The Happiness Equation

The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha gives us a unique set of seven actions that we can take each week to experience happiness in our lives.

The Happiness Equations itself is very revealing: want nothing (i. e., non-attachment) + do anything (i. e., take action) = have everything (i. e., have everything we need to be happy in the present moment as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches.)

Many of these seven actions have already appeared in one form or another in these pages over the past four years in the more than 1,300 articles.

Screen capture of Pasricha's drawing on p. 124

Screen capture of Pasricha’s drawing on p. 124

“Positive psychology is a new and growing field.

I have sifted through hundreds of studies to find the Big 7 ways to train your brain to be happy. Many of these studies have been discussed in journals, conferences, keynotes, and research reports, but I’ve brought them together for you here.

If you do any of these seven things for two straight weeks, you will feel happier.

So what are the Big 7?

Three Walks + The 20-Minute Replay + Random Acts of Kindness + A Complete Unplug + Hit Flow + 2-Minute Meditations + Five Gratitudes
Neil Pasricha from The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

Three 30 minute brisk walks per week have been found to increase happiness by increasing pleasant-activating feelings.

The 20-minute replay suggests that we writing about a positive experience that researchers at the University of Texas found to increase intimacy and relationship.

Pasricha writes, “Carrying out five random acts of kindness a week dramatically improves your happiness.”

A complete unplug from cell phones and the internet in the evening or over the weekend helps us recharge for the next day.

When we hit flow (see diagram), we are completely absorbed in what we are doing and our ego drops away.

Two minute meditations provide us a break from our busy day and give us a chance to recollect ourselves.

Pasricha’s prescription for gratitude practice is to write down three to five things each week that you are grateful for.

My gratitude practice is to meditate on three things each day that I am grateful for during my meditation sessions or any time during the day.

Which of these seven ways to train your brain to be happy do you practice each week? What are your results?

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Books by Neil Pasricha

The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

Neil Pasricha

What’s the formula for a happy life?

Neil Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, a Walmart executive, a New York Times–bestselling author, and a husband and dad. After selling more than a million copies of his Book of Awesome series, he now shifts his focus from observation to applicati…

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