The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness

The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness The following is a list of lies we like to tell ourselves in the hope that we ll becomesuccessful Never stop accomplishing Always look out for number one Power through Play to your strengths Always be thinking about what comes next Excitement and high intensity positive emotions are a sign that we or our colleagues are successful.Seppala has spent years deconstructing these myths and others during her research to find out what fosters happiness, and why so many of us seem to be incap The following is a list of lies we like to tell ourselves in the hope that we ll becomesuccessful Never stop accomplishing Always look out for number one Power through Play to your strengths Always be thinking about what comes next Excitement and high intensity positive emotions are a sign that we or our colleagues are successful.Seppala has spent years deconstructing these myths and others during her research to find out what fosters happiness, and why so many of us seem to be incapable of achieving it In The Happiness Track she explores how in the West, our culture and our learned attitudes about ourselves are often major obstacles standing in the way of our own success and happiness.If you ve ever wanted to justify spending time screwing around at work, then my friends, this is the book for you It turns out that in order to remain engaged, level headed and innovative, you can t force creative brilliance by simply working or thinking harder Seppala argues that the most successful and brilliant people are those who allow themselves to be idle and alone with their thoughts, and this is especially true during periods of high stress, such as when a major deadline nears So if you re reading this right now and on your 4th cup of coffee because you just have to finish That Big Thing you re doing, stop Go sit outside and color a picture or lie down and do nothing for 30 minutes Oh, and for heaven s sake, shut off your phone Seppala also argues that it s important we make time to do things that have absolutely nothing to do with our jobs If you want to be a better accountant engineer astronaut whatever it is that you are, then go ahead and use your vacation time to go to your LEGO enthusiast conference, make YouTube video mashups on the weekends instead of checking your email, or put off that project that s not due right away to learn how to salsa dance People don t have innovative and successful ideas by doing only career related things.Most importantly, she points out that we just need to be kinder to ourselves and others Forgive yourself when you make mistakes Try again if you fail Don t be so hard on yourself If you can learn to treat yourself with compassion and forgiveness, then you can spread that culture to others, making them feel valued, supported and uplifted The best people to work with and work for are empaths, so if you re not already treating your colleagues with kindness and acceptance, today is the day to start You ll find that their loyalty to you will know no bounds, and everyone will live happier,fulfilled lives as a result The Happiness Track written by Emma Seppala is nicely written book full of life wisdom, an interesting self help title about happiness that can be recommended for reading in couple of sittings and then every so often come back.The book is divided into several chapters each full with numerous helpful advices how to feel better in your life, how to make changes in order to make your lifeoptimistic andpositive Also Emma Seppala did not forget to discuss six common myths of success, t The Happiness Track written by Emma Seppala is nicely written book full of life wisdom, an interesting self help title about happiness that can be recommended for reading in couple of sittings and then every so often come back.The book is divided into several chapters each full with numerous helpful advices how to feel better in your life, how to make changes in order to make your lifeoptimistic andpositive Also Emma Seppala did not forget to discuss six common myths of success, that though spread all over as common truths are actually incredibly flawed e.g you can t be successful without stressful life.The author also emphasized the importance of finding happiness in adversity and staying happy even when things are not going as we would like still, push hard trying to keep smile on your face.Only change that comes from within us can help us to feel better because things never happen by themselves, all alone Therefore Emma Seppala gives advices to reader not only on how to be become good in something we chose as our profession, but how to stay what we truly are enjoying the process of change to start living the life full of love and appreciation which in the end inevitably leads to the path of happiness.One of the reasons you would read it quickly is Emma Seppala s writing style beautiful in its simplicity and her work apart from being wise it s also easy and pleasant to read.Therefore The Happiness Track can be recommended to anyone who wants to make positive changes with own life, reminding ourselves how to reach happiness with help of author this journey should be much shorter I guess have read about 20 books of self about happiness This is a well written book, has a structure and is not bragging like the USA writers do but offer simple bits of advice on how to increase productivity and arelaxed mindsetso I will not name it as a guide for happiness So the title is a bit misleading, otherwise is a good book, written by a Finn that lives in USA My advice Don t look for happiness, is an illusion, search for knowledge and love to you, to others, to the whol I guess have read about 20 books of self about happiness This is a well written book, has a structure and is not bragging like the USA writers do but offer simple bits of advice on how to increase productivity and arelaxed mindsetso I will not name it as a guide for happiness So the title is a bit misleading, otherwise is a good book, written by a Finn that lives in USA My advice Don t look for happiness, is an illusion, search