Life potentials Positive effects of happiness

We quite literally see more of what’s around us when we’re feeling happy. A recent University of Toronto study found that our mood can actually change how our visual cortex—the part of the brain responsible for sight—processes information

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When we are happy we literally see more

Happiness improves our vision - and our performance in many other areas 

The human eye is an extremely complex piece of machinery so to speak. It consists of 30 different components working together making us able to see.

You probably wouldn’t expect that feeling happy could make any difference on the functioning of this organ.

Well, actually it can.

A study from the University of Toronto found that our state of mind had an impact of our ability to process information from a number of pictures.

People in a negative state of mind picked up fewer details from the pictures than people with positive emotions. The happy people pretty much saw everything!

Other experiments have reached similar conclusions. One study found for example that a positive state of mind improved our peripheral vision - the part of vision outside the very center of our attention.

Quite astonishing! And that’s not all. Happiness and good emotions have other positive effects on performance.

Happy kids perform better 

The impact of happiness can be observed in all age groups.

In a study of 4 years old kids the group that before a task was asked to think about something that made them happy outperformed the other kids by far. They completed the exercises faster and with fewer errors.

Other positive effects of happiness 

There are many other examples of the positive effects of happiness.

A study found for instance that optimistic salespeople performed more than 50 percent better than the pessimistic ones.

Students primed with positive emotions also do better in math tests than students in a “neutral” state of mind.

A study also found that doctors who were happy when examining patients made more precise conclusions about the correct diagnosis and treatment than doctors in a “neutral” mood. They even did so faster as well.


The Happiness Advantage

Read more fascinating examples of how happiness and a positive state of mind can influence your performance in the book “The Happiness Advantage” by Harvard graduate Shawn Achor.


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