Come on, Get HAPPY

I just watched The Happy Movie andI highly, highly recommend it. Here’s a few facts, tidbits, quotes, perspectives, and words of wisdom learned from this captivation of global happiness.

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  • “The Constitution only guarantees the American People the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” –Benjamin Franklin
  • Positive Psychology (the study of happiness) became the most popular class at Harvard.
  • Genetics determine 50% of happiness, circumstances determine 10%, and intentions determine the remaining 40%. Set intentions.
  • Dopamine naturally starts depleting after our teen years; however, positive experiences (like exercise, socialization, and love) produce dopamine in the body.
  • Tangible goods produce fleeting happiness; compassion produces long-term contentment.
  • We always have a choice to be happy, or not. When it rains, we can either hide or embrace it.
  • There is no such thing as pleasure without pain. Both are necessary to be happy.
  • While the United State’s economic growth has doubled, our happiness level as a nation has remained static.
  • The top consistency among happy people, both individually, and as a culture, seems to be a close, supportive family and friends.
  • Japan has been deemed the least happy nation due to stress. Japanese people have died from forcing themselves to be more efficient. Japan actually has a name for this, when the person’s heart just stops, due to nothing but exhaustion, is “Karoshi.”
  • Denmark has been labeled the happiest country. Danish citizens not only receive free education and healthcare, but also tend to co-habitate; numerous families will reside in small homes or apartments close together, decreasing solitude. There is always someone there to share conversation, a meal, and even pain. Families save time and money by sharing chores and benefits and there is constant socialization among all ages.
  • Instead of looking at society selfishly and thinking “what does he/she have that I don’t?” if we think “what do I have that I can give to others?” we would all constantly help each other and the world would be a better place. That is true community.
  • Fundamentalists, who build their life mission on hate and segregation, are proven less happy.
  • People live longest on Okinawa Island, the only part of Japan known for happiness. Community is the center of the culture. Citizens shared their secrets to longevity: hard work, lots of sleep, sweat, neighborly love, no harm to others, and…sake. They even bury people in one communal coffin to allow for infinite connection.
  • When humans are given the choice to choose competition or cooperation, we almost always choose cooperation. We find cooperation intrinsically rewarding.
  • One uniquely happy Bushmen tribe values each member’s individual wellbeing as one. When one member of the tribe is sick, the whole tribe unites for group-healing. One member explains: “being together, that’s what makes us happy. To laugh is very important.”
  • Compassion is part of our genetic makeup; it’s in our blood.
  • Intention can physically change your brain. Gratitude and acts of kindness have been proven to boost happiness on a cellular level. Happiness can be seen as a skill we must practice often.
  • Lifting others spirits makes life meaningful.
  • The formula for happiness = play + new experiences + friends and family + meaning + appreciation. All of which are free. Things we can all have.
  • The more happiness you have, the more everyone has.

One Healthy Breakdown: Watch The Happy Movie. Practice happiness. Every single day.