for knowledge and love to you, to others, to the whole that surrounds us About the book The Happiness Track outlines the simple steps you can take to become happier andsuccessful Referencing the latest scientific research, these blinks debunk common myths about how to be successful and set out a concrete plan for you to reduce stress in your life.About the author Emma Sepp l is the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University At the forefront of happiness research, she regularly publishes in the H About the book The Happiness Track outlines the simple steps you can take to become happier andsuccessful Referencing the latest scientific research, these blinks debunk common myths about how to be successful and set out a concrete plan for you to reduce stress in your life.About the author Emma Sepp l is the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University At the forefront of happiness research, she regularly publishes in the Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today The Happiness Track is her first book.My highlights What s in it for me Be happier Most of us spend our time pursuing other things such as careers, money or love even though these things are just shades of what might make us happy.We focus too much on the future, but we can train ourselves to remain in the present moment.Focusing on the future reduces your attention in the present moment, making youlikely to miss significant things that are happening now Staying fully present in the moment will help you perform better at work and may even make your jobenjoyable And forget about the belief that multitasking is efficient It isn t In fact, performing multiple tasks makes you complete each task much less efficiently.The first step is to remove unnecessary distractions.The next step is to focus on tasks in small time increments.Practicing meditation is another way to stay in the moment.Many of us live in a world fueled by constant stress, which is said to help us thrive But it doesn t There are two kinds of stress the good, short term kind and the bad, long term kind.Short term stress sends adrenaline coursing through the body and often inspires better mental and physical performance Too much stress, however, can harm the body and eventually turn into chronic stress, which can lead to illness and even cause stress in people around you.Many people today have a weakened resilience to stressful situationsBreathing techniques and slow paced activities can help build resilience against stress.Start by closing your eyes and taking slow, deep breaths for a few minutes every day Pay close attention to your breath, noticing whether it is deep or shallow Make sure to exercise deep, conscious breathing especially if you are angry or stressed Another effective technique is called alternate nostril breathing If you ever needed an excuse to hug someone you love, here it is Research has shown that physical contact with a loved one reduces stress, too Burnout happens when we worry too much, exhausting our minds and our nerves.There are three main ways in which you can exhaust your mind.The first is experiencing extreme emotional highs or lows The second is trying to exercise self control all the time And finally, if you constantly worry or worry about upcoming events that you feel will make youworried The solution to preserving your energy is to find something positive in each and every situation.Doing things that make you feel good is simply good for you Staying positive and calm will also help you perform better in stressful situations Learn these three easy steps to becomingcreative by learning to make time for idleness.Idleness might be just the medicine your body and soul needs.Contrary to the popular belief that you have to be focused to come up with innovative ideas, not concentrating might be what you need to do.Many people are so used to being overstimulated that it s an uncomfortable feeling to let the mind just wander.First, in between tasks that demand your full attention, perform mindless tasks that only require partial attentionSecond, make time for play.And finally, allow for moments of silence Instead of filling all your time watching, listening or reading, find a space in which your mind is allowed to be totally quiet for instance, through meditation It s time to conquer the negativity bias Less self criticism,self compassion and self love.Being too self critical is counterproductive.Rather than boosting motivation, constant self criticism can lead to depression Being tough on yourself makes you focus disproportionately on your negative attributes instead of on your positive ones.Havecompassion for yourself Self love and understanding will give you a healthier,balanced view of your skills and the world around you If you adopt a less critical perspective of yourself, you ll be affected less by internal and external criticisms, and consequently becomeresilient to daily stress.Expressing gratitude helps you focus on what you have instead of what you think you lack.The benefits of showing gratitude are so overwhelming, it s surprising we don t express thanksoften In fact, expressing gratitude is possibly the greatest act of self compassion there is.Writing is another way to becomeself compassionate Start a journal and let your feelings flow onto the page.Reap the many rewards that come from being kind to others instead of focusing on yourself.Focusing too much on yourself can have negative effects It makes you a poorer judge of people, generally less liked by others The antidote to being self absorbed is to look outward with a compassionate, open heart Compassion means being sensitive to those around you and acknowledging the distress of others.Final summaryThe key to happiness is being present in the moment, eliminating stress and letting your creative juices flow freely Self care is important, but so is showing compassion for others Only by being kind to ourselves and each other can we thrive both as individuals and as a society A leading expert on health psychology, well being, and resilience argues that happiness is the key to fast tracking our professional and personal