Accordingly to research from UC Berkeley, 1% of the cells in your body are replaced per day, which means all of your cells change within a quarter or season of a year. It also takes that long to form a new habit.
In addition, our emotions affect our level of cellular change. The more daily positive emotions we have, the more we can change who we are and it can even affect the way our genes are transcribed (for the better).
Positive emotions also help in the areas of:
- Pain reduction
- Development of trusting relationships
- Healthy heart rate
- Increased resilience in stressful or difficult situations
- Increased levels of empathy
All of this has implications for career as well due to the fact that we spend the majority of our time working and a successful career is very much based on relationships.
What can we do with this information?
We can make sure that we are “inputting” situations and activities that positively influence our daily happiness level. This is more about what you fill your day with rather than striving for grin-inducing happiness, the search for which can actually impede your search for positivity.
Reflect on activities that make you happy or content and actively insert those activities to your day. For some, it might be taking a scenic walk or getting exercise, for others it might be reading a book or cooking. Spend some time thinking about this.
Some things you might also want to try to add positivity to your day:
- Being kind to others / helping others
- Practicing gratitude for things you might be taking for granted
- Practicing active listening (listening to understand vs. listening to respond)
- Try one new thing a day, even if it’s something small (like a different route to work or something different for lunch)
Making positive emotions more of a part of your daily experience requires some work and continual reinforcement. You can find a list of additional practices here.
(1) UC Berkeley. (n.d.). Module 1: Introduction to the Science of Happiness. In Happiness and Positive Emotions. Retrieved from https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:BerkeleyX+GG101x+3T2017/course/
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