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The Science of Happiness: How to Live Your Best Life

Lesson 5 of 6

Happiness Habit 2: Connect

Laura Delizonna

The Science of Happiness: How to Live Your Best Life

Laura Delizonna

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Lesson Info

5. Happiness Habit 2: Connect

Lesson Info

Happiness Habit 2: Connect

Our next have it connect simply connect indeed we are social animals the top ten happiest people have one thing in common it's not that they live in sunny california or they have won a fortune five hundred list right? We know that the top ten happiest percent of people they report having close satisfying relationships, close satisfying relationships, having a sense of connection, companionship of trust, it's that the heart of our happiness in contrast when we don't have that feel pretty awful that is, the drivers of depression and loneliness and isolation mother teresa says that the feeling of isolation and loneliness is the greatest poverty when I was doing my postdoctoral fellowships still in my training I worked with juvenile delinquents with incarcerated youth, and what we learned is that there is one thing that school shooters in those kids that turn on tragically turn on their peers and their classmates create violence in their schools. School shooters have one thing in common th...

ey also have one thing in common is that they report feeling rejected by their peers think of our worst punishments and worse punishments for our criminals aside from death it's solitary confinement need each other it's the bread is the life of of of our existence right? Because this breath so how can we cultivate connection more powerfully even than we do well there many again, we're looking for simple ways simple ways to increase this positivity to tap in to the power of positivity and those upward spirals of possibility. So I offer you this today simply express appreciation we love to be appreciated. We love to be seen and recognized, right? We come from those positive intentions to put forth effort and it feels so good, so enrich inning so intimate, even when people see that and when they share their observations with us and how we touched them. And yet it's so simple I want to share with you some research on appreciation that shows that just small little gestures of appreciation can make a big impact. There's a study that was done where waiters were randomly, they would write just thank you on the bill of the customers in the restaurant. What they found is that customers who received just there were two words. Thank you on your bill may be a smiley face. They tipped twenty percent more twenty percent more managers. And then another study. There were managers that were randomly assigned to either send thank you notes teo, their employees who had done a good job or to give them small, the substantial monetary race. Okay reward. And what they found is that the employees who received the thank you's that the emails appreciating their good work they showed an increase of thirty percent in their productivity motivates us think back to that drive to thrive that brought in and build theory of positive emotion when we are in a state of positive emotion we feel good when we like what we're doing and we like who we work for and we feel connected engaged in our work we're energized were motivated we're willing to go the extra mile right? And so from that perspective it's not so surprising that even small gestures of connection we truly touched someone that then there is this increase in productivity and generosity and so forth. The problem, however, is that while we're best of re of good intentions we often deliver expressions of appreciation that frankly a rather weak right so I might say kelly thank you so much for helping me the other day was really great thanks I feel fine fine, good fine, fine better than fine I think we can do better so I want to give you a technique a tool to kind of open that up and to consider how we can deliver a more powerful expression of appreciation simply three parts three parts to appreciation so now I'm going to deliver a second expression of appreciation just feel the difference before I tell you what the three parts for and maybe be watching for them watch for the three parts I'm expressing kelly thank you so much the other night you talked with me for like two hours you carved time out of your day and you did that to help me? You talked through my project you talk through the obstacles you talked through the different aspects ok pause timeout that's part one specific behavior what did she dio? I want to be able to see it I want her to be able to replicate that it's an action right it's something that was done okay, second kelly, when you did those things it really had an impact on me. It helped me it helped me get past some of the problems that I had and I was kind of thinking small I wasn't thinking of solutions and your insights helped open that up for me it also made me feel super supported like wow, you are a team member and you are willing to put your things aside and sacrifice for me to put other people ahead of yourself that is so helpful to me and in fact it resulted in me being able to deliver a better product thank you time out to what was that impact what was the impact and better if even if you can say how impacted you impacted me and that I felt supported right impacted me and that I found better solutions I overcame some mind blocks what is the impact? So, you know, like ok, yeah, I think I kind of do that I think I'm going to do that. Not all time, but most of the time. Well, a lot of times we do, but it's the third part that most of us forget it's just like low hanging fruit and we just leave it there. All right, kelly, when you did those specific behaviors and the huge impact that it had on me with that really showed me about you. It reminded me how generous you are that you are a giving person and that you are willing to support and help other people. I see that in you, and I admire it. How did that feel, kelly? It feels good. Like I feel seen. I it feels really good character trait or how it works into a broader pattern. So something that that shows about them is a person, something that shows a character trait. Something I admire but she's generous, right? Supportive kind. So I want you to be thinking of someone in your life who maybe you could think someone who, um maybe did something nice for you recently, and it could be a small thing, right? So what, you, teo jot down a few notes and even I want to give you a challenge, okay, are you up for a challenge? Yes, they said yes, ok at home. I also those viewers who are at home I also want to give you this challenge ok so I want you to be thinking right now who is someone who you could think did something nice for you recently or someone in your life who is