successEveryone wants to be happy and successful And yet the pursuit of both has never been elusive As work and personal demands rise, we try to keep up by juggling everything better, moving faster, and doing While we might succeed in the short term, it comes at a cost to our well being, relationships, and, paradoxically, our productivity In The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala, the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University and director of the Yale College Emotional Intelligence Project, explains that our inability to achieve sustainable fulfillment is tied to common but outdated notions about success We are taught that getting ahead means doing everything that s thrown at us and then some with razor sharp focus and iron discipline that success depends on our drive and talents and that achievement cannot happen without stressThe Happiness Track demolishes these counter productive theories Drawing on the latest findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity, mindfulness Seppala shows that finding happiness and fulfillment may, in fact, be the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally Filled with practical advice on how to apply these scientific findings to our daily lives, The Happiness Track is a life changing guide to fast tracking our success and creating the anxiety free life we want There is a problem with popular psychology which can be summed up in why explain something simple in 5 pages, when you can take 50 to do it in acomplicated way This book is a classic culprit Supposedly it is an attempt to look at what makes people happy or sad, and how they can adopt lifestyle and attitude changes to maximise happiness, backed by solid statistics It fails however to convince anyone of anything with its poor and very selective set of data, and makes five very simple po There is a problem with popular psychology which can be summed up in why explain something simple in 5 pages, when you can take 50 to do it in acomplicated way This book is a classic culprit Supposedly it is an attempt to look at what makes people happy or sad, and how they can adopt lifestyle and attitude changes to maximise happiness, backed by solid statistics It fails however to convince anyone of anything with its poor and very selective set of data, and makes five very simple points in far too many pages The points are too trite to be worth re stating, so I will leave it there I am frequently a sucker for this sort of stuff, so it is probably good that I get reminded from time to time about what rubbish can get written Regrettably this was recommended in the Daily Telegraph as a top five example to support people s new year resolution planning Not sure the reviewer had actually read it however Garbage Zero stars Tonnes and tonnes of filler I stopped reading it when she first cited Beaumeister s research to support her claims, and then 2 pages later cited Carol Dweck s research, also to support her the author s claim But Dweck s research contradicts Beaumeister s research And did I mention the filler An entire chapter, an entire chapter , to tell us to slow down and focus on one thing at a time Another chapter to tell us of the therapeutic effect of focused breathing Do not Garbage Zero stars Tonnes and tonnes of filler I stopped reading it when she first cited Beaumeister s research to support her claims, and then 2 pages later cited Carol Dweck s research, also to support her the author s claim But Dweck s research contradicts Beaumeister s research And did I mention the filler An entire chapter, an entire chapter , to tell us to slow down and focus on one thing at a time Another chapter to tell us of the therapeutic effect of focused breathing Do not read this Far be it from me to criticize a book about happiness, however, I found the book a little dry, a little too scientific The key points are to be compassionate, be grateful and kind. To readof my reviews, go to The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala, a Ph.D from Stanford notes that in today s society, we strive for happiness and success, but often find both unattainable We learn that in order to be happy, we need to be successful.We grow up believing that we need to find a passion at a young age, focus solely on this passion, and work ourselves to the bone so that we can become masters in this field We tell ourselves that the stress, anxie To readof my reviews, go to The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala, a Ph.D from Stanford notes that in today s society, we strive for happiness and success, but often find both unattainable We learn that in order to be happy, we need to be successful.We grow up believing that we need to find a passion at a young age, focus solely on this passion, and work ourselves to the bone so that we can become masters in this field We tell ourselves that the stress, anxiety and exhaustion that we feel as the result of our work horse mentality, only means that we re on the right track.But Seppala argues that the reverse is true that in order to be successful, we need to be happy In order to be happy, we need to take care of ourselves focusing on our mental well being, taking necessary work breaks, and remaining mindful and present throughout our every day lives.Through scientific studies, anecdotal notes, and interviews, Seppala explains just how happiness lends itself fully to success, and provides concrete methods for improving our personal day to day happiness factors.My colleague loves mindful meditation He gave me this book as a result of multiple conversations about this practice, and while this book is unlike any that I would normally choose for myself, I truly enjoyed it.The chapters and my thoughts on each are as follows 1 Stop Chasing the Future Seppala notes that we re taught to always be looking forward We re never able to appreciate our achievements, because as soon as we come close to reaching our goal, we re already looking to make progress on the next goal We miss out on the good things happening around us now.She s right The timelines and deadlines I ve arranged for myself throughout the years are innumerable