In a world of faster-than-ever, the science of happiness has a role to play

June 21, 2019

By Amy McDonald, FONA President

It’s halfway through the year, and if you’re like me and the other business leaders I know – it might feel like you’ve already been through battle. In today’s climate, it doesn’t matter if your numbers are up, down or flat – so much has happened since January. The stretch to year-end might seem daunting. At the same time, each and every industry is moving and changing at an epic speed.

That means NOW is the time. It’s the perfect time make your outlook a positive one.

The Science

I’ve talked about positivity recently as it relates to workplace culture – but I wanted to dig a little deeper into the science behind it, and the real business results it can create. According to Susan Reynolds, the author of Train Your Brain to Get Happy, choosing happiness supports brain growth and reinforces new mental connections, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This region is essential to both emotion regulation, creativity and decision making. Did you know happiness…

  • stimulates the growth of nerve connections.

  • improves cognition by increasing mental productivity.

  • improves your ability to analyze and think.

  • affects your view of surroundings.

  • increases attentiveness.

  • leads to more happy thoughts.


The Roots of Business Growth

Positivity leads to productivity. We can change our neural pathways — to train ourselves and grow our productivity through mindset adjustments.

These mental tweaks can be the root of increased business growth. Look at that list again: Cognition. Attentiveness. Ability to analyze. Think of your own business. Wouldn’t you love a way to increase cognition and attentiveness? It’s so valuable at a time of year when our day-to-day requires nearly nonstop energy.

Here’s the challenge I’m putting to business leaders and their teams: Whatever “battle” you’ve waged and no matter what industry changes unfold -- focus on the opportunities created rather than the challenges. Looking to year end, don’t think of the next six months as a hill to climb – think of them as an opportunity to shine.

Train your brain to be positive

So how do you train your brain? Here are the little ways I do it myself:

  1. First, I look for the opportunity hidden in every challenge that reveals itself.

  2. I seek out a diversity of thought and ideas. Open your mind to new ways of working. I’m always amazed at how great ideas come from unexpected sources.

  3. Tap into your wider network for advice and guidance. Embrace the views of those who have “seen it all before.” It helps give that big-picture context to see challenges as temporary – and success as attainable.

The science of happiness shows us – the high-growth innovators of tomorrow will make positivity a part of every step they take, and every hurdle in the way.

Moving Forward…

How does this play a role in your business? Have you ever felt energized by turning a challenge into a positive?

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Thanks for reading,