We recently viewed a Shawn Achor video titled, “The happy secret to better work.” Basically, his research shows that happy can be created by practice, and is not necessarily an emotion we experience by chance. He suggests 5 practices that help us create happy.
I propose we begin practicing!!! Happy is different for each of us, so ultimately it is a private practice, but you will have the support of the village doing it with you.
Each practice requires 21 days of your devout attention. In theory, 21 days of practice will create a habit. In creating a habit, my hope is that each of us will practice daily, always!
21 DAYS IN APRIL
Each day you will write 3 new things that you are grateful for. Writing them down is important. Writing them allows them to become a conviction or confession, whichever applies. Over the course of 21 days, you will have 63 things you are grateful for!!!
21 DAYS IN MAY
Journal the story of 1 positive experience you had in the last 24 hours. This is one of my favorites because you reflect on each day in an effort to find something positive. Some days it may be hard to find something positive if you are having a dumpy day. It will be fun to learn how to extract a positive, even if it doesn’t look glamorous! At the end of this practice, you will have 21 positive experiences to enjoy & create happy!
21 DAYS IN JUNE
What perfect timing Just as the weather gets consistently outdoor-friendly, we get to add exercise!! In an effort to set attainable goals, let’s define it a little better. To meet the “creating happy” goal for June, practice 20 minutes of moderate exercise daily. To calculate what moderate is:
• 220 minus age = maximum heart rate
• Maximum heart rate x .5 = low end of target range
• Maximum heart rate x .7 = high end of target range
21 DAYS IN JULY
This will definitely be an exciting journey!! In the practice of “creating happy” through meditation, your goal is to be mindful and aware. A few helpful pointers:
• Seated position is optimal, but if your find your quiet time while laying or standing, it’s a good place to start
• Focus on your breath as it moves naturally – don’t necessarily count your inhale/exhale or aim for a certain pattern
• Set a timer (10-15 minutes) or use a meditation song from youtube or pandora
• As a thought enters your mind – acknowledge it without judgment or emotion, and then actively return your focus to your breath
• As you reflect on your meditation, find the frequency of thoughts about past or future. Realize the present is where your attention is needed
Dr. Jessica is our meditation expert – feel free to reference her as you experience obstacles in your practice. Your practice will help you to be aware of your breath, even when you are not meditating. This conscious attention will help build your pre-frontal cortex which will help you have a stronger filter for your thoughts.
21 DAYS IN AUGUST
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
To “create happy” in August we will connect with one person each day. This can be by email, text, letter, drop-off, etc. Please let this be RANDOM! There will undoubtedly be an opportunity to do the obvious RAOK – illness, loss, etc. Definitely kind on those folks, but try to kind on someone who is not expecting it. Feel free to incorporate people from all walks, but overall people that have earned your marbles and you want to build connection with. Let it drive positivity and kindness in others. Don’t do it with that motivation nor expectation, but know your acts can inspire a ripple effect
Excited to CREATE HAPPY with each of you!! You are loved and loveable!!!