Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, with some tips to increase your well-being:
In The Happiness Advantage, I challenge readers to do one brief positive exercise every day for 21 days. Only through behavioral change can information become transformation.
– Write down three new things you are grateful for each day;
– Write for two minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours;
– Exercise for 10 minutes a day;
– Meditate for two minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out;
– Write one quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising someone in your social support network (family member, friend, old teacher).
But does it work? In the midst of the worst tax season in history I did a three-hour intervention at auditing and tax accounting firm KPMG, describing how to reap the happiness advantage by creating one of these positive habits. Four months later, there was a 24% improvement in job and life satisfaction. Not only is change possible, this is one of the first long-term ROI (return on investment) studies proving that happiness leads to long-term quantifiable positive change.
Seems a little sketchy? It's not clear whether the “improvement in job and life satisfaction” was due to the 3 hour intervention or the winding down of tax season — their busiest time of the year.
But the most interesting part of the article was the correlation between social support and happiness.
In a study I performed on 1,600 Harvard students in 2007, I found that there was a 0.7 correlation between perceived social support and happiness.
Or, as Keynes so aptly put it “Worldly wisdom teaches us that it is better for the reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”