Reinforce the positives for more happiness & success

Reinforce the positives for more happiness & success

Positive reinforcement of desirable behaviours is one of the simplest and most effective ways to create more happiness & success in your life. 

Below is an excerpt from this week's FREE Happiness Institute eNewsletter (to which you can sign up HERE) so read on and enjoy…

One of the simplest but strongest findings from all of psychology is that the positive reinforcement of desirable behaviours is more effective than attempts to punish or respond punitively to negative behaviours. Many of us have seen this work with dogs (or other pets) and/or in animal training programs. But the simple truth is, it's just as important and potentially just as useful in humans! A reinforcer (or reward) is defined quite simple as anything which when provided in response to a selected behaviour increases the likelihood of that behaviour occurring again (or increases it's strength); which means, almost anything can act as a reinforcer and, therefore, there are many, many rewards we can use to increase positive behaviours!


Are there behaviours in your life in which you'd like to engage more frequently? Do you, for example, want to exercise more? or eat more healthily? or be more productive at work? or be kinder and more loving? If you answered YES to any of these questions (and let's face it, who wouldn't) then the following tips should help you enjoy more happiness and success in your life!

  • to begin with, select a desirable behaviour

  • be as specific as you can – that is, define the behaviour you'd like to do more of as clearly as possible

  • monitor each time you engage in this behaviour

  • give yourself a reward each and every time you find yourself engaging in this behaviour (it could be a metaphorical "pat on the back" or it could be something more tangible)

  • keep this up but over time, reduce the frequency of the administration of the reward (i.e. after a while, don't reward yourself EVERY time but only ever second or third time)

This might sound pretty simple, and in some ways it is…but it's also an incredibly powerful and effective way to increase almost any behaviour you'd like to engage in more often. 

What rewards or reinforcers do you use to stimlate and maintaing happiness & success? Share your thoughts and what works for you HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page.