A happy mind leads to a more successful life.
My happiness MBA has wrapped and as promised, my key takeaways from the course are below. Strangely, it took me a while to sit with the information to distill my thoughts.
I read Search Inside Yourself which is one of the books referenced in the course to help ingrain some of the key learnings. I also read some of the posts that I’ve already written on the related research to better grasp how all the pieces come together.
If it takes a while for you to wrap your brain around these concepts, that’s okay. I’ve been on this journey for a very long time. Some of the lessons have been repeated in different formats. The repetition is part of the practice that helps integrate the learnings into real life.
Five key happiness habits for a healthy mind:
1/ Start a gratitude practice.
One of the requirements of the happiness MBA is to keep a gratitude journal for the duration of the course. Starting your day noting three things that you’re grateful for will you make you appreciate the things and people in your life even more. As a result, you’ll start your day with a feeling of abundance rather than scarcity.
Abundance is associated with feelings of calm and peace, whereas scarcity is associated with fear and anxiety.
2/ Develop a healthy level of control.
A healthy level of control means that you have enough control over your life. It’s largely derived from caring for the health of your body and mind.
3/ Strive for flow.
Flow is almost a magical state of being that can be achieved while engaging in work, activities and relationships that challenge you but don’t tax you. It is the process of working towards an end goals that will give you the most joy and happiness. Flow is the cake and the rewards of your effort is the icing on the cake.
If you’re not sure when you experience flow, note your daily goals in your gratitude journal. The items that get crossed off versus carried forward are likely representative of your flow experiences.
4/ Be more trusting of others and life.
Studies have been done that show people are more trustworthy than we think. When you trust others you help to develop trust within your community. If you can afford to extend more trust, you should take the risk and do so.
5/ Practice meditation.
Meditation is not for the weak or for emptying your mind of thoughts. It’s a practice of observing your thoughts so that you gain more impulse control. Impulse control will get you out of your web of thoughts and behaviors so that you respond to events more thoughtfully.
Meditation helps you become disinterested in your thoughts. Being disinterested means that you’re interested but not engaged in acting on your thoughts. You’re more interested in understanding your thoughts and what’s triggering them.
Training your mind to focus on the current moment will give you more clarity, focus and peace of mind. The practive will help you to develop trust in life.
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