The Science of Happiness

The science of happiness is the most popular class in Yale's 300+ year history. Dr. Laurie Santos created the course and beautifully points out that "if you are in a better mood, you will find a better solution." Santos maintains that happiness can be a key to your health and positive performance and improve your immune functions. She highlights that many people wait to focus on happiness as they attempt to sort out other factors when happiness is the key to sorting it out.

Summit is a happiness project that continues to impact thousands in the professional beauty industry through its consistent approach to coaching and mentoring a team to achieve their own definition of happiness. As salon leaders, we tend to project our definition of happiness on our employees. In some ways, it is a natural process that occurs due to a shared vision and values. In other instances, it can cause unnecessary conflict or undue pressure due to the various stages of the employee's personal life. To stay dialed in and create a positive culture, consistently ask your team a straightforward question, "what makes you happy?"

Dr. Santos prefers the term work-life harmony over work-life balance. She offers ten happiness facts to consider:

Happiness is more critical in challenging time

Make social connections

Help others

Make time for gratitude

Healthy habits matter

Be present – be mindful

Be present even when it’s crappy

Feel happier at work

Prioritize fun

Time affluence – become time wealthy

Being present even when crappy things happen does not mean suppressing negative moments. Dr. Santos suggests that having a "stiff upper lip" can create suppression, which has negative long-term consequences. Use the RAIN method to process negative situations:

R – recognize what is happening

A – allow the feeling

I – investigate with interest and care

N – Nurture with self-compassion

At Summit, we discuss the role of the leader and how their attitude impacts the team. We remind salon leaders to protect their stage and take care not to have bad days in front of the team. Of course, this does not mean that there aren't serious/bad things happening. It also does not mean suppressing those feelings. However, it reminds us to protect our stage and the employee and guest experience. We do not have to share every negative thought or problem. Using the RAIN method, leaders can stay grounded and present in sad moments without over-sharing or negatively impacting others. These meaningful silent conversations promote healthy work-life harmony.

The term time affluence is life-changing. Taking control of your time takes time and effort. Stay tuned for our 2023 launch of the Summit Leadership System as it addresses time management and organization. Another resource to contribute to your happiness!

For more information about our Leadership Division and how you can get started on your own happiness project, click here.