Happiness and productivity

To tighten the teeth or to laugh, that is the question.

I write this article inspired by a TED video. You know TED talks, conferences on ideas that are worth the trouble to be shared? You can know more envelope they in this connection.

Then, this TED video arrived at suggestion from tweet of Alvaro L³pez, of autorrealizar to you. Immediately it ignited the light bulb on an aspect of life to which every time I give more value him, than is the care of the inner world.

Taken care of psychology, the soul, the guts, the things of one, as you want to call it. But something that is fundamental for you as student.

First of all, I invite to see the mentioned video to you of psychologist Shawn Achor (you can put subtitles doing click in the icon of down to the right).



I believe that Shawn Achor is right much in which he exposes. And moan all along that I passed of student tightening the teeth and feeling me bad through not being able to study more hours to the day, or not to concentrate an afternoon to me of study€¦ instead of to appreciate the hours that already had been able to work.

I am not saying to you that you stop demanding mismo/a to you and you are satisfied and so the life brings to you. It does not have anything to do. But Achor is right all the when in the minute 6:47 is surprised of which most of the students of Harvard are centered in it last it of the study, instead of to feel happy to be in the University of its dreams.

I ask to you: How many times in the last semestral you have thrown plagues of your Faculty, or you have felt desgraciado/a to receive terrible classes, or to have to study mountains of matter for the examinations?

Where it remained the joy that you felt when you could enter your wished race more, Medicine?

I will tell you where it remained: within your mind, buried by your beliefs on the terrible thing that it is the world.


This phrase is of Rafael Santandreu, a very prestigious mental psychologist in Spain. In this video it speaks to us on that tendency to see the terrible side of the external situations, and how to revert it.

I know that now you are thinking that you cannot feel cheers when you have a mountain of notes that to study for an examination. In agreement, in an acute situation as that is reasonable to feel an acute boredom or downheart. But Achor in its video, and Santandreu in their books and interviews talks about to another thing: to your personal vision on the world (something €œchronic€, to continue using clinical terms).

If you behave in your life of student as the television newscasts or reporters, you will only concentrate in the negative aspects.

But tests some of the propose techniques in the video of Achor, as spending some minutes to the day looking for things by which to feel to you been thankful to the life, you will be, within a few weeks, less pessimistic and more inclined to see the amiable side of the things. I can tell you that it works, because I have proven that technique successfully. And as Achor says, the optimism provides more energy, more productivity, and more dopamine to you, which favors the learning.

Thus, when you ahead have an examination, you can think about the knowledge that will leave that examination in your mind, in the later well-being which you will feel after fulfilling your having, in the prize that waits for after that duro work to you (Ah, which usually you do not award yourself after working hard for an examination? Then already you are home€¦).

bulldog happiness productivity


To be happy is something that all we wished, but that in certain way it has bad press. And if no, one of the characters more chronically happy of Simpson, Ralphie or Rafa, the boy of the perennial, and, also most idiot smile remembers of the class.

There is certain glamor in the punished hero of the action films that go throughout with the gathered frown and face of circumstances. It is well tightening the teeth when the aliens invade the Earth and you put for the corresponding film of Hollywood. But that not always works in the case of the university students.

So next I enumerate a series of activities that can provide emotional well-being to you and therefore greater energy to continue studying:

  • To make sport
  • To chat with friends
  • To see videos of dogs and adorable cats
  • To write 3 things by which you are thankful
  • To meditate
  • To make good actions by the others (to visit your old grandmother, to collaborate with a NGO)


If you want to know more about how to be better, and to speak with your mind of a more positive form, I invite to you to read the interview to Carol Dweck and its theories on the growth mentality (something already pointed in this entrance of the blog, you speak with your mind of the suitable form). And if you wish to know part the academic investigation around the search and support of the happiness, it reads the revision of Lyubomirsky published in Review of General Psychology in 2005.



Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

9 Commentaries
  • Carmen
    Published to 07:54 h, 12 July To respond

    Hello! I enlisted at the home of year to the blog and me he is being super useful! 🙂
    An exercise that I was doing during the past year was to write when it was going to lay down 3 things to me that had done during the day of which it felt to me proud. 3 things that although seem easy cost to you just a little bit by something in particular and that, finally, you have managed to do. Or simply something that had made me feel well. If one becomes a routine has two positive effects, on the one hand you remember the good thing of the day, you see your profits and you dismiss the day with shoots of self-esteem and on the other hand you are motivated during the day to secure your goals because you know that soon you will have to write it. It came to me brilliant.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 14:48 h, 12 July To respond

      That exercise also I did it. It seems simple, but he works. The opposite to brood negative thoughts is right. When you recreate positive thoughts, the predominant sensations are positive. If it beams with the negative, you depress yourself same.