I m organized and I like structure, so I set goals, and deadlines in all facets of my life As soon as I finish one thing, I have ten other tasks lined up I never feel fully at ease in my day, because I m always looking to make headway in endeavors I haven t yet reached It s stressful, and I m always tired It s no way to live.2 Step Out of Overdrive Seppala states that we need to slow down The United States is one of the most stressed out privileged nations in the world Our anxiety costs us billions of dollars per year 70% of mental health doctors visits are due to anxiety and stress This is unfortunate, but it s not any one person s fault It s the result of a society that values competition and around the clock work over our health and mental well being.I make jokes all the time about other people contaminating me with their contagious stress Turns out though I m right When you re stressed, or anxious, your pheromones project this into the air Others can literally catch your stress No wonder Americans suffer from such significant mental health issues And yet, we stigmatize those who reach out for help with a callous Buck up It s not that bad No Don t buck up Get help You should feel welcome to take care of yourself without judgment Our attitudes are conflicting and nonsensical.Our unhealthy need for competition, and desire to always be on leads to absurd amounts of multi tasking Because we spend so much time multi tasking, we make mistakes, and never fully commit to the task at hand By slowing down, we ll not only make less mistakes in the work we do, but we ll enjoy each task , and feel less aggravation and stress.3 Manage Your Energy Only put your energy toward things that really matter If the task doesn t require all of your energy, then don t give it all of your energy Save your high intensity emotions for things that require high intensity.4 Get More Done by Doing More of Nothing I found this chapter so interesting Seppala discussed how some of the most influential and innovative people of our time came up with their life changing ideas Guess where their bouts of genius didn t occur At work In their email In a staff meeting Sure these people worked hard, and tended to their emails, but they also took time out for themselves They golfed They fished They took vacations In doing these things, in giving their minds rest, they were able to recharge and rejuvenate Then, because their brains were awake and fully functioning, they were able to tap into their creativity, and create world altering inventions It makes sense.5 Enjoy a Successful Relationship With Yourself Be nice to yourself We live in a society that demands perfection and we re horrible to ourselves when we don t achieve it.Think about how terrible you feel when someone constantly belittles you Isn t it awful So then, why constantly belittle yourself It s not helpful Accept your mistakes and your shortcomings, and move on.Also, allow yourself to indulge in activities that do not play to your strengths If you re not willing to try anything outside of your comfort zone, you re stifling your creativity.We ve created a society in which failure isn t an option People are afraid to try new things, or to take risks Because of this, we don t even know what amazing inventions or ideas we could be missing out on I m not preaching at you to my own detriment, my least favorite thing in the world is to fail.6 Understand the Kindness Edge This was another of my favorite chapters As we grow through life, we re taught Look out for yourself No one else will Do what you need to do to get ahead Don t worry about those you need to trample on your climb to the top People who follow this mindset often find themselves burned out and alone Their learned narcissism slowly starts to make them insane The result of this is an intense unhappiness, and often a mental breakdown.Leaders, managers, and bosses who are kind, who take the time to listen, who worry about their employees success, find their own success Their employees are loyal to them, and work hard for them Because their employees are happier to do their jobs, their work often yield incredible results.Success is the result of kindness I m lucky because I work for this type of person Unfortunately he s the first boss I ve had who practices this methodology.Seppala also introduced different ways to achieve a sense of calm She discussed different mindful meditation practices, yoga courses, art classes, breathing exercises, and nature retreats.As someone who is anxious, busy, and feeling behind much of the time, this book truly resonated with me I took from it many different activities that I plan to incorporate into my day to day in order to increase my daily happiness factor.However, while I love the idea of practicing happiness and mindfulness, my concern is unless everyone is practicing such, will it really be possible to drive any truly positive change For example, if you work for a boss who values overtime work, will you get fired if you say, Nah I m taking today off I m not sure.Either way I highly recommend reading this book I usually don t read self help sort of books but this one was different I could identify with a lot of the situations mentioned in the book and am sure many of you will too Her basic messages to us are echoes of ancient wisdom look inward , reflect, be calm from the inside, and listen But what makes these tenetsapproachable is that she gives simple ways to achieve them She places us firmly in our technology filled, frenetic environment and tells us how to cope with it I think I I usually don t read self help sort of books but this one was different I could identify with a lot of the situations mentioned in the book and am sure many of you will too Her basic messages to us are echoes of ancient wisdom look inward , reflect, be calm from the inside, and listen But what makes these tenetsapproachable is that she gives simple ways to achieve them She places us firmly in our technology filled, frenetic environment and tells us how to cope with it I think I can practice at least a couple of things she says if not all

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