Train Your Brain on Happiness and Become 31% More Productive

raising emotional intelligence
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raising emotional intelligence

Raising Emotional Intelligence is about developing the human side of your professional life.

We all strive for success and every time our brains experience success, we change the image of what success look like. When we link our happiness to achieving success, we essentially never get there, since we keep moving the goal post. We live by the phrase, “When I ….” For example, When I get that promotion, when I lose weight, when I make more money, then I’ll be happy or happier.

Shawn Achor, an American happiness researcher, says our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, creating a happiness advantage, their brain will perform 31% more productively than when it’s in a negative, neutral or stressed mode. Their intelligence rises, their creativity rises, and their energy levels rise.

In, How to Be Happy at Work, Annie McKee, reveals that people must have three essential elements in order to be happy at work: 1. a sense of purpose (a chance to contribute to something bigger than themselves), 2. a vision that is powerful and personal, 3. resonant, friendly relationships.

Every manager should involve their teams in conversations about meaning, vision, and relationship. In the meantime, if you want your leaders to work harder, faster, and more intelligently, you will want to focus on raising their happiness levels, now. The research promises that leaders can actually raise their happiness by practicing a few simple techniques for just minutes in their work day. When they practice these over an extended period of time and form a habit of doing so, that’s when the rewiring will show a positive result.

Here are 4 daily practices to rewire your brain for happiness.

  1. Journal gratitude. Thinking about a positive experience you’ve had yesterday or today allows your brain to relive it. On a daily basis, write down three new things you are grateful for.
  2. Exercise. Even a few minutes of exercise can raise the feel-good endorphins in your body and train your brain that developing consistent habits matters.
  3. Meditate. Meditation allows your brain to get over multitasking and allows it to focus on the task at hand. That focused attention delivers greater productivity. Conscious breathing can bring you into the present. Breathe in as slowly as possible while thinking, “I am.” Then exhale just as slowly, and think, “at peace.” Repeat as needed until stress starts to melt away.
  4. An act of random kindness. Share one positive message (a call, email, or conversation) praising or thanking somebody in your support network or even on social media.

Practice these happiness techniques daily, until they become habitual and a normal part of doing business. It takes an average 66 days to form a new habit, according to research by Phillippa Lally, so we recommend practicing the rewiring for at least that period.

Are you up to the challenge?
Our Raising Emotional Intelligence Program offers proven research about how emotions affect our work lives and practical advice for improving your emotional well-being at work. Your managers will find it easier to manage difficult people or situations and motivate all employees to better productivity and greater happiness. We will help your leaders implement daily habits and track their commitments along the way.

raising emotional intelligence

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Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.