Are You Happy? Take Control.
How to practice mindfulness throughout your work day
You probably know the feeling all too well: You arrive at the office with a clear plan for the day and then, in what feels like just a moment, you find yourself on your way back home. Nine or 10 hours have passed but you’ve accomplished only a few of your priorities. And, most likely, you can’t even remember exactly what you did all day. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone. 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.
The good news is you can train your brain to focus better by incorporating mindfulness exercises throughout your day. Based on our experience with thousands of leaders in over 250 organizations, here are some guidelines for becoming a more focused and mindful leader.
Yoga for Grief
Mindfulness helps Engineers problem solve
Engineering work demands creativity and innovation in order to solve complex, interdisciplinary problems. But creativity and innovation skills are not emphasized in many traditional engineering courses. So engineers enter the workforce with important analysis skills, but may struggle to “think outside the box” when it comes to creative problem-solving. Our research shows that mindfulness can help engineers strengthen their ability to generate new ideas, leading to new ways of thinking and better solutions.
The Digital Wellness Movement is here
Rebel developers are trying to break our society's addiction to smartphones with an app. They are using fire to fight fire — creating apps that try to put users back in control. They call their movement “digital wellness,” and it has seen some major victories so far. Read the full article to find out what your smartphone will look like soon!
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow."
Understanding the Flow State and how its Key to being happy
Do you remember that moment when creativity and productivity sprung from your mind smoothly? According to positive psychology cofounder Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, this state is called flow, and it is an important contributor to creativity and well-being. His research, found in this article, he shares how the experience of flow is universal and has been reported to occur across different classes, genders, ages, cultures and activities.
If you’ve ever heard someone describe a time when their performance excelled and they used the term being “in the zone”, what they’re describing is an experience of flow. It occurs when your skill level and the challenge at hand are equal. Click on the link below for more information.
Be Mindful@WIT this semester with these free activities
Listen to this mindfulness meditation to help you calm yourself.
Gratitude = Joy
Brené Brown talks about how the practice of gratitude can lead to a joyful life and what, exactly, that practice looks like. It's not the "attitude of gratitude" you might think.
Can you predict how you’ll feel in the future?
The anticipation of an upcoming experience or event is inevitable but are you accurately predicting how you’ll feel as its happening? Often times, these predictions can lead to decisions that are counterproductive to our happiness because we are making choices based on how we think we’ll feel in the future with little information to go off of. NPR’s Hidden Brain Podcast explores the research of Dan Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and his insights into how having a little “blind faith” can go along way for your happiness.
Join us for a Mindfulness & Tech Event with Dan Harris and 10% Happier App
Watch Dan Harris talk about using Mindfulness and Technology
Sometimes, feeling bad is necessary and good.
How great would it be if you had complete control over how you feel? It’s likely you would rid yourself of negative emotions and hold on to only the good ones. Studies show, however, embracing all of your emotions can actually lead to you feeling happier. Read this article to find out more.
Watch out for the Project 40 Art EXHIBIT around campus...
it's been proven: the more you use facebook the worst you'll feel
The average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day, according to data provided by the company last year. A Deloitte survey found that for many smartphone users, checking social media apps are the first thing they do in the morning. Thousands of studies have concluded that most human beings thrive when they have strong, positive relationships with other human beings.
So, while we know that old-fashioned social interaction is healthy, what about social interaction that is completely mediated through an electronic screen? When you wake up in the morning and tap on that little blue icon, what impact does it have on you?
The meanings of life Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one? Find out in this article by Roy F. Baumeister.
FIND the Meaning
Research shows that people who can find meaning in tragedies or challenges that they face in life can be happier and more resilient. Learn about several studies that were performed which show the positive effect finding meaning can have on a person's happiness and way to practice this by watching this Happy Hack.
FORGIVE for Yourself
The Forgiveness Pledge
cope to survive
This month Project 40 will help you identify, develop, and strengthen your personal coping skills. Cultivating your coping skills, in both problem solving coping and emotional coping, will help you manage stressful and traumatic situations better. So watch the Happy Hack on Coping Skills to learn more about how you can build the tools to thrive and be happy.
Learn to be Optimistic
The Successful Optimist
Glass half-empty or half-full? Does it really matter? As it turns out, it does matter how you explain that glass and the world around you. Those who explain things one way are better salespeople, have less depression and are more motivated than those who see things the opposite way. The good news is that if you can recognize your language pattern, you can do something about it and actually change how you respond. Read this article to find out how!
During the winter months it can be hard to stay positive. The short days, decline in outdoor activities, and overall lack of sunlight can take both a physical and mental toll. That's why this month Project 40 wants to help you choose to be optimistic. Whether it's telling yourself you can accomplish your goals or finding the positive in a difficult time; optimism can increase your happiness. Watch this happy hack to learn more about the research behind optimism's benefits and learn ways you can practice it in your own life.
Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year's Resolutions. Here's How They Do It.
Why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed? The explosion of studies into how the brain works has more experts attempting to explain the science behind why we make resolutions—and more relevantly, how we can keep them.
If you want to achieve your goals, don't focus on them
Former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers discusses how focusing on your goals is the one sure way NOT to achieve them. With humor and insight he goes on to explain how focusing on your behaviors is how you achieve goals.
ARE YOUR GOALS S.M.A.R.T.?
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Timely
To find out more about SMART goals visit Edutopia
Are you already part of the more than 90% of people who fail to keep their New Year’s resolution? Now is a great time to recommit yourself to your goals. Reaching your goals has been proven to increase your happiness. So check out these strategies that can help you to commit to and achieve your goals.
Eat Well for Free
Quick tips on Fitness, Sleep Hygiene, and Nutrition
Take care of yourself
Physical Wellness is key to being a happier and healthier person. To be clear, that doesn't mean you have to work out 7 days a week to be happy. While physical wellness includes fitness, it also means to take care of your physical self, including things like nutrition and sleep hygiene.
This month, Project 40 is going to be embracing its inner Olivia Newton John as we promote, "let's get physical" to our campus community. With the new year, it is a great time to take on this slogan and think about how you can start fresh with a focus on showing self-compassion through physical wellness. Watch the Happy Hack to learn how you can get started!
The importance of failure
We often feel compelled to get things perfectly right every time and that getting something wrong is an admittance of failure. It’s expected, we live in a culture of high standards and demanding work. This is stressful and we all need to accept our failures and learn from them, faculty/staff and students, alike. Failure is part of the learning process, in this NPR article researchers explore the benefits of discussing mistakes and understanding when things go wrong.
be happier by connecting
Research clearly shows that strong social connections make you less anxious and depressed. It increases self-esteem, empathy, and helps you better regulate your emotions. There are physical benefits as well, connection also increases a persons immunity and longevity. The emphasis is not on how many friends you have, but rather how much you connect with another person. Watch this happy hack on making strong social connections to learn more about the benefits and how you can practice this strategy.
Find, Remind & Bind Theory
Saying “thank you” is not just about being polite. Research shows that the words are much more than a formality. Social relationships are integral to being human. If we are at work, school, home, or anywhere, we are constantly interacting with others. Showing gratitude to those you rely on and work with results in a more positive and thus more effective and mutually beneficial relationship.
According to Sara Algoe’s find-remind-bind theory, saying “thank you” does the following:
Initiates new social relationships (a “find” function)
Orients people to existing social relationships (a “remind” function)
Promotes maintenance of and investment in these relationships (a “bind” function)
Identify three times where saying “thank you” to someone else prompted each of these functions for you. Think about how you can strategically use expression of gratitude to build relationships in your co-op or career.
Read the full article regarding the research here
Appreciate the good
Gratitude is a felt sense of thankfulness, wonder, and an appreciation for life. From being thankful for your dearest loved one to having the perfect cup of coffee, gratitude can be felt for a range of everyday occurrences. But being grateful is often easier to talk about than actually practice. However, being actively grateful has been scientifically proven to increase your level of happiness.
Watch this Happy Hack for more information on what gratitude is and ways you intentionally practice.
The quickest path may not be the most enjoyable
Sometimes we choose efficiency over enjoyment. The most direct path from point A to point B. Granted it may save you some small amount of time, but it is important to remember that happiness is found in the journey not the destination. Don't take our word for it, watch Daniele Quercia, Scientist and Engineer at Yahoo! Labs, talk about how he discovered the importance of literally finding the most enjoyable path.
did you know that being kind makes you healthier?
People who are kind produce 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population. It’s true! Engaging in acts of kindness actually lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. Read this article for more benefits of kindness and ways you can practice!
In October Project 40 will be challenging you to practice kindness. Research shows that practicing kindness can have beneficial effects on your overall health. Find out more on how to practice kindness by watching our Happy Hack. Keep in mind that even the smallest act of kindness can make another person's day!
"Kindness makes you happy and happiness makes you kind." - Alex Dixon
Writing as a means of Survival
After being run over by an eighteen-wheeler, author Katie McKenna found that writing was the only way she could survive
Listen to Katie McKenna talk about the story behind "How to Get Run Over By a Truck"
Author of How to Get Run Over by a Truck, Katie McKenna, coming to Wentworth to talk Resiliency
People often sat, "I feel like I've been run over by a truck." Katie actually was. Her memoir is about a body that was crushed by a truck, and a spirit that refused to be. Come listen to her inspiring tale of resiliency.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Beatty 426 at 3:30pm & 6pm
Katie will be signing copies of her book on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 12pm in Beatty 033. Advanced copies are on sale at the Wentworth Book Store.
