Emma Seppala is today’s guest. She is author of “The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success.” She is the Associate Director for the Center of Compassion at Stanford University. Emma’s work isn’t based on theories or common knowledge, there is a tremendous amount of neuroscience backing her work.
Emma starts the podcast off stating that being happy is a very subjective experience. With that in mind, in general, happiness is divided into two main categories; hedonic and eudemonic. Hedonic happiness doesn’t last long and is more associated with short burst of excitement such as sex and food. Eudemonic is much longer lasting and is more associated with self-fulfillment. Emma goes into depth explaining and giving example of both forms of happiness.
Michael asks Emma to talk about the myth of success next. Emma says Americans are over stimulating themselves, and believing that running on adrenaline is the best way to get things done. Chronic stress is actually what we are embracing and it starts to deplete our immune system. Emma acknowledges that you may not be able to control the world around you, but you can control your state of mind. Working on Stanford’s campus, Emma has seen first hand the severe epidemic of students buying into myths of happiness, especially on higher achieving campuses. They believe the only way to be successful is to burn themselves into the ground and of course, this notion is completely false. Unplugging and taking more vacations is the best way for us to reach our maximum potential. Creativity and happiness in the workplace depends on it.
Next, Emma discusses the impact breathing has on our emotions. There are different breathing practices that help out with stress and anxiety. Nurturing more calmness in our life helps us manage our energy much more. There was a study done at Harvard that showed our brains wonder 50% of the time. However, science shows that we are never happier than when we are in the moment of now. With technology constantly at our fingertips, it is getting harder and harder to be in the present moment. But when we are in the moment, it boosts our charisma and happiness. People are drawn toward others that are satisfied being in the present moment with them. Michael and Emma turn the conversation to negative emotions. These emotions make us more focused on ourselves and selfish. When the focus shifts to positivity, authenticity is created. Others crave authentic people they can connect to. They finish on talking about creativity and how to best tap into the creative parts of your brain. Just by making small changes in the way you work can really make a huge difference in the way your feel and your brain works.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
- Benefits of happiness
- Stresses in life
- Controlling your mind
- Happiness in college
- Cultivating resilience
- Tapping into the opposite of fight or flight response
- Impact of different breathing techniques
- Living in the moment of now
- The flow state
- Activating creativity
“Self criticism is basically self sabotage.” – Emma Seppala