Shawn Achor, the Happiness Advantage I found some tips for a Stress Free Pre-Christmas by reading  Shawn Achor’s, The Happiness Advantage. Preparation for the holidays season is getting me down. I should be feeling excited but I just feel stressed with too many things to do. Balancing a young family and work, with the end of year parties, catch ups that urgently have to happen before the end of the new year, work deadlines, kids concerts and then there is the Christmas shopping for my large family. I am exhausted, not just by the extra load but I have been having sleepless nights worrying over the things I may have forgotten and over-cooking the turkey and the list goes on. I know I am not alone with the stress this time of year. Many of my friends are feeling the pressure too. Holiday stress is starting to affect me negatively. I am feeling like a failure. I have little patience with my kids and husband. I am not getting things I need to do done. I feel overwhelmed, unmotivated – frozen with fear, paralyzed to get moving and take action. I am behind with my work, my house is a mess and my to do list is getting longer by the minute. I need to get my mojo back fast. So I have reached for Shawn Anchor’s “The Happiness Advantage” for a quick fix to lift my spirits to cope with this years holiday season. According to Achor when our brains get stuck in a pattern of negatively, stress and failure, like mine is now – we set ourselves up to fail. I am interested in Achor as his research shows that success does not lead to happiness — happiness leads  to fulfillment and success and it all depends on your mindset. Positive brains have the advantage. Achor has discovered why some people find happiness naturally.  The research shows that you can do things to be happier and more fulfilled. There are ways to change our happiness baselines and adopt a more positive mindset. “By making small energy adjustments we can reroute the path of lest resistance and replace bad habits with good”. When we are happier our mindset and mood is more positive and we become more motivated. When are achieve a positive mood it appears to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and will contribute to a positive outlook for our future. Positive emotions open our eyes and minds to new solutions. According to Achor there are ways to shift our moods to be more positive and raise our happiness levels.
Tips to Survive Pre-Christmas Stress – what you can do to make that shift.
  1. Meditation
  2. Conscious Acts of Kindness
  3. Infuse positivity into your surroundings
  4. Exercise
  5. Spend Money (this one is surprising as I think it is contributing to my stress this time of year)
  6. Gratitude – every day write a list of the good things in your life
  7. Small manageable goals so we can maintain a feeling of control
  8. Social support and connection
  9. A quick fix for happiness can be as simple as a short email thanking and praising a person you know.
I learnt from Shawn Achor is that success does make us  happy. Happiness brings success. We can change our mindset by seeing problems as challenges and as not threats. The busier you are and the harder you are working means you need more social support and surprisingly giving support to others is even better than receiving it. Anchor’s book has been inspirational for me and has helped me to make a shift to find my happiness advantage. I use his words as an affirmation for me to remind myself when I am feeling overwhelmed, use that downwards momentum to propel myself in the opposite direction, to use the setbacks not to stop me but to become even happier, more motivated and eventually more successful. “It is not fall down, its falling up”. These habits will make you happier and healthier. And being happier will make you more successful and led to a more fulfilling life. Shawn Achor  studied happiness for years at Harvard. Visit the link for Shawn Achor’s  TED talk. See interview with Oprah Winfrey  SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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