At the beginning of this year, I was invited to attend (all expenses paid) a Global Leadership Forum hosted by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
The ICF is the largest worldwide credentialing organization for coaches like myself and coach training organizations like the University of Miami (where I graduated).
I am currently the President-Elect for the South Florida Chartered Chapter of the ICF. I received training and could network with over 200 other coaches for 60 different countries all coming together in Warsaw Poland for five days.
The keynote speaker for the event spoke about Positive Psychology. The study of “Rational Optimism,” your behavior matters.
It is also the study of “Positive Outliers.” Those people who are above average in performance or emotional intelligence.
The majority of psychology studies those who are negative outliers, those who are below the mean and figuring out what it will take the make them average again.
Positive Psychology is the study of those who I enjoy coaching the most, those who are exceptional or those who want to be above average in their understanding of themselves.
Five practices have been proven to build or increase happiness in anyone who tries.
Journaling, Gratitude, Acts of Kindness, Meditation, and Exercise. What was most surprising was how LITTLE time it took to complete any of these little gems!
Take 2 minutes to write down a meaningful moment (wins/losses) that happened today. Writing forces the brain to relive the moment and you can finish processing any negative emotions that could create a resentment. Or you can relive a happy moment and get a quick shot of happiness in your emotional world.
Learn optimism by writing three things daily that create a feeling of gratitude. Our brains are naturally wired to look for danger, problems, and threats to our survival. They are not wired to focus on and be thankful for all that we have in our lives. They do not have to be moments like getting a raise.
- Air conditioning
- I had a nice walk with my dog.
- I made a new friend.
Acts of Kindness
Acting leads our feelings. Doing something nice for others is a sure way to make yourself feel happy. It’s an illusion to think that we must wait to receive something nice first, before doing something nice for others. That is what keeps us trapped in unhappiness as we are consistently waiting for others to inspire happiness in ourselves from the outside.
Sending a note or message to college, prospect, friend or client in thanks or praise, adds to your happiness (Social Media: Facebook or LinkedIn).
Let someone go front on you in line. Buy a coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks. Hold the door open for the person behind you. There are a million little ways every day that you can positively affect the lives of others and increase your personal happiness at the same time!
Just 2 minutes!
Yes, I’m serious. Just two minutes of observing your breath can improve your accuracy by 10%. It also enhances the focus of your team!
Here is some perspective on how bad it is. Human attention span is currently 8 seconds, (a Goldfish is 9 seconds) so 2 minutes is a 15x improvement from the average.
Do you think you can do that? Just sit right now and observe your breath for two minutes. Park, take a moment in your car or at your desk. Find a place to sit away from other distractions.
Meditation is also a great practice for whenever you must change “roles” in your life. Sit in your car and find your breath after the drive to work before you go to work. Sit again and breath after you get home from work before you become a parent or partner again.
I know this one is the hardest for me too. 15 minutes of cardio (yes, you should sweat) gives a huge morning cognitive boost.
Or look at what not exercising does to you. It’s like taking a depressant first thing in the morning. Almost all of us drink coffee as a stimulant to wake up. Wake up from the depression of not exercising. If you wondered why you have trouble focusing and being your best, this is the first, fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to improve your happiness.
JGAME is just an easy acronym to remember the big 5. Drop me a line here or on Social Media and let me know how your JGAME is coming along.
It takes 21 days to make a habit. Write to me, and I’ll send you a journal (at no charge) to write down these five habits and use it to journal, write your gratitude’s, document your acts of kindness and track the amount of exercise you get in weekly!
Need more help?
Feel free to book a 1-hour coaching session by phone or 90-minute session in person to talk about your current level of happiness and what is blocking you from feeling and being your best!