Wow, here is the BEST upgrade you can make to your morning routine. All it takes is two minutes a day. Want to be happier and spread joy? Just pick one of five habits I learned from Shawn Achor, author of the “Happiness Advantage”.
Full Disclaimer: You brush your teeth everyday, right? It is the same with these habits, it takes only two minutes, but two minutes EVERY DAY. Test it for 21 days. You might become addicted for the rest of your life. I warned you 😉
What these habits do is change the way how our brain scans and interprets the world. Here is the cool thing: You CAN change your level of optimism above your genetic setpoint. Even if you have been a pessimist for the last 84 years. How cool is that, huh? But don’t trust my words, test the practice instead. Expect some change within 3 weeks of daily practice, expext dramatic change within 6 months.
Practice #1: Write down three NEW things you are grateful for and why.
Write down three NEW things that you are grateful for, that have occurred over the past 24 hours and also write down WHY you are grateful for them. As with all these habits, do it daily, and limit it to two minutes, it makes it easier to do continuously.
Practice #2: Record a Moment of Meaning
What was the most meaningful experience of the past 24 hours?
Bulletpoint three details you can remember.
Big or small doesn’t matter. Your brain only needs one moment of meaning each day to judge the entire day as a meaninful day. Help your brain scan for it. By trying to recollect the details you double the meaning. And once you do this for 21 days in a row it gets REALLY cool: Your brain loves patterns and it starts to connect thoughts over time. So you will start to see not single events, but a whole trajectory of meaning throughout your life. Ain’t that super cool?
It’s one of the most powerful ways to overcome depression.
Practice #3: fun cardio activity
Exercies is powerful. Two minutes is a great start, it gets even better if you do this 15 minutes a day or three times a week. In many cases an equivalent of taking an anti-depressant, it also lowers the relapse rate of going back into depression.
What I do: I put on great music on Spotify and allow my body to move in whichever way it wants to. I call it dancing without borders. It’s fuuuunnnn.
Practice #4: Attention training aka meditation
For just two minutes a day, do nothing but watch your breath go in and go back out. Your work accuracy rates will improve, levels of happiness rise, stress levels drop significantly.
Practice #5: Praise or thank someone.
The greatest predictor of happiness is how deeply and meaningfully we feel connected to other people in our lives. It is also predictive of your life expectancy.
“If you do the simple two minute experiment of writing a positive text message or email for two minutes a day, turns out your social connection score will rise to the top 5% world-wide.” – Shawn Achor
This is how it works:
- For two minutes a day, write a positive message to a different person each day for 21 days in a row.
- Write 2-3 sentences praising or thanking them for a strength or positive quality.
- Write what you appreciate and what it did for you.
- It might take a little thinking to come up with a new person after a while, but it is absolutely worth it.
Test it for 21 days, 2 minutes a day, you will be amazed by how your life changes.