To practice mindfulnesss in TimeXtender is not the goal itself. It’s the means to reach our goals, increase happiness, increase performance and increase our sense of well-being. It's how we appreciate learning and loving the journey we’re on together.
In the book “The How of Happiness” researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky says that humans have a 'happiness set point'. It’s partly encoded in our genes. If something good happens, our sense of happiness rises; if something bad happens, it falls.
But either way, before too long, our mood drifts back to its set point. Psychologists call this phenomenon hedonic adaptation. Which means we get used to changed circumstances quickly and quckly go back to feeling how we felt before the change.
You'd think that if you could change circumstances that it would make you happier for a while, right? Win the lottery, buy a bigger house, a better car, get a new partner, a new job or more money, sounds like that would make you much happier for quite some time.
However, studies found that the overall happiness levels of lottery winners soared when they won, but returned to pre-winning levels after just a few months. Researchers interviewed Illinois State Lottery winners and compared them with non-winners and with people who had suffered a terrible accident that left them paraplegic or quadriplegic. In terms of overall happiness, the lottery winners were not significantly happier than the non-winners. The accident victims were slightly less happy, but not by much. The study showed that most people have a set level of happiness and that even after life-changing events, people tend to return to that set point (read the article here)
According to studies changes in your life circumstances, like the ones above, will only raise your happiness level by 10% for a short period of time. Whereas changing your inner landscape (your values, actions and thoughts) through training your mind can increase your level of happiness by 40%. The last 50% is genetically determined.
So how can mindfulness help you increase your happiness?
Recent studies show that with a mindfulness practice, people can elevate their baseline happiness level. We now know that the brain continues to develop and is capable of change. This is known as neuroplasticity.
To practice mindfulness is a decision to focus on moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. We tend to get so caught up in our own and others' drama with no connections to facts and reality, which consequently pull us out of the now and into autopilot and stress mode.
Research shows that people spend almost 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. In other words, many of us operate on autopilot. We are so caught up in the past and the future that we miss out on beautiful and important moments in our lifes.
Turning off the autopilot, training our thoughts and being present in the moment is very powerful and essential to our sense of happiness. Whereas anxiety, stress and negativity very often arise when we turn way from the present moment and get caught up in own internal chatter.
Our weekly recharge sessions are purely brain fitness and the means to reach our goals as individuals, as part of the X-People team and as part of the organization while keeping us happy on the journey.
Want to know more about the happiness set point and where to invest your energy to get the most ROI? These two videos made for the X-People by our very own mindfulness guru Henning Daverne can give some tips: