You learn better when you are happy
Happiness gives you an edge when you need to learn new stuff.
How might that be?
Well, it’s a chemical edge so to say. Happiness and positive emotions create dopamine and serotonin. When these substances are released into the brain it has positive effects on our memory as well as our brain’s ability to learn.
The chemicals increases the brain’s capacity to make connections and make connections faster. That way they make you more creative and improve your problem solving skills.
Not only does happiness and positive emotions increase your information processing skills, they also help you memorizing the new information, and help you access it faster in the future.
Example of how simple happy thoughts help us learn better
It really takes very little to get this learning advantage from happy and positive thoughts.
Just take a look at the experiment where a group of researchers had 4 year old children doing different cognitive tasks involving blocks of different shapes. One group of kids was simply asked to put the blocks together as fast as possible. Another group was given the exact same task but before starting the children were asked to think of something that made them happy.
The children who were asked to think happy thoughts before starting the task did far better than the others and completed it faster and with fewer errors.
That is a quite astonishing finding! If something so simple as thinking on something that makes you happy before starting a task can significantly improve your performance, imagine the potential of making this into a habit and doing it on a consistent basis.
The fact that it had an effect on children at only 4 years of age also shows that simple positive thoughts have an effect. The children probably thought of something like their favorite toy or candy.
The smallest things can improve your cognitive powers. The book “The Happiness Advantage” gives examples of how easy you can boost your mental powers and improve in areas such as job performance.
And that’s not all. Happiness has many other positive effects
Here are some of the other advantages of happiness and a positive, optimistic mindset: You get a better immune system You live up to 10 years longer Your eyesight is improved
Sounds pretty good, right?
The Happiness Advantage
Get more interesting examples of the effects of positive emotions AND how you can become more optimistic and happy in the book The Happiness Advantage by Harvard graduate Shawn Achor.
Get the Book today