Gettin' Happy

We recently had a screening of the movie Happy in the studio. Really great movie and I highly recommend it to all! Some of the things that I found most fascinating are these:

- 50% of a person's happiness is genetic! What?? I had always believed that we were solely in charge of our own destinies, but it turns out that some people are pre-disposed to be unhappy. But don't despair, there are plenty of things that you can do to turn it around!

- Only 10% of a person's happiness is determined by external factors such as wealth & social status. In fact, they say that once all basic necessities of life are taken care of such as food, water, shelter, the greater wealth you accumulate has little to no baring on whether or not you will be happy in life. The movie cites a stat that says that the difference in happiness between someone who makes $5000 a year and $50,000 a year is exponential, but there is no difference in happiness between someone that makes $50,000 and $50 Million.

- A full 40% of a person's happiness is determined by what a person intentional does in life, how they decide to spend their days and how they think about things. It other words, is completely determined to you.

- Want to be happier? The happiness researchers in the movie suggest 4 things -

1. Exercise regularly - it increases dopamine in the brain and highly contributes to feeling happy.

2. Invest in your community. Again, when people collaborate with one another (on anything positive) and help each other, dopamine secretions skyrocket in the brain! Just getting out, talking with people and being involved in your community can create a feeling similar to a drug-induced euphoria!

3. Meditation - The simple act of turning inward and training your mind to calm down and reflect can leave you with feelings of contentment and general well-being.

4. Finally, there are small things that you can do everyday to increase your overall life happiness - naming one thing that you are grateful for everyday, committing a 'random act of kindness' - like helping an elderly person across the street, feeding an expired parking meter or picking up your neighbor's mail.

So here's to gettin' HAPPY.