Positive Psychology: 3 ways to put it into practice and live a happier life!
Mis à jour : 27 juin 2019
We are responsible for more than 40% of our happiness!
As explained in my previous article "Positive psychology at work: a vector of performance!” Our ability to be happy depends on genetics for 50%, on external circumstances for 10% and 40% within our perception of events.
So let's assume that our initial genetic capital cannot be negative in its totality, we finally have a power of action on 50% of our happiness. All this will depend on the glasses we wear to look at life.
It is possible to train our brain to become more positive! According to the surgeon Maxwell Maltz it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. Our brain is plastic and can therefore be "rewired" positively. Neurons modify their connections with each other with experience and practice.
Knowing this, I suggest you experiment 3 daily practices to train your brain - and therefore yourself - to live life more positively!
1st positive practice: 5 Random Acts of Kindness
This practice is known for its ease and immediate gratification for the person who makes it. It was developed by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a renowned researcher in Positive Psychology, following her studies on kindness. The practice is as follows: Once a week, agree on a day when you will perform 5 acts of kindness towards different people; it can be great acts (as giving blood ...) or small acts (as preparing a colleague's coffee ...). These acts must be different during the day. Be careful to write down the acts of kindness you have done. By becoming more aware of positive social interactions through compassion, the level of happiness increases.
What is compassion for?
When one feels compassion (just like empathy), it activates our vague system. The vagus nerve is the cranial nerve connected to the body that has the largest range: it is responsible for positioning the head, speech, digestion and especially the parasympathetic system. The vagus nerve is related, among other things, to our ability to have friend and be socially connected.
According to two studies by Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan and Stephanie Brown of Stony Brook University, compassion can significantly increase life expectancy. Helping others would be twice as powerful for the cardiovascular system as taking an aspirin.
In short, to feel the deep conviction that we are inextricably linked to one another is to live happier lives.
2nd positive practice: The Gratitude Journal
Also called "3 treats a day" by Florence Servan-Schreiber, the gratitude journal is one of the most tested Positive Psychology practices in the world. This practice encourages us to reflect and write about the moments of our day for which we feel grateful. It may also be acts or persons to whom we feel grateful especially today. Focusing on the positive allows you to be more attentive to the good things in life and to live more fully.
What is gratitude for? :
Research from Berkeley University found that people who were generally more grateful had greater neuronal sensitivity in the internal prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with learning and decision-making. This research also showed that people who expressed their gratitude in writing showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during an fMRI scan. What is surprising is that this effect was found three months after the start of the experiment. This suggests that simply expressing gratitude can have lasting effects on the brain.
3rd positive pratice: Mindfulness and Meditation
The practice of mindfulness can be acquired through meditation. It is recommended to meditate daily for at least 5 minutes to increase one's ability to be fully present, reduce internal ruminations and thus stress. To begin with meditation, the application Petit Bambou guides you in this practice and offers multiple programs with different objectives.
What mindfulness and meditation for ?  
Sara Lazar observed in people regularly meditating that parts of their brains related to attention, concentration, emotional intelligence, and compassion become stronger. This is called cortical thickeness. And the thickening is related to the practice. Meditation, like yoga, is extremely effective at reducing stress as well as symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia. These practices also influence the ability to be attentive and, more importantly, mindful people acquire a heightened sense of happiness.
3 daily positive practices to rewire your brain, body and heart to be more resilient, healthier, and happier!
« If you change nothing, nothing will change »
- Camille Lamouille -
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“Mindfulness changes the Brain”, Shauna Shapiro, 2003
“Boosting Happiness, Buttressing Resilience: Results from Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions”, Sonja Lyubomirsky and Matthew Della Porta
Le pouvoir des gentils, Franck Martin, 2014
“Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body”, Emma Seppala, 2013, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/compassionate_mind_healthy_body
Happiness Unpacked: Positive Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction by Building Resilience
“What Good Is Gratitude”, Robert Emmons, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRV8AhCntXc
Wendy Berry Mendes, “The Physiological Benefits of Gratitude”
“How gratitude changes you and your brain”, Joel Wong and Joshua Brown, Greater Good Magazine, 2017, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_changes_you_and_your_brain
“Mindfulness changes the Brain”, Shauna Shapiro, 2003
Le pouvoir du moment présent, Eckhart Tolle, 2010
Sara Lazar, “How meditation can reshape our brains”, TEDxCambridge, 2011
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