it added some value contribution that's been important to you now you can think of someone's is something small it doesn't have to be this big you know grand opus but it can be hey dude thanks for getting me that lot this morning that was super cool of you and it just got me super fired up for the rest of the day man you're so generous thanks specific behavior impact and what it says about them right ok, so you're ready for the challenge, huh? Take out your cell phones but I want to challenge you to dio is to deliver a three part of expression of appreciation right now to someone in your life it could be a co worker it could be a friend it could be a neighbor it could be your housekeeper. I don't care if somebody chris are you thinking of someone? Yeah, I mean, this is great because typically we tell our students no phones in the studio but today the special special chance you're no rules today okay, so be thinking about it and three parts specific behavior again it could be super small the magic is in the detail yeah, the magic is in the detail tio impact how did that impact you and three what does it say about them as a person now online audience are you taking out your cell phones? I type in a little text message and I want you to press send ok press send I see people are typing away good good you can also thank your mom it's ah that accounts that's good moms is their appreciation okay? And I'd love to hear um what? Your three part appreciation czar anyone who's still riding? Okay that's special for you we have a daisy chain in the chat room says oh, I'm going to tell my boyfriend in person when he returns home in an hour do you think it's important to do it immediately there something special about the text message for sending it saying in person later yeah I'm so glad that you asked this question text message, email in person on the phone what's the difference there is a difference. All right, so first of all I want to say that let's do this frequently and let's do it often alright just sprinkle that all over the place we don't have to wait for the grand moment the perfect moment and when there's an option the more that you can express and convey emotion the more is going to touch them and so think about that we convey an express emotion in person, then you get to see my face, you get to hear the tone of my voice, you get to see body language, you get to maybe even give him a hug I don't know or high five, right? So in person is always if I could say always is the best right now of course there are no rules, so you decide for yourself, but the more that emotion that we can convey think of all of the data that's lost in just a quick message and just a you know, when we're when we're texting, so it still can be very powerful, the power of words is substantial and pick up that phone, man, just give a quick call or in person when you see them next time just deliver it so that's my suggestion and also send the text messages right? Just coming in. Now get sandra clark says I sent a message to my sister, she is the best, and he says it just sent my wife a text telling her how much I admire her. And then sandra says, my husband and I do this every day, all day, we're still mushy gushy is the terms he uses, we're still mushy, gushy after thirty one years, they've been still sharing this and yeah people really appreciate that thirty one years, all right, so now I'm going to share with you what the research says. There was a researchers john cotman he's leading researcher and relationships and what he says the key tio having strong, healthy, happy relationships, long relationships like marriage and the relation romantic relationships is exactly with what we've just heard small, frequent acts of kindness and what you're doing right now is a small act of kindness, right? So thirty one one years, man, you are my hero. Nice. So what? What's ah, three parts I'd love to hear it. This is actually really interesting an emotional for me because I I realized through this I've never actually think my dad for anything. So I just sent him a text which you probably actually try to call me because it gets very excited when I text him anything but, um, this is salem barisic. Um is that I wanted to say thank you for being so nice to me over the years you've always made me made it very easy to talk to you. I really admire how open and personal you are an accepting of me no wonder you're so popular oh that's so sweet that's very touching, right let's imagine how your dad will feel when he received a predetermined overkill hey, he responds, you want it? We want to hear. So if you get a response from any of your messages and you're willing to share with us, please dio right let's, hear how how it's landed. Is anyone else willing to share? Um there three parts? Yeah. Courtney um my name best friend surprised me for my birthday just this past weekend. That's a lot of really special things, so I was just thinking her, um and I just said I just want to thank you so much again for how special you mean my birthday it caused a ripple effect in my life that is something that means the world to me and a gift I never knew I could receive. It was so generous, thoughtful and loving of you and those or treats I truly admire thank you for being you and making such a massive impact on my life. I cannot thank you enough. Teo that's. Nice. Nice job, courtney. Great. So so be thinking about how you can use this it's a tool, right? As ah, you know tools on so like, you know, like mechanistic or strategic, but think of it as a way to weave into your life. How can you just put a little tiny extra effort into expressing what has already touched you, right? That's not to know you said you know wow I do is these air genuine expressions right? We're not talking about fake or making you know just false thank you's but to just express what's already in your heart to express what already touched you would already was like yeah hey thanks cool that was helpful and we could use this that work to write can use it in every relationship we have so how how to use this tool well you can use it just even for yourself you don't even have to deliver it but as a daily happiness work out or just make it a mission just challenge can I deliver a three part appreciation to someone anyone every day every day for the next week can I find someone to think and I'm sure you can write I'm sure we got it jumping now that uber's thank you driver and let me give in three parts right you are on time you were on it I appreciate your friendliness right? You could just do it like that doesn't have to be a big deal or it could be a letter maybe we'll turn this into a letter that you actually deliver and read to someone who has really been important in your life and maybe you feel you haven't properly even thanked let's not let that slip away right so you can also use this this will build trust