Happiness guru Pasricha emphasizes power of the positive at PIP 2017

Five tips for finding your happy place: good for you and good for business.

May 4, 2017   by PLANT STAFF

Neil Pasricha, best selling author and director of the Institute for Global Happiness in Toronto.
Photo: Ken West

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Personal life or work, there’s power in being positive. If you’re a grump, there are simple ways to recalibrate your negative default to happy. And it’s good for business.

That was a key deliverable from Neil Pasricha, Toronto-based happiness guru and keynote speaker who opened the Partners in Prevention 2017 workplace health and safety conference and trade show May 1.

He referenced an analysis of 225 international academic studies that found happy people are 31% more productive, they have 37% higher sales and they’re three times more creative than folks who are not happy.

What influences your level of happiness? University of California research found half of it is genetics, and 10% external factors but 40% is personal thought and actions.


Pasricha, director of the Institute for Global Happiness (, a TED talker and author of several books spun from his popular 1000 Awesome Things blog as well as the Happiness Equation, has read the books and poured over the research. Here are five actions derived from hundreds of studies that will train your brain to be happy.

1. Three brisk 20-minute walks per week (the woods is better than the mall). Also good for improving recovery from clinical depression (he notes on his web site).

2. 20-minute replay. Use the time to write about something positive. You relive the happy and again each time you re-read the entry.

3. Random acts of kindness. You’ll feel good about yourself.

4. Meditation. It can permanently rewire your brain, shrinking the stress areas and growing the parts responsible for compassion and self-awareness.

5. Five gratitudes. Write down things you’re grateful for from the past week.

For the record, Canada is among the top 10 happiest of 155 countries. It ranks seventh (down a spot from last year) in the United Nation’s World Happiness Report, behind Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands. The US is fourteenth and the Central African Republic is last.

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