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  • I'm Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage

  • and a researcher in the field of the science of happiness.

  • I spent over a decade at Harvard trying to understand

  • how we can increase levels of happiness in our own lives.

  • And what we found is we can actually learn practical tools for raising your levels of happiness

  • to make it so that you not only feel greater levels of optimism and hope,

  • But you start to believe your behavior matters.

  • Raising your levels of optimism will not stop you from having MS,

  • or stop someone you love from having MS.

  • What we're looking for, is how do we increase the quality of life that people have.

  • I think we get happiness and success backwards. Most of us think, "if I get a job I'll feel happier.

  • I'll feel happy when I feel better."

  • In each of those moments happiness is off in the future, after success.

  • But the problem is, success for the brain is a moving target. So every time you hit that success moment

  • what does our brain do? Changes the goalpost of what success looks like.

  • So you get into that school or you feel better for a little bit or you get that job

  • but that doesn't make us happy forever.

  • If you prioritize happiness now,

  • if you raise your levels of optimism,

  • connect more deeply with your social support networks,

  • and see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat,

  • we can then increase all of your success outcomes.

  • The easiest step somebody can take, is if they're feeling depressed,

  • or if they're feeling negative in the moment , their brain is constantly scanning for

  • "what's going on wrong in my world?" If we can flip it, and get their brain to

  • look for what's going on right in their world, some incredible things happen.

  • If you just say out loud three things that you're grateful for, that are new that have

  • happened over the past 24 hours, and you keep this habit going for 21 days in a row,

  • we can actually rewire your brain for higher levels of optimism.

  • If you give me 2 minutes a day, we can get you to journal about

  • a meaningful experience, that transforms your brain's ability to look for meaning in your life.

  • Or if we have you meditate for 2 minutes a day -- just watch your breath go in and out --

  • we can actually rewire your brain to decrease the stress you feel from multitasking all day long.

  • My favorite thing to do

  • is to get somebody to write a 2-minute email praising or thanking somebody in their life.

  • If you can find a way of connecting to other people -- opening up to them, allowing them to be greater friends to you --

  • what we find is not only does that improve your own levels of happiness,

  • but it deepens that bond which is the greatest buffer against depression

  • and the greatest source of meaning within our own lives.

  • Why don't we all just choose happiness? We have all the information, we have all the education

  • but it doesn't create the transformation we want. The reason is something called activation energy.

  • In order to catalyze a change in your life

  • it requires an initial investment of energy. But if we lower the amount of energy

  • -- that barrier to you doing a new positive habit -- we can significantly increase your likelihood of doing it.

  • For me one of the things I wanted to do was I wanted to start exercising in the morning

  • but I could not get myself to do it. So I made it 20 seconds easier in the morning

  • to go exercise. By just going to sleep in my gym clothes.

  • And what I found was, when I woke up in the morning, the path of least resistance

  • moved away from just staying in the bed towards wanting to go exercise.

  • When we're feeling overwhelmed, that's usually because our brains are overloaded with information.

  • So one of the things I actually have people do

  • when they feel overwhelmed is to actually just write out a list of all the things that

  • they're stressed or worrying about, then pick one action that you know you could

  • do to decrease your stress on one of those. And as soon as your brain accomplishes that

  • small task, your brain records a victory. Once you've recorded a victory,

  • it makes the next step easier, and then the next step easier,

  • and what we find is you can actually accomplish those huge audacious goals you've set for yourself

  • by initially starting with the smallest manageable action that you can do.

  • If you're going to do one thing, I want you to smile. What we found is if you start to smile

  • your brain actually releases neurochemicals that make you happier immediately.

  • Not only does it change your mindset, actually makes you more optimistic and makes you feel better

  • but it ripples out to the people around you.

  • You want to see how powerful you actually are?

  • Try something as simple as smiling.

  • Happiness is a choice. It's a choice about how we decide to focus our brain's attention in the world.

  • The more we can focus on the things that provide hope in our lives,

  • the ways that we can change our lives, the choices that we can make,

  • the more powerful our brains become

  • And the happier we become.

I'm Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage

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毎日のこと。教育 (Everyday Matters: Educational)

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