and will build positivity can use it to de escalate conflict so even in a midst of a conflict in still express and you know what? I appreciate that these two things you did I may not have appreciated a things you did, but I appreciated these two things, okay? I appreciate that you're talking to me right now and you're giving me a chance, right? And you can and don't tell him I told you so but you can use it to shape other people's behaviors because think about it, what we're doing is we're reinforcing we're doing we're doing actually a few things one we're identifying a behavior that we appreciated that we want to see again, especially if you're a manager if you're working with others the let people know what matters to you it matters to me that you were on time matter to me that you like went the extra mile that was so helpful so it informs them and instructs them helps him know what you care about thank you for calling me when I has having a bad time I don't want to reach out to you, but you called me and I appreciate that for these three reasons yeah jennifer shaping others behavior I would just like to add that you need to be really careful about doing that because I have a close friend of mine that I say she's my franks I really do like her and I appreciate her and enjoy working with her but she uses that to manipulate yes absolutely so we're not talking about manipulation being overly strategic we're talking about genuinely informing people about what what you care about and reinforcing that saying yeah that was a good job and I noticed that's the type of thing we're talking about I noticed it and it was important to me and that's not manipulative that is informative right? So we're talking about genuine expressions that come from our heart not from this sort of you know mal intention absolutely I'd like to offer you as another tool and connecting and this one's going to be different from what we have explored so far it's going be a little bit different so are you ready for it you have for it so online viewers I'd like you to also come along with us so for this one going to ask you to put whatever's on your lap aside if you're doing something at home washing dishes who knows what typing e mails put all that aside and just give this a moment because this is one that requires full focus I call this the gift of relationship meditation so I'd like you to bring to mind someone who's a value to someone you care about someone who is a gift in your life so think of someone now and dropper close your eyes just so that you can focus inward and just take a moment to feel yourself take a breath to center your mind and in your mind's eye bring this person as if you were seeing them as if they were across from you is if you were looking at their face you were looking at them you could see them right here right now as they look back at you and reflect for a moment reflect on how they are a gift in your life how they give how they fill your life with with positivity in whatever way that means consider that gift of relationship with them the support the affection the carrying whatever it isthe next consider your life just for a moment consider your life without that person in the absence of them absence makes the heart grow fonder consider for a moment so we don't take for granted to people in our life we don't take for granted that they're always going to be there or that we deserve them or that they're just the hair but instead that they're a gift without them consider what it would feel like to not have them in your life to never been blessed with their presence perhaps and now coming back into that feeling of gratitude the gift of tha mme absorbed feel into your body feel as a sensation take and draw in that feeling of gratitude the gift the blessing of this person and imagine that that's your absorbing this positive feeling into your long term memory stores it's feeling you up creating you with even greater sense connection abundance in life and consider the possibility that you could move through life with just a little bit more of this feeling of connection of being fulfilled in your relationships thank you coming back into the room coming back in with us I would love to hear how are you feeling right now you're feeling a sense of greater connection are you feeling any emotions you feeling any stillness? Rhonda you're nodding your head how are you feeling right now? Um a little bit emotional but really still on kind of peaceful still peaceful in a bit emotional is that emotional kind of a mix of emotions? What what kind of emotions air there? Um yeah it's a bit of a mix it's you know, obviously gratitude for that person but also recognizing that our friendship has been a little bit rocky but understanding that, you know, it's kind of like every time we hit a snag we kind of have to go to our corners and then come back again and be like, so anyway yeah, you know, and in that healing over and starting over and kind of rebuilding that muscle, I guess um has illuminated a lot of my relationship stuff that I don't think I had experienced within other friendships, so you know, I'm grateful even though it's been a little rocky but it's been there you know to show me that yeah it's it's so nicely stated that even though there's been some rocky even though it's not one hundred percent positive that's ok right it doesn't have to be perfect to be pretty darn good right and so feeling the gift and not being overshadowed by those moments and it sounds like they're far and few but in between but that you know they can if we don't let it they can take greater prominence in our life then they may be they deserve so feeling into that gift of the relationship thank you so much rhonda is there anyone else who was there any submissions online um any other share outs for how that impacted you yeah kelly yeah I've never thought of who or how I would be without my dad but I would not be this good of a person at all so that be weird yeah I never even thought of it without him I've always very thankful for him but this life would be very different yes yeah so often we don't think of their absence and yet then it really shows us how much we value them right it's like oh it's painful to think about but just for a moment it can really bring to the forefront bring an emotional experience you were saying rana to that experience of that relationship just how much we value wonderful. So how could you use this as a happiness tools away, to increase your happiness and remember that when we use thes these techniques and these tools, these methods that it's a gift to everyone, right, that it. How does it change the way we show up when we treat people in our lives as a gift, and not as being taken for granted? Khun, do it hesitate as a happiness workout conduct during conflict, right? We're not feeling so great about them and feel more connected.

