by Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton

bubble-83758_1280I am continuing to (spread happiness) explore what I learned at the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) annual conference in Portland, Oregon during Ayla Lewis’s session on “The Science of Being Happy and Productive at Work.” Lewis, the Director of Operations, Speaker and Facilitator at Happy Brain Science, One of the ways she suggested we could be happier was by practicing positivity. But the most important way she suggested we could make ourselves happy was to prioritize people. 

Prioritizing people is my philosophy, too. Lewis encouraged all of us to “spread happiness.” There is power in spreading happiness, and when you put people above everything else, it happens naturally.

What can you do to make a difference, prioritize people, and spread happiness?

Invest in Your Relationships

Spend time with people who are important to you. Whether it’s a child who wants you to color with them, taking your significant other out for a special date, or being there to help a coworker with a big project, it’s actions more than words that send the message about how much you care.

Smile More

Did you know that simply smiling can have a domino effect on those around you? When you smile instead of scowl at the person you get your coffee from on the way to work, they smile back. They may smile instead of scowl to their next customer, who will go away feeling better about the day. It spreads exponentially with every person.

Be Kind

Let someone in who is trying to merge. Pay for the person’s coffee in line behind you. Rather than complain about your spouse leaving their socks on the floor, pick them up for them. Practice trying to see the best in everyone, and try to empathize with them.

Celebrate Successes, even the Small Ones

Research has shown that sharing good times with people has a stronger impact even than being there for bad times. So, celebrate with your coworkers, your employees, your kids, your friends every small moment of success that they have. Don’t be jealous or downplay the moment – just share in their joy and accomplishment.

Be Forgiving

Forgiving others – and forgiving yourself – without any expectation of anything in return, frees you to be your most creative, functional version of yourself. Whether it’s small irritations or big wounds, when you forgive, you free yourself.

Practice Gratitude

In addition to saying thank you, often, for the things that others do to make your life better, practice gratitude in your own life. Be grateful for the little things, like morning coffee and beautiful sunrises. Be grateful for people, like the friends and family, coworkers and clients who make your life more satisfying.

There has been so much negativity in the world this year. I’m ready to have my life filled with more gratitude and happiness. How about you?