A 10-Second Trick for More Love and Joy

A 10-Second Trick for More Love and JoyI’m about to share with you an exercise approved by the HeartMath Institute, a Google pioneer, Dr. David R. Hamilton, and the Dalai Lama.

This simple exercise takes just 10 seconds a day…

But those 10 seconds will have a far-reaching impact on your life.

You’ll feel inexplicably happier. You’ll look younger. And your relationships will never be the same.

Ready to give it a try? You can do it right now, while you’re reading this article.

(Don’t worry: I’m not going to ask you to do anything that will embarrass you. No one will even notice you’re doing this exercise, I promise.)

All you have to do is think of the man in your life.

If you’re not in a relationship, think about someone you’re interested in. You can even pick an ex you still have feelings for.

Got his mental picture in your mind? Great. Now think to yourself:

“I wish for [HIS NAME] to be happy.”

Feel that wish in your heart. You should feel something in your chest, perhaps a loosening or warm sensation.

That’s it! All done.

So what just happened when you did this exercise?

This exercise is a simplified form of the loving-kindness meditation, a Buddhist practice that goes back thousands of years.

It was originally developed to cultivate kindness, compassion, and goodwill towards all living things, but science has discovered that its benefits go far beyond the spiritual.

According to the HeartMath Institute, thinking of a loved one while focusing attention on your heart boosts levels of the anti-aging hormone DHEA.

Dr. David R. Hamilton found that the anti-aging benefits go even further. He points to a small study that showed regular practitioners of loving-kindness have longer telomeres, a biological marker of youth.[1]

It’s extraordinary. Wanting others to be happy can literally make you younger on a physiological level.

But those aren’t the only benefits. Wanting someone else to be happy can make you instantly happier, not to mention what it does for your relationship. Here’s how.

Chade-Meng Tan was one of the earliest employees at Google. He wasn’t just an engineer; he was also an accomplished meditator. About ten years ago, he created a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course for Google employees that exploded in popularity. It’s now found worldwide.

Meng is the one who took the slightly more involved loving-kindness meditation and stripped it down to its essentials.

During his talks, he asks audience members to pick two people in the room—could be complete strangers—and think, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.”[2]

This exercise shifts the energy of the room in an instant.

“All other things being equal,” he explains, “to increase your happiness, all you have to do is randomly wish for someone else to be happy.”[3]

So let’s go back to how you felt when you were doing this exercise.

When you wished for your loved one to be happy, did it bring a smile to your face?

It’s hard not to smile when you’re sending loving thoughts toward someone you love.

As Meng found, it works for random strangers, too.

When you’re standing in one of those interminable lines, the ones that make your blood boil, trying picking two people out of the line in front of you and thinking, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.” See if it shifts your energy.

This exercise is particularly powerful when you’re irritated with someone. Let’s say your partner is annoying you to no end. You don’t know what to do with him.

Normally, negative thoughts about him hijack your mind, but this time you’re going to try something different.

This time, you’re going to establish a new habit. Every morning, maybe when you’re taking a shower or making coffee, you’re going to think to yourself, “I wish for him to be happy.”

Really wish it. Feel it in your heart.

Because, of course, you do want him to be happy. Even though you’re struggling, even though you don’t like how he’s acting, you still want him to be happy.

He’ll never know you did this exercise, but he’ll feel the results.

The HeartMath Institute has also found that emotions often synchronize in couples. So when you feel positive thoughts towards your partner, your partner picks up that positive energy, even if no words are exchanged.

It’s really that simple.

1 positive thought for 10 seconds a day.

Think you could make this part of your daily schedule?

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159113001736

[2] Quoted by Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) 157.

[3] Tools of Titans 158.

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7 thoughts on “A 10-Second Trick for More Love and Joy

  1. Mary said:

    Thank you so much for this, James. What an absolutely fabulous article!!! Best article I have read this entire year!!! With love, joy and deep appreciation.

  2. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    Yes, I do wish for my ex-boyfriend to be happy. That is all I have ever wished for him, and have tried and tried to make that come about. But he is an alcoholic, and has mental health/personalty problems, too. When you asked how did it make me feel when I wished for him to be happy? It made me cry. Because, even though I have always wished him happy, I’m not sure he will ever truly be. But then again, he is probably happiest when he’s drinking himself unconscious – so maybe that is all the happy he wants from life. All that being said, I think you are right, James that thinkng beautiful thoughts definately makes you a more beautiful person. And I have read the Delai Llama’s book on happiness, which is very helpful. Now, I try to make others happy by volunteerig on a telephone helpline for drug and alcohol abuse, as well as mental health issues (usually connected). There are a lot of very unhappy people out there in the world. And that makes me very sad. Over the years, your emails have brought me a lot of comfort and insight into the human psychy, James. Thank you, once again, for being a beautiful person and endeavouring to bring happiness to others. I’m sure that by reaching out, you have brought a lot of understanding and comfort to many, many people. Lorna.

    • James Bauer said:

      Thank you, Lorna. You are a gem. I wish you and your ex-boyfriend to be happy. We cannot control the internal world of his thoughts, but we can rejoice in the unique person he is, even if it’s not the kind of person you or I would choose to be.

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Thank you, James, for your kind response. It makes me feel so much better knowing that, way across the vast expanse of ocean, you are there and reaching out a comforting hand. Isn’t modern technology amazing? Aren’t we SO lucky to be living in this modern world?!! Yes, you are right, this man is a unique person, with many wonderful traits and talents and has a lot to offer the world. He has made my life richer by being in it – even though he also brought me a lot of heartache, as well as a lot of love for a while. He has taught me a lot, and now I am able to use that knowledge to, hopefully, comfort others in a small way. We have to take the ups and downs in life, and make the most of the ups. I wish YOU happiness, James. But one thing you forgot in your article is to make sure we wish OURSELVES happiness, because loving ourselves is the most important thing. Lorna

  3. Ndeye Sokhna Anne said:

    Mn rêve c’est de partir au Canada comment faire pour avoir le visa

    • James Bauer said:

      Ce n’est pas le site Web correct pour obtenir ce type d’informations.

  4. Bernadette said:

    James I wish you to be happy. I can do this it really does seem to work and make me feel happier hopefully younger I could use it! Thanks for all your Insight and knowledge it’s very appreciated

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