Class Description

Learn how the science of happiness can bring more joy and fulfillment into your day in The Science of Happiness: How to Live Your Best Life with Wisdom Labs.

Most people yearn for deeper connection with others and desire to live a life that represents a full expression of themselves, but it takes training and practice to reach our best potential. 

In this class you’ll learn how to: 

  • Gain greater present focus 
  • Use techniques to navigate negative emotions 
  • Redirect negativity in ourselves and others 
  • Shift out of limiting mindsets 
You’ll learn simple, evidence-based practices for improving relationships, problem solving, and reaching the goals that matter most. 

If you are ready to drop harmful habits and reverse negative reactions, join Wisdom Labs for The Science of Happiness: How to Live Your Best Life and learn practical tools to get yourself back on track and into upward spirals of positivity.  


a Creativelive Student

I loved this class! Dr Laura provides compelling side effects of happiness, and then the 3 habits of happiness. They are transforming.... and if you aren't already using them (most people aren't)... they will up your level of happiness... I can't see how they wouldn't! Transformative tips. Thank you Dr. Laura - this was nothing short of brilliant! -Tina Huang, Ph.D., Holistic Healer for a Happy & Healthy Brain at LifeLong EnerJoy

Bianca Davoodian

Dr. Delizonna is truly an expert in the field of Positive Psychology, as I have learned a great deal as her student from her courses at Stanford, her talks, as well as her retreats ( She has an amazing ability to bring all the resources available in this field to her student's/viewer's in a way that is tangible and easily understandable. In turn, the tools that she teaches are easily applicable and I have seen positive changes take place, in minimal time and sometimes with minimal effort (because of her easy-to-follow teaching style), in my day-to-day life. I highly recommend her classes and books. They've definitely had substantial and lasting effects in my life!

Tomas Verver

:) I like the positivity about the course:D It really reasonates with me:) Always try to look on the bright side! There is so much to be happy with around you! Thanks Laura for the great science based approach. Your positive energy is inspiring!