Mindfulness as a Tool for Problem Solving
Mindfulness is often talked about in the context of positive mental health; as a means of centering yourself during times of stress or to remember to savor a particular moment in time. But the act of being mindful of oneself and one’s surroundings can easily translate to an area we at Wentworth are much more familiar with: problem solving. Regardless of the major, we’re in the business of problem solving.
Allowing ourselves to be mindful even while we work doesn’t mean we’re not working as hard. How many times have you agonized over trying to solve a problem only to finally give up, go to bed and have the answer pop into your head the moment you’ve allowed your mind to rest? It’s no coincidence. A centered, focused mind does a much better job at sorting out problems than a cluttered and confused mind.
There’s a Zen saying, “Before enlightenment chop wood carry water, after enlightenment chop wood carry water.” Tom Barrett*, founder of the meditation site Interlude, does a great job of explaining this quote:
“Practice mindfulness in work. It does little good to attain clarity of mind on your meditation cushion if you lose it as soon as you become active… Pay attention to the thoughts that enter your mind when you do the task. See if you can let them go and just focus on the work itself.”
Athletes might call this, “the zone”, when nothing exists but exactly what you’re doing in the moment. But I think we’ve all experienced it, when you’ve been coding for hours and never realize how much time has gone by, when you’re in the lab building something really cool and just get lost in the build, when you’re absorbed in Photoshop, RevIt or Solidworks and every line or brush stroke just flows into the next.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the barrage of media, social and electronic stimuli in our day to day lives that we can feel overwhelmed when it’s time to actually sit down and do work. Take a moment to center yourself before a task, bring complete focus to that task and be grateful that you have the opportunity to work at something you care about (and not simply fight to stay alive) everyday.
Check out more on “Chop wood carry water”
For the month of September, Project 40 will be focusing on the practice of MINDFULNESS. So we want you to take a minute to PAUSE and be present in the moment.
Guided Meditations - Free mindfulness meditations that you can practice on your own from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.
Insight Timer - Free mindfulness mobile app.
Calm - Free meditation mobile app.
Head Space - Free online mediation guides.
Balanced - Free mindfulness and motivation app.
Mindful - Online mindfulness magazine.
Meditation Vacation - Free online meditation course.
August - Bringing it all together
Check out the HAPPY HACK for each strategy to find out how to practice the skills that will build your resiliency and happiness.
ARE YOU HAPPY? Take Control.
July - Finding Meaning
Research shows that people who can learn to find some meaning in challenges they face are happier and more resilient. Watch this month's happy hack to find out more about what the research says and how you can apply it to your life...
June - Forgiveness
JUNE'S SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE
Don't miss your chance to WIN a FREE Gift Card because you can't forgive!
1. To enter just tweet or post to @WITProject40 and show some forgiveness to someone
*You do not have to name them if you don't want to
2. Use the hashtags #WITforgives and #witproject40
This month learn what forgiveness actually is and how practicing it can be to your benefit. The tools to having fewer physical symptoms of illness and increased positive emotions can be found in this happy hack.
May - Self-Compassion
MAY'S SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE
Want to win a free Gift Card!?
To enter just tweet or post to @WITProject40 and tell us what is your daily self-compassion mantra!
Use the hashtags #nourishyourself and #witproject40
* You can also pick up a Project 40 wristband to take part in our self-compassion exercise in The Center for Wellness!
Using Self-Compassion to nourish both your mind and body can lead to you being happier and healthier. Learn more in this month’s Happy Hack.
April - Optimism
APRIL'S SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE
Want to win a free Gift Card before summer break!?
Then to enter just tweet or post to @WITProject40 and tell us what your go to optimistic line is or your favorite optimistic quote.
Use the hashtags #chooseoptimism #witproject40
Optimism can make you healthier, more successful, and happier. Watch this month's happy hack to find out how you can choose to be an optimist:
March - Coping skills
March's Social Media Challenge
Post or Tweet a coping skill you use to @WITproject40 on Instagram or Twitter using #copeWITit and be entered to win a FREE GIFT CARD!!
Did you know that having strong coping skills can make you a more RESILIENT and happier person? watch this month's happy hack to learn how to do it:
February - Commitment to goals
Commit to the goals you'll regret not accomplishing #witcommits
ARE YOUR GOALS S.M.A.R.T.?
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Timely
Learn more about SMART goals by visiting Edutopia
FEBRUARY'S SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE
Post a S.M.A.R.T. goal on Instagram and/or Twitter and use #WITCommits to enter to win FREE Gift card! Posting your goal on social media has triple the benefits:
1. Research has shown that accomplishing your goals builds confidence
2. By gaining the support of your followers, through likes or encouragement, you are being held accountable to achieve your goal
3. Plus you could win free money!
WATCH THIS MONTH'S HAPPY HACK TO learn how to make goals that are right for you and that you will follow through on.
