Bonus Activity: Strategies for Dealing with Stress

Begin this activity by watching Shawn Achor’s TEDx Bloomington talk: Happiness Advantage

Achor’s book Happiness Advantage is based on seven principles. Review the brief synopsis of these principles below.

1.       Happiness Advantage—Happiness is at the center and success revolves around it.

2.       Fulcrum and the Lever—See ways to rise above circumstances by changing your perspective of the world.

3.       Tetris Effect—Scan for and focus on the positive.

4.       Falling Up—All setbacks come with an opportunity for growth that can be identified and taken advantage of.

5.       Zorro Circle—Expand one’s sphere of influence by limiting focus to small manageable goals.

6.       20-Second Rule—Put desired behaviors on the path of least resistance so it takes less energy to do than to avoid.

7.       Social Investment—Social support is your greatest asset.

Achor suggests there are five things anyone can do to create lasting positive change. Read the list below:

1.       Express Gratitude—Every day identify three things you are grateful for. Do this for at least 21 days.

2.       Journal—Daily short entries about positive experiences.

3.       Exercise—What you do for exercise doesn’t matter nearly as much a making sure you do something regularly to get moving.

4.       Meditate—Five minutes of meditation every day increases happiness, lowers stress, and can even improve your immune system.

5.       Random acts of kindness—Pick one day every week and make a point of committing five acts of kindness. Think about them ahead of time. Identifying these acts after the fact doesn’t count.

Select one (or all five) of these suggestions to implement over the next 21 days. At the end of this time, review what you did and how it impacted your level of personal happiness.

Which suggestions did you select and why?

How faithful were you to the 21 day commitment?

What worked? Why?

What didn’t work? Why?