I watched a movie on Netflix yesterday called “Happy.” It is a shortish ~70 minute documentary which blends the current research on what makes people happy with heart warming human interest stories. Research has found 50% of our happiness is genetic and that we return to a range of happiness within “our genetic set point.” A mere 10% of happiness is determined by our job, our economic status, our social status and our health. A whopping 40% is determined by intentional activity and behavior that we choose.
This is a Sunday morning “feeling” movie. I’ve shared a short movie trailer below. If you haven’t seen it, I would encourage you to do so. No pun intended, but it puts you in a happy place.
I came upon a post on a widely followed blog I follow called Barking Up The Wrong Tree. The post is titled What Ten Things Should You Do Everyday To Improve Your Life and it summarizes many of the key recommendations in this documentary. I have included key excerpts below:
- Get out in nature (Reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory, may even make you a better person)
- Exercise (Makes you smarter, happier, improves sleep, makes you feel better about your better)
- Spend time with friends and family (one of biggest sources of happiness; not feeling socially connected can lead to illness or worse; important to a long life; Want to be instantly happier? Do something kind for them.)
- Express gratitude (it will make you happier; it will improve relationships; it will make you a better person; it will make life better for everyone around you)
- Meditate (increases happiness; increases meaning in life; increases attention space; reduces anger, anxiety, depression and fatigue)
- Get enough sleep (Can’t cheap yourself on sleep and not have it affect you; without sleep, it is harder to be happy; more likely to get sick and behave unethically; with sleep your decision making improves and it increases alertness and performance and learning ability.)
- Challenge yourself (Learn another language can keep your mind sharp. Music lessons increase intelligence. Challenging belief strengthens your mind. Increasing willpower just takes a little effort each day and it’s more responsible for your success than IQ. Not getting an education or taking advantage of opportunities are 2 things that people look back and regret most.)
- Laugh (People who laugh have better immune systems, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke and live longer)
- Touch someone (Touching can reduce stress, improve team performance, help you be more persuasive.)
- Be optimistic (Can make you healthier, happier and extend your life. Army believes it increases mental toughness. Being overconfident improves performance)