“L’amitié améliore le bonheur et estompe la misère, en doublant notre joie et en divisant notre chagrin.”
“Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief.”
“Dans la joie comme dans la tristesse, les fleurs restent nos amies.”
“In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.”
― Kakuzō Okakura
As outlined by Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania in his introduction to positive psychology, « a science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless. »
This is why those three simple techniques designed by the organizational psychologist Woody Woodward to proactively seek out the positive in our lives every single day and transforming this into a routine are so attractive:
1. Launch The Day Positive!
Happiness is much more under our control than we think, and it starts with a positive mindset even if TV and newspapers do not stimulate such an attitude. A study conducted by Michelle Gielan and Shawn Achor in conjunction with The Huffington Post showed that watching just three minutes of negative news in the morning makes viewers 27% more likely to report having a bad day six to eight hours later. The trick is to reverse the trend.
From Theory to Practice: Start your day, start every single day by spotting and then sharing some good news. Watch things you like, surf on websites dedicated to your hobbies or passions. Why not browsing sites which are dedicated to delivering only good news such as HooplaHa.com? The objective is to immerse yourself into a positive mindset which will impact your interactions with peers, friends, clients or even with strangers.
2. Touch a Friend!
Aristotle said that human is a social animal. This is true. Maintaining a mutual social support – which is much deeper than benefiting from a social network – help dealing with stress and can be considered as a springboard to happiness.
From Theory to Practice: Get in touch with a friend every single day. Phone calls or immediate face to face connections are not always possible so don’t neglect social medias for instant quick and authentic interaction. This might be less easy for introverts till they make it a habit fitting the communication channels they prefer.
3. Catch them in the Act!
It is easy to focus on what people made wrong, on bad services we get, on mistakes we observe. Condemning is more comfortable than praising. However, having an eye open on positive actions and expressing it is much more rewarding… for everyone. Harvard and Wharton School researchers Francesca Gino and Adam Grant’s explored gratitude and how emotions influence decisions. They showed that receiving expressions of gratitude increases individuals’ sense of self-worth, and unconsciously stimulates their propensity to support others.
Researchers add that « by missing chances to express gratitude, organizations and leaders lose relatively cost-free opportunities to motivate. »
From Theory to Practice: Every single day look around you for positive acts and let people know.