Best-selling author and founder of Arrive at Happy, Tia Graham, is going viral with her TEDx Talk, “The Simple Secret of Being Happier.” With data from the science of happiness, neuroscience, and the world’s happiest companies, Tia combines new approaches, personalized stories, her luxury hospitality leadership experience, frameworks, and thought-provoking research. With over 429,000 views, Tia’s TEDx Talk is passionate, humorous, engaging, motivational, and uncovers the simple secret to being happier. She “Inspires us to make intentional choices about how we spend our time, and after decades of working with leaders and organizations, Tia argues that putting happiness first is the path to fulfillment and career success.”
Happiness is a choice
Happiness is a state of being and starts with the belief that it is a choice. Live in that space. Start by defining what things you enjoy doing. Whether it’s yoga, reading, dancing, or baking, determining what activities bring you joy will lay the foundation as to what you need to incorporate into your life. This also relates to our relationships, with people and habits.
As we enter spring, the season of new beginnings, it’s a great opportunity to take stock of the people we choose to surround ourselves with. Ask yourself if this person brings or drains your joy. You have the right to protect your energy, and if that means spending less time with those who drain your energy, do so. And the same goes for the opposite. Spend quality time with those friends and family members who uplift your energy and add to your happiness.
There is a direct correlation between the foods we eat and the amount of movement our bodies get, to our moods. Hold yourself accountable and record your mood after eating. Is your diet or lack of movement impacting how you feel? If so, change it. If need be, seek guidance and ask for help with starting a new nutrition plan. Get out in nature and start walking or jogging. Maybe join a gym, or an in-person or online meetup group, and get that body moving!
Feeling like your life has meaning or purpose
Tia references the following quote from the Dalia Lama, “I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction.” For Tia, “So much of our happiness comes when we take attention off ourselves and help others – animals, earth, coworkers. Choose happiness and use that energy to help others.”
It’s the ratio of pleasant feel good emotions to those painful unpleasant emotions
No one is happy all the time – life has peaks and valleys, all humans suffer, all humans have pain, this is a part of the human experience. We may not have control over what life throws at us, but we can choose how it affects us. Our level of happiness can help us cope with stress/anxiety and during times of pain and suffering. At the end of the day, look at the ratio of pleasant feel good emotions to those painful unpleasant emotions.
Happiness is a continuous journey
Happiness is a continuous journey and requires work. Just like we need to exercise our bodies, so too should we exercise our minds and practice the tools mentioned above: doing things that make you happy, spending quality time with those who bring joy to your life, fueling your body with good foods, moving your body, giving your life meaning or purpose by helping others, and lastly, recognizing life has peaks and valleys but to remember to look at the ratio of feel good emotions to the painful ones.
Tia’s goal is to continue growing and impacting as many people as she can. She continues to give keynotes to companies about the correlation of employee happiness to business growth. She is available for 1 on 1 coaching, and is excited to announce that she is prepping her next TEDx Talk, and more happiness books are in the works. For more resources on happiness, Tia happily shares some of her favorite resources:
- Yale Happiness Class
- University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Center
- Arrive at Happy Newsletters
Please note that Tia Graham is not a clinical psychotherapist. If you suffer from clinical depression, please work with a professional.