Saturday, Feb 11 was World Happy Day in honor of the documentary The Happy Movie. I was lucky enough to attend a free screening and it did not disappoint. I left feeling upbeat, hopefully and full of ideas about how to continue cultivating happy in my own life!
While 50% of our happiness is genetically determined there is still a lot we can do. Here are some of the key takeaways.
While the person with $5 will be happier with $50,000 because it ensures they have the basics for life…after that happiness really doesn’t greatly change; so the continued pursuit is not going to improve your life.
Countries like Japan that are intensely focused on development are some of the unhappiest ( this list includes America) and they now have created a word for people who work themselves to death “karoshi”. Don't work your life away.
The Happy Movie points to community, connections, caring and doing for others as key mainstays to a happy life. When I was going through a tough time this summer and eventually was able to open up about being depressed, I believe my sense of isolation contributed greatly to that feeling. I think being an only child it is easy for me to draw in to myself, but I am truly happiest when I’m connected to others so this was my key takeaway from the movie! I am going to consistently work on this.
I’ve seen a lot of studies on mediation, but it’s always amazing to see how it truly effects the brain! You really can be calmer, happier and live longer by taking up meditation. The movie showed one segment specifically on a budhist meditation for lovingkindness (yes one word). “Buddhist theory teaches, and practice demonstrates, that happiness comes from empathizing with others and from seeing their wellbeing and their suffering as being important as our own.” – From Wildmind.org.
What are you doing today to be a little happier?