Social events @ Wentworth to help build social connections:
Wild Words - Thursday, 1/21/16 at 6pm - a poetry/open mic night at Pavement Coffeehouse. It is a opportunity for students to express themselves in a safe, accepting and supportive environment.
Visit the event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1068811153142703/
and use this link to the sign up to perform: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10BukE4PUpEAMEVvM_uHYsaFgeKxuXRfNkcnUlgIUVK8/viewform
Weekends@WIT's The Price is Right - Saturday, 1/23/16 at 9pm - Join Weekends@WIT on Saturday, 1/23/16 at 9pm in EWT Auditorium for your chance to play The Price is Right. There are loads of prizes to win and plenty of opportunities to connect.
Senior Kick-Off at King's - Friday, 1/29/16 at 8pm - Open to the entire class of 2016! Kick off Senior year with a night of bowling and fun at King's! Tickets on sale now at the Info Hub and Campus Life.
Weekends@WIT's Hungry, Hungry Hippos - Saturday, 1/30/16 at 9pm - Ever wonder what it would be like to play life sized hungry hungry hippos? Join Weekends@WIT on Saturday, 1/30/16 at 9pm in EWT Auditorium to find out!
To find out more about Look Up or about Gary Turk the award winning director of the video, please visit the link here.
January's Project 40 Challenge
This month, in honor of promoting stronger social connections, Project 40 is not having a social media challenge. Instead we ask that you look up from your mobile devices and interact with the world around you! As a reward for doing so you could win a gift card to share with a friend.
Here are all the instructions to participate:
Watch this month's Happy Hack to learn about making better social connections and how doing so will improve your overall health and happiness.
December - Kindness
The most useful skills for success won't be learned in a classroom?
First and foremost, nothing will ever change the fact that your education is one of your most valuable assets. In terms of a career it is extremely important to have a strong knowledge base in your field of study. However, lots of research shows that academic and career success are more closely linked to several “non-academic skills." Check out these articles and Project 40’s initiatives to learn more about these skills and how to develop them.
December's social media challenge
Follow @WITProject40 on Instagram and/or Twitter
Post something kind about someone else in your life and mention them.
You must use #witproject40
You could win a free gift card!!
Kindness can boost your immune system, give you energy, and will make you happier. Watch this month's happy hack to find out how
project 40 and wentworth Athletics invites you to:
Come join project 40 for a yoga session
Wednesday, November 18th at Noon in Watson Auditorium
Be Mindful of these free resources for mindfulness
how mindful are you? Watch this video to test yourself:
November's social media challenge
1. Follow us on Instagram and/or Twitter @witproject40
2. Keep an eye out for this sticker around campus:
3. Take a picture of it and post it on Instagram or Twitter
4. Use #witproject40 and tag a friend
Enter to WIN A FREE gift card!
All you have to do to literally change your brain to make you happier is be mindful. Sounds easy enough, right? Watch this month's happy hack to learn more about mindfulness and how you can practice it
October Social media challenge
1. Follow @WITproject40 on Twitter and Instagram
2. Post or tweet something or someone you are grateful for
3. Use #witproject40
4. Tag a friend
Show someone at The Center for Wellness, Dean's Office, or the Info Hub that you completed the challenge to get your Project 40 Gratitude Journal and be entered to WIN A GIFT CARD!!
Watch this month's Happy Hack to learn what gratitude is and how practicing it can increase your happiness!
SEPTEMBER-WHat is Project 40?
Do you suffer from Sunday Evening Dread?
For some people having a case of "the Mondays" begins a bit earlier than when the alarm goes off on Monday morning. In our anxiety ridden society, dreading Sunday evenings is widely becoming an issue for many people. The idea of beginning another hectic week of work has slowly begun to trickle over into our weekends. So what can be done? Follow the link to find out 3 tips from Nataly Kogan to avoid dreading Sunday evenings.
What determines happiness?
Watch this brief video of Sonja Lyubomirsky discuss how much of our happiness is determined by our genes, and how much is within our power to control.
WHat did nataly Kogan learn about being haapier?
Read Nataly Kogan's 3 Tips to becoming happier from her Huffington Post article, "3 Things I Learned About How to be Happier. "
Nataly Kogan, ceo and co-founder of happier, to speak at wentworth institute of technology
Come watch Nataly talk on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 5:00pm in Blount Auditorium. Find out what unconditional joy is, how to find it, and why it’s the most important thing you can do to live a meaningful and successful life.
Take a look at this month's 3-part Happy Hack series on what happiness really is and how Project 40 can help you actually BE HAPPY!
Nataly Kogan - "Sharer of joy"
Check out the following TedTalk with our upcoming speaker, Nataly Kogan, on how we can be happier! And then come hear her LIVE at Wentworth on September 29th at 5:30 in Blount Auditorium!