How to Create Happiness: Step 3 of 5

Happiness is elastic.

Like a giant rubber band.

We experience happiness at different times, and some people are more happy than others. We know the reward mechanisms of the brain are reinforced when we do certain activities. And when we reinforce those behaviors, we can be happier.  Some activities, such as mindfulness, are now being taught in MBA programs… so that people become more happy.

Here is step 3 of 5:

3.  Take Notice.  

Our awareness defines our reality.  That fact may seem obvious, but the results are nothing short of spectacular.

Consider your current level of awareness in these ways:

  • your internal physical state
  • your emotional state
  • the external weather
  • the political climate in your home town
  • who you listen to (new sources, influential people…)
We know that cognitive behavioral theory is defined by reinforcement.  For instance, if you listen to political or social or economic views from only one source, that will reinforce your perspective.  We take notice.  In fact, we have a “confirming bias” which inclines us to believe what we already know or believe.
And those beliefs are reinforced at a neuronal level in our brains.
Until we notice something else.
Like a seasonal change, an Arab Spring, a joyful neighbor…
Happiness occurs when we take notice of the joys and pleasures around us.  We label them. We affirm others.  We celebrate.
So, how do you take notice?  Who do you need to call or take notice of today?  What would happen if you took notice of that person right now?