Dr. Alan Schlechter, author of “U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (And Life),” is also the professor of the most popular elective class at New York University called “The Science of Happiness.” He explains the things you should stop doing if you want to be happier. Following is a transcript of the video.
Dr. Alan Schlechter: The first one would definitely be the level of self-critical thought that people get caught up in. We have these things called thinking traps, and when we’re having a lot of native emotions we tend to catastrophize. We get lost in these thinking traps of beating ourselves up and we begin to have this mental filter where we only see the negative things and ignore the positives. We forget about gratitude.
And that kind of leads to the next thing that I think people ignore a lot which is m any people have heard of the fight-or-flight response. There’s a cousin to the fight-or-flight response. It’s called the tend-and-befriend response, and that is an innate quality of us to reach out to someone for help. We have a hormone even built into us called oxytocin that is expressed, and it’s telling us “reach out for help, call a friend, tell someone what’s going on.” And when we do that, our cortisol levels goes down. We feel better.
The third thing that contributes to unhappiness that I see is the way we ignore our body. The way we grow our brain cells, the way we tell our brain to grow is we have to move. We are meant to move, and the second we sit down for more than 20 minutes our body begins to shut down. We are not meant to be still.
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