21 day challenge: The Happiness Advantage

Today, when I checked my inbox, I found an e-mail from one of my readers. She pointed me in the direction of a TED Talk by Shawn Achor about re-wiring your brain. I loved this video so much, I’ve decided to share it with you:

Click on the photo to view the Ted Talk. I highly recommend that you do.

Have you watched the video (if not, watch it before continuing)? Are you inspired? I am, which is why I’ve decided to outline the challenge for anyone who is interested in taking this on.

First, here was Shawn’s thesis statement(essentially) for this lecture:

“If you can raise someone’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences a HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE.”

“Your brain at positive performs significantly better (31% better) than it does at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, and your energy levels rise.

NOW FOR THE CHALLENGE

The challenge consists of 5 activities that you commit to doing everyday for 21 days (that’s only 3 weeks… you can do anything for 3 weeks).

  1.  Record 3 new things that you’re grateful for (this will rewire your brain to recognize and look for the positive)
  2. Journal about one positive experience  (this will help your brain to relive that positive memory in lieu of the negative or embarrassing ones which tend to take up space in our heads)
  3. Exercise (this teaches your brain that your behaviour matters. The key with this is to do manageable amounts of exercise every day (one day could – and should – be a stretching day). You don’t want to burn yourself out. You’re teaching yourself discipline, and proving to yourself that you can follow through on your promises)
  4. Meditation (this will help you to get over the cultural ADHD that exists all around us, and will allow your body and mind to focus on the task at hand).
  5. Random Acts of Kindness (when you open your e-mail, or twitter, or Facebook – write one positive post or e-mail that praises or thanks someone in your social support network….  I wonder if that’s what Linda was doing when she wrote me that lovely e-mail).

It’s a fantastic challenge. Just difficult enough to make a difference, but not so hard that it becomes daunting. Many of the components of this challenge take no time at all. It’s really more of an awareness thing. All of this information is based off his excellent book The Happiness Advantage (affiliate link)