happinessby Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton

Last month, I attended the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) annual conference in Portland, Oregon. One of the breakout sessions I attended was “The Science of Being Happy and Productive at Work” with Ayla Lewis, Director of Operations, Speaker and Facilitator at Happy Brain Science. The session was really eye-opening to me. Many of the people we work with to organize their homes and offices and create systems that work for them are overwhelmed with stress and unhappiness. Stress and unhappiness can lead to an inability to be at your best – at work and at home.

A number of studies have connected happiness to productivity, creativity, success, and resilience. And, unhappiness actually hurts performance, reducing productivity by 25%. But can you actually become happier?

According to Lewis, happiness is a choice, but it’s also very subjective. What makes you happy isn’t what will make me happy, and vice versa.

So how do we find our happiness?

Take action!

Happiness Action 1: Practice Positivity

Did you know that people who stand in the super hero pose before they go on stage to speak are less nervous and more confident? It IS possible to trick your brain into being more confident and positive – sometimes you just have to fake it ‘til you make it.

Happiness Action 2: Flow to Goals

Rather than trying to accomplish everything at once, focus on a singular task to accomplish. Make your goals a priority, break them down into actionable steps, and celebrate every milestone.

Happiness Action 3: Subdue Stress

Stress causes us to lose focus. We have a natural reaction to stress: fight, flight, or freeze. But stress is just energy, so when we learn how to channel that energy properly, we can accomplish more.

Happiness Action 4: Prioritize People

At the end of the day, a clean and organized house makes little difference if you haven’t nurtured yourself and the people in your life. Make people and relationships your priority and you’ll find more happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind, but it is one everyone can experience more by using the four actions – practice positivity, flow to goals, subdue stress, and prioritize people.

In the coming weeks, we’ll explore each of these actions in more detail to help you discover how to live your happiest life.