The Science of Building Habits for Happiness with Tal Ben-Shahar

The Science of Building Habits for Happiness with Tal Ben-Shahar



Happiness often feels like an unattainable, non-tangible thing that’s out of reach for many of us. We’re stuck on the sidelines waiting for X to happen so we can feel the highest expression of humanity: happiness. 

This week’s guest Tal Ben-Shahar is a happiness expert who has drilled down the scientific roots of the emotion we all strive to feel. We break down the elements of happiness, the neural roadmap it takes to get there, and explore why cultivating genuine appreciation and gratitude for life requires accepting and celebrating the sadder parts as well. 

Show Notes:

  • Tal defines happiness through the five elements in the acronym SPIRE - Spiritual, Physical, Inspirational, Relational, Emotional

  • Spirituality is about being present, mindful, and connected

  • Physical wellbeing comprises of sleep, touch, self care through food and exercise

  • Intellectual wellbeing is staying curious, asking questions and learning

  • Relational wellbeing is spending time with people we care about and feeling connected to others

  • Emotional wellbeing is caring for our emotional health and tuning in

  • To cultivate happiness in your own life, look at what is going to be easy for you to introduce into your life regularly, and start to do those small changes

  • The 3 "Rs" to encourage change are reminders, repetition, and rituals

  • We need to use reminders, even when we know of a behavior we want to start doing, repetition creates a ritual and develops neural pathways that cement habits that lead to lasting change

  • Even knowing how neural pathways work, we're better able to create change in our lives

  • The more our thoughts and feelings flow through a pathway in our brain, the more the behavior is encouraged

  • Resilience is cultivated through hardships and we should use our failures as learning experiences

  • Extraordinary leadership takes exceptional listening, and Tal believes the best leaders are listeners and servants to those they are leading

  • The Happiness Academy shares the science of happiness and provides tools and practical guidance to increase happiness in one's life, there are easy changes to make in all aspects of SPIRE that contribute to boosting your overall happiness and life satisfaction


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