      Thanks to comment! 🙂

  • Lara
    Published to 10:06 h, 12 July To respond

    Hello Almudena:
    Leo your blog for a time and I like very many. I consider that it is very useful and necessary a support for the students, beyond the breath words that although always are wonderful are not so practical because you tracks give it exceeds how to do what it is to you surpassing.
    This entrance in particular causes that it sees me especially reflected. I am 31 years old and although I take 4 in the race I am going to begin third party. Je is a situation although it is responsibility mine, gives much shame to admit me. I acquired the bad habit from the start of not presenting me to the examinations, and have entered n a vicious circle of €œnot studying sufficient presentarme- deprimirme- not to feel to me incapable€¦.€ of that I do not know how to leave. Ground to approve the subjects to which I appear, but I am not able to take more than 3 subjects simultaneously (my incapacity, I recognize that it resides in the lack of will before the incredible tochos).

    This summer I will make a decision that not yet I know well which will be. I am very greater, and I do not know if it is by the burned thing that I am but sometimes I do not know if continue I liking the race. I would not like to leave it but she makes seriously think about it the fact me of not knowing me able (that is to say, I believe that I am too vague) and the doubts as far as the labor possibilities once finished and in case surpasses the MIR.

    I have had very difficult familiar circumstances in this time, but I believe that the conflicts are intrinsic to the day to day of any person and I do not believe that to cling to it as it excuses does no good to me.

    I write all this so that there are in my family no people who work in health, and I am very lost. It would be to me helpful your opinion, more than he is not nice to read.

    Thank you very much by your time and the blog.
    A greeting! ?

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 19:30 h, 12 July To respond

      Hello, Lara

      Thank you very much to follow the blog and to comment 🙂

      I have read by far interest which you tell me. I believe that more than a person one would feel identified with your situation. Thus at first sight it seems to me that you have a very pessimistic internal speech, that is to say, you say same many negative things. You write €œshame€, €œvicious€, €œincapable€, €œvery greater€ circle, €œtoo much it wanders€, €œit excuses€€¦

      Recently, speaking with a university professor of psychology on the differences in yield between Medicine students, it commented to me that these differences could not be explained by intellectual incapacity. When somebody has been able to enter a demanding university race as this, it has already demonstrated sufficient intellectual capacities. The performance that you have within the race will depend on the motivation, mainly.

      With respect to the decision that you say you must take this summer, it tries to feel, more than to think, which you want. If to think about leaving the race it produces sadness to you, if you do not see future after that, you do not leave it. It is very difficult to know what really it is wanted, and normally demands that you are alert on same you to detect the signals that incline towards a side or another one to you. Somebody near or by far does ascending one on you ask to you that you do a thing or another one? Sometimes we thought that we wished something, and that really wishes it he is somebody external one whose opinion is important for us. Letter to those signals. If a direction makes feel light or cheers you, she is the correct one. If it weighs to you or it crushes to you, it is not it, although it is disguised of sense of having. But you must give you some weeks to be perceiving these signals, you cannot decide it in 24 hours. A trick to know if what you decide to do he is correct: it looks for this summer activities that you like, and salt of your habitual address. It sees the sea, to the mountain, it gives long strolls between trees, laughs to you what you can. At moments of benefit it is easier that, in background, your mind is evaluating the options of more trustworthy form. Perhaps bursts come to you from desires to continue, and that makes you feel well. That will be a good signal. Also it will be it if what comes are bursts of desires to leave and to dedicate you to another activity, and that makes you feel well. What resonates with positive sensations will be your way to follow.

      With 31 years you are not €œvery greater€. I know people whom she has changed of specialty with 36 years and are happy and working after this. Everything depends on if you can allow you, that is to say, if you can have sustenance although you continue studying. To enter to make a MIR with 35 or 36 years, if it is of a specialty that mistresses, will be satisfactory you have the age that you have.

      Everybody has agreement problems, but you happen through a difficult problem you have all the right to recognize that it is difficult, independent of the fact that you throw ahead. What if is clear is that a difficult external circumstance makes very hard fight against negative beliefs on same you. Too many things are joined. If the life gives a breathing you, you have margin to fight against those beliefs that you have on same you: €œtoo much it wanders€, €œincapable€€¦ So radical beliefs usually are false. Than more incapable, you have simply not found your way. You are not vague, is that you have still not found how to motivate day to you to day.

      If you have a so negative speech on same you, it is difficult to motivate itself to study and to prove new techniques that could give an upset him to your situation. You speak of the lack of will before the incredible tochos€¦ And it is that it is really necessary to have steel brain to study in tochos! It thinks that any text book takes an immense amount of work for its content, and also for the format and the edition. Tocho done by students needs much brilliance on the part of all so that the result is better than a book. I do not doubt that there are good tochos, but I have seen some of quality doubtful, or very irregular.

      Often he gives the sensation me of which the brain becomes bored when they give all fact him, when you do not have to fight to you with a book to extract a scheme-summary done by same you, constructed to your pleasure. If tocho or manual MIR you gives it everything chewed, it is more difficult €œto enter€ the task, to enter flow. To be in flow is obtained when you are doing something difficult, but accessible for you, and you must put a effort of your part, but neither too intense nor too much it weighs. In this sense, he tries to prepare your own schemes. To some people to go to class them help, simply because the challenge to listen to concepts and to shape them on the paper is to them stimulating. That synthesis and shape in notes, although are incomplete, already supposes a learning. It thinks if it can be an option for you.

