Outdated Theory: It’s good to be realistic, which means realizing that life sucks.
What the Research Really Says: Wrong! - Research by Shelley Gable and Jonathan Haidt suggests that we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative. What keeps us from fully capitalizing on all the good in our lives, making us a slave to the bad? Our brain tends to focus on the negative and forget the positive. Gratitude is the perfect antidote and research shows it can be harnessed for greater health and well-being.
- We also get caught up in an eternal chase for what we think will bring us happiness but that really just fools us. Here again, gratitude is the answer.
3. Balance Seriousness with Play
Outdated Theory: Adults need to be serious. Play and idle fun is for children and pets.
What the Research Really Says: Wrong! As adults, we often fail to remember to play, but research shows it boosts our creativity, health and well-being.
4. Balance Stress with Breathing
Outdated Theory: Yea, yea, “take a deep breath” and all that jazz… There’s no reason to pay attention to the breath. We all know how to breathe, it happens on its own. Breathing differently won’t make a difference.
What the Research Really Says: Wrong! Research shows that your breath is intricately tied to your well-being and the state of your mind and that it holds the key to greater self-control and resilience.
5. Balance Self-Focus with Compassion for Others
Outdated Theory: Everyone’s looking out for themselves, I need to focus on myself to get ahead in life.
What the Research Really Says: Wrong again! - Self-focus is actually associated with anxiety and depression.
- We aren’t naturally selfish. Actually, our natural instinct is actually to act fairly. Compassion appears to be an evolutionarily adaptive trait that has tremendous health and well-being benefits.
- Compassion will benefit your relationships, including your romantic relationships.
- In fact compassion is the best kept secret to happiness.
- It’s good for your business – Both men and women are wired for it.
6. Balance Solitude with Connection
Outdated Theory: You’ve got to make it on your own, stand out, stand above the crowd, differentiate yourself and that, ultimately, is a lonely state of affairs.
What the Research Really Says: - Our brains are wired for connection to others.
- We thrive when we connect .
- Loneliness can be balanced with connection. You can even learn to be together and connected even when alone.
- Connection helps us overcome stress.
- If you learn how to use technology and social media wisely.
7. Balance Activity with Doing Nothing
Outdated Theory: I have to be productive every minute of the day to get things done and stay afloat.
What the Research Really Says: Wrong! You’ll get more done by doing more of nothing!
- Research shows it’s good for you and your productivity.
- A great way to get started is meditation.
- Turning your attention inward is a secret to well-being that the brain is built for.