.
So how do you ensure you can increase your happiness quotient? And, hence, increase your business productivity. Well here are some pointers curated just for you. These are from some great research material available on the internet.
The 7-Minute Exercise
Most people connect exercise with losing weight and looking good. And put this away on the pretext of not having time for it. But did you know - just 7 minutes of exercise can have a profound effect on your happiness. The key point is that exercise can help you relax. It also increases your brain power. And improves your body image, even if you do not lose weight. Scientifically stated, the exercise process releases endorphins in your brain. These have a protective and reparative element to your memory neurons and act as a reset switch.
Sleep More, Get More Positive
According to the World Sleep Society, sleep deprivation is now a global epidemic. With over 50% of the world population suffering from it. Science has shown that sleep not jsut helps our body recover from the stress and strain of the day. It also plays a critical role in our happiness quotient.
The reason for this is the process centres in the brain for positive and negative thoughts. Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala. Positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine. And we all know that positive happy people deliver much more than those with negative thoughts.
Shawn Achor strongly recommends spending time outside in fresh air. Just 20 minutes outside in good weather will not only boost positive mind but also broadens thinking and working memory. In the crazy world that we live in, 20 minutes is short enough a time that we can fit into our lives.
Do Good, Help Others
Research has fairly conclusively shown that helping others – with money or time – boosts happiness. It is called “prosocial spending”. People have consistently displayed greater happiness when they have made an impact on someone else’s life. According to Wharton School of Business professor Adam Grant, there is a direct co-relation between helping others and success.
Grant puts forward two simple rules that can aid you in your cause without imposing a strain on you.
The Five Minute Favour – the best tip Adam gives is to invest at least 5 minutes a day in doing someone (even a stranger) some good. In that way a small commitment by you could yield a large benefit to someone else. Connect people who can benefit from the association, retweet someone, provide a solution online to people seeking answers…all of these takes very little time but helps others.
The 100 hour rule – in one year you should aim at investing 100 hours in helping others. This helps in you not getting stressed or overloaded and yet is of immense importance to others who receive your help.
Smile, it will make you happy
A study by Michigan State University states that smile along with positive thoughts will be very effective in boosting your spirits. This study showed customer service workers who faked their smile while having negative thoughts worsen their mood and withdraw from work. According to studies smiling can improve our attention and helps us perform better on cognitive tasks by “increasing our attentional flexibility and ability to think holistically”.
Meditate and rewire your brain for happiness
As per a research study by the Massachusetts General Hospital, meditation helps you keep calm, increase focus, clarity and attention span and, more importantly, increase happiness. Continuous meditation can permanently rewire your brain to raise the levels of happiness.
Many people may scoff at this idea, but practicing gratitude is a seemingly simple strategy to achieve happiness. Studies suggest that a conscious focus on showing gratitude to others when they help you has direct emotional and interpersonal benefits – both of which greatly enhance team work and productivity.
So, take a leaf out of the vast work in science and get yourself and your team in a happy state of mind. You will notice that, consequently, your team will perform better and your business success will not be far behind.