If you want to be successful, work yourself into a frenzy. Or so we’ve been led to believe, anyway.
But one psychologist, Emma Seppala, says something quite the opposite in her new book, “The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success.” Business Insider highlighted Seppala’s Top 6 pointers for living a happier, more successful life.
The good news is, Seppala’s pointers are easy enough for all of us to do, anyplace, anytime. So the next time you’re working at your CDL trucking job, try to work some of these approaches into your day. You’ll be happy you did.
1. Live in the moment
In today’s working world, we’re encouraged to work nonstop in order to stay on top of everything. We’re also constantly checking things off our to-do lists. But research suggests that when we’re focused on the present, we’re much more productive and more charismatic.
2. Be resilient
If we can train ourselves to be more resilient to the setbacks in our lives, we’re more likely to bounce back from them, a 2004 study suggests. The study found that resilient people were able to recover faster (as measured by their heart rate and blood pressure) when they used positive emotions to respond to a stressful experience.
3. Keep calm
In 2014, Seppala and her colleagues conducted a small study of 21 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Half of them were assigned to do breathing meditation, and the other half received no intervention. The group that did the meditation reported lower PTSD symptoms and anxiety a month and even a year later.
4. Do more of nothing
In Western society, we have this ingrained notion that we need to constantly be doing something, or we’re not being productive. But in fact, research suggests that we are most creative when we’re not at our peak alertness. The findings suggest that we’re at our mental best when we’re not especially alert or focused. So if we want to be creative, we need to give ourselves more time off.
5. Be good to yourself
Research suggests that a fear of failure can lead you to choke up, make you more likely to give up, and lead to poor decisions such as cheating or making questionable investments. It may also make it harder to pursue the career you want. Instead, Seppala said, be kind to yourself and observe your negative thoughts from a distance without letting yourself really dwell on them.
6. Be compassionate
Finally, we often assume that we should be looking out for ourselves first and foremost. But in fact, research suggests that you’re better off nurturing supportive relationships with others. If you have good relationships with your boss, colleagues, or employees, you’re more likely to inspire loyalty, which in turn makes everyone more productive, Seppala said.
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