      With respect to the techniques that you use with the tochos, probably they consist mainly of rereading and emphasizing. Test to elaborate your own tocho completing your notes of class, or using a book. Test to begin a subject doing examinations exceeds she, so that the initial questions catch the curiosity on the matter. In short, you can prove different methods, without fear to that they do not work, because it is clear that the present situation, in to you which you feel as much boredom, is not better.

      In order to finish, because this is being almost more length than a normal article of the blog, how you plan the study? In mini-it guides that I wrote and I hung 2 weeks ago is the technique of the line of the time, that can be elaborated each subject and to compare in parallel to see how you can arrange the study of all.

      You can continue consulting any doubt that arises to you. A hug and I hope to continue reading you by the blog 🙂


    • Esther
      Published to 18:11 h, 26 July To respond

      Hello Lara. It was giving a stroll me by the blog of Almudena and I have not been able to avoid to feel to me totally identified with you. Nonstudy Veterinary Medicine but (I have consulted to Almudena in a situation similar to yours). So good, it is not perhaps a trustworthy opinion 100% but helps you.

      I have 26 just fulfilled and I am in veterinary medicine third party, so imagine you what ballast position to the backs. I in the future consider to make Medicine. And yes, everything seems very complicated, everything seems horrible! and I either do not appear to the examinations, profit to present me to few subjects to the year, because nonstudy the sufficient thing (I mainly relax with stupidities and with negative thoughts appellants) and when I want to put to me to study fodder that does not give time me and I do not go to the examinations. And it is an absolute error because that thought resides in the lack of confidence in one same one. And as you say is a infernal curl, ow, what I understand to you well.

      Then, the life is not perfect, and to throw to you in face time and time again that you did not do it at the time as you had is not going to remove to you from the jam, that only makes worse the situation. It dates a breathing, it analyzes where they have origin your difficulties and tries to surpass them, to your rate, is not neither too late, nor you are too old nor nothing of the sort, do not let yourself take by the simple social conventionalisms and nothing of shame, you have done it as well as possible and that never will be reason for shame. If you began medicine would be by something, by vocation, curiosity, etc. When €œthe vocation finishes€ and you begin to consider that perhaps you would have to leave it, is hour to work and search that motivation where before you had perhaps not considered and not to make lack look for it within the faculty, if beams things were that they motivate to you, surely soon you are able to remove more starting off to him for the time from study. I do not have nor idea but I understand that sensation of anguish of not knowing how to leave, and I believe that to back down or to leave if you began the race with illusion, does not have sense, since there is something, although now you do not see it, that she at the time made you decide to you by medicine. In any case, that is a decision that you can take only, and whatever, if it takings thinking about you, will be the good one.

      To consult to Almudena has been very good idea, in my case few people have known to transmit the tranquillity to me with respect to the future that needed as her.

      Much spirit and a hug to two.

      • lara
        Published to 10:35 h, 20 August To respond

        Hello Esther!

        thank you very much by your commentary, I finish reading it. I have liked much to feel to me so identified and your words. and I believe that you take reason when you say that once finished the vocation it has to make use of the effort, to remember that it deludes to us and search motivations.
        I have looked for professional help and in September certainly I can write a as positive message to you as the one that you have written, thanks really 🙂
        as much veterinary as medicine they are races with much academic load, and I am convinced that the problem is since your there are saying, lack of confidence or feeling of not being to the height€¦ Any entrance of the blog of Almudena helps, but the push that we needed to stop only introducing same ties to us we can find since you have shelp looking for the causes. I am sure that podras to surpass and listening to you with time same to make the best decision.
        Many luck!

        Gracias ALmudena for your answer, I did not say anything but it has helped me much. The law to all my surroundings and I have followed your advice. Not yet it is 100% insurance but I believe that seguire in medicine by all means and reading and commenting your blog, that to many helps us with a little complicated days.

        greetings! 🙂

        • Almudena Trinidad
          Published to 10:03 h, 23 August To respond

          Thank you very much to two to answer!

          To Esther, to collaborate in the blog with its commentary and to try to help you, because that is the attitude that I admire in any person, its intention to make better the life of others.

          To Lara, because I remained with the restlessness of knowing how this summer went to him and what decisions would have taken, since I believe that its history can help others.

          A hug 🙂

  • Manu
    Published to 15:08 h, 18 July To respond

    Hello Almudena:

    I take reading your blog from past Christmas and it enchants to me. I am student repeMIR and I would have liked to have been able to the past read your advice not only before the examination of February, but from my first year of race. Although it is certain that all we know more or less how goes the thing to study, us it is necessary that somebody as you remember us how to return to the way of the good Medicine student.

    Now, home again the preparation, I know that I can better do it thanks to your advice on planning, methods€¦ This entrance in particular has enchanted to me (thanks to share this platform of videos that, to part to set out very interesting subjects, is going to allow to me to practice something of English:)) and I am going to try to fit your advice in my day to day.

    A Almudena greeting and thanks to share all this information with us

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 20:05 h, 18 July To respond

      Thank you very much, Manu. It is a taste to share in the blog and to read your commentaries 🙂
      To eat the MIR!

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