What I Love… The Happy Movie

I saw an incredible documentary this week which made me think a lot about my life, my relationships and my attitude.  This movie was called Happy. At the beginning it tells us that 50% of our happiness is determined by our genetics and that only 10% comes from things like our job and material goods. But what about the other 40%? Well those are things which we choose to do to make ourselves happy. That is a lot of happiness we create! What sorts of things did they recommend: exercise, socializing, trying new things, helping others and collaboration. Apparently, we are hard wired to enjoy collaboration as it was essential to ensure survival thousands of years ago.

After hearing these things, I realized when I am the most unhappy I am doing the same things over and over again, not getting out and socializing with people, and not exercising. These are such easy, small fixes. It’s easy to pick up the phone and call a friend to grab coffee. It’s easy to get up an extra half hour early to go for a run (in my case, not so easy sometimes, but I’m really starting to love mornings and will be incorporating that into my life). Most of these things are even free or can be inexpensive.

I was not too surprised that change could actually increases happiness. I think many of us are change averse, including me, even though, change can bring new challenges, new opportunities for growth, and new found passions and even friends. Change is not bad, it is good for us. I do know that I love trying new things because I can’t help but smile when I do and usually can laugh at myself if I’m not that great. The hard part for me is getting motivated to get out and try new things. Why is that I wonder? I think sometimes I’m afraid of failure or not being good at something, but I’m going to commit to myself to not allow that to hold me back when I want to do something. Nobody is awesome when they try something new for the first time. It’s all a learning process. I know that when I try new things, I am happier and I end up enjoying it.

This movie even gave me ideas on how I want to build stronger, healthier, happier relationships with my family and someday, in the future, whoever I end up with. I think instead of just spending time with them, which is always nice, I’m going to ensure that there is a little change involved to our routines, a little more collaborative projects, a little more fun and play. I’m already thinking about starting a blog with my sisters, something they have agreed to but we haven’t done just yet. I think there is a lot to say about having individual success, but I find it very rewarding when that success includes more people.

With winter just around the corner, I have this fear that when I start hibernating, as I always do once the winter brings the cold, cloudy rainy days, that I’m going to become unhappy and moody again. One of the most important lessons I learned this year, is that I can’t rely on others to make me happy. I bring my own happiness and that is why I have had the summer of my life. Not only did I surround myself with people that I love and things that I love, but I made sure to do the little things like laying in the sun, writing, or meditating. I might have done some of those alone, but they made me much happier and pleasant to be around.

One of my favorite quotes is “Funny thing about joy, is that you only really find it when you are too busy having fun to go looking for it.” I don’t know who said it, but it was on a birthday card my mother gave to me and I proudly display that card as a reminder that I create my happiness.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone – even if you are already happy. For more information about this movie, check out their website at: http://www.thehappymovie.com/film/

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2 Comments to “What I Love… The Happy Movie”

  1. There is a great book that touches a lot on this, and what the science says. It’s called 59 Seconds, by Richard Wiseman. You might check it out!

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