Author Archives: isa

Smile and be grateful, 5 minutes per day

It sounds as a cliche, but in fact, one of the key factors for feeling happy, is being grateful. Focus on everything that you have and you like, and all those things that went well, instead of spending your time thinking about what is going wrong in your life.

Also, our brain sometimes likes to be tricked. Every time we smile and act happy, it starts believing that we really are and starts producing more dopamine to make us feel even better.

So I decided to put these two thoughts together and try one new thing in my life: Every day I wake up, and I spend my first five minutes thinking of everything that I’m grateful for. It can be a dessert I had last night, as well as people I’ve met and became important to me. I close my eyes and I smile while I’m thinking about it.

I set the alarm and the time flies by while I’m doing that. The five minutes are gone but, somehow, I’m still smiling inside!

Happy: the movie

I just watched Happy, the movie. I’m feeling so inspired that I want to share some of the things I learned!

First, what I found most interesting is that a lot of people attribute happiness to the current circumstances of their lives. For example, their social status, relationship or jobs. However, those only define 10% of your ‘happy level’. 40% of how you feel is a consequence of conscious actions you take everyday, like playing, changing routines, doing something good for you and the others. The other 50% can be found on your genes.

Second, as social beings, we need interaction. Collaborating with others is one of the key factors to release dopamine in your brain and, therefore, make you feel better. Denmark was considered one of the happiest countries and, one of the reasons for that, is the abundance of cohousing communities. In those buildings, everyone gets to help each other and, by doing that, they have more time to spend with what really matters.

Bhutan, which is a country you usually don’t hear much about, even created the Gross National Happiness as a goal to pursue and evaluate the quality of the govern. It’s a poor country, but when you compare it to Japan, which has a high Gross National Product, the bhutanese are considered way happier and satisfied.

If you’re determined to be a happier person, another thing that helps, is being so immersed in something that you love doing, that you actually feel complete every time you’re doing it.  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this state as ‘FLOW’. Surfing and Rock Climbing are good examples for that.

So, no more excuses, go shake your bone and find yourself new things to do that will make you the happiest person on earth!

Black Tie on the Beach – LA style

So, after taking my pants off and riding the subway, I decided it was time for a change.

The latest Improveverywhere mission was Black Tie on the Beach. The title is self explanatory, you just have to go to the beach, do stuff you do on the beach, except this time you will be wearing a Black Tie Outfit. No big deal.

It’s big in NY. Well, at least, it looks big on the videos. But now I live in LA, and made sure to check if there was a version going on here.

According to the Facebook event, 40 people were confirmed. We can make a party with 40, I thought. So I convinced my friend to go with me. Convince is maybe a strong term. I just said the words: ‘Black Tie’ and ‘Beach’ and the next thing I know, he was wearing a legit Scottish quilt and ready to go to Hermosa.

I recently read an article telling that usually only 25% of people confirmed on Facebook actually go to the events. I think they were being optimistic. At least in this case, the only two people dressed up in the entire Hermosa Beach was him and I. And man, we did search.

But I can’t say we didn’t have fun:


Photos by: visualnitro.com

Chocolate + kindness = THE BEST THING EVER

If you’re here at this website, you’re probably already noticed that I’m interested in positive psychology and do believe that kinder people are happier and contribute to a better society.

What you might not now, is that, for me, nothing substitutes chocolate. I know a lot of people say they’re chocaholics, but in my case, is different. I literally can’t spend more than 24h without eating a piece. Is my only, and therefore very serious, addiction.

So can you imagine a store where you can buy chocolates with kindness? It would be like heaven for me. The only difference, is that this the store is for real.

The danish chocolate company Anthon Berg, with the help of the agency Robert/Boisen & Like Minded, created the Generous Store. For a day, they ‘sold’ chocolate, but not for money. Instead of that, they were demanding good deeds in return. People would pick up the chocolate and then they would post on Facebook when the promise finally became an action.

Check it out:

Take a Smile

Hello you that still comes here!

I want to thank you your loyalty and for that, I have a gift for you.

I found this on Facebook and thought it was one of the best things ever:

It's from takeasmile.org

I liked it so much that I had to create one myself and exhibit it at work.

And now you can download it and have smiles of your own to spread!

by Isadora Dantas

 

 

Keep Smiling

I have already wrote a lot about the benefits of being a kinder and happier person. I also pointed out that one of the reasons why is good for you to smile, is that when you mimic a positive feeling, your brain starts to assume that you’re in a good humor and you not only feel better, but you also inspire the people around you to smile.

Now I just come across this TED talk:

and I found out that smiling also makes you look GOOD in the eyes of other people. Not only that, they also assume that you’re more competent and reliable. But the funniest part for me, is when Ron Gutman compares the power of smiling to the amount of chocolate you eat. Well, smiling how I smile and eating chocolate the way I eat… no wonder why I’m so happy!

Lovely poster by Susana Parada.

Refresh Everything – let’s vote

IsA Wonderful World is one of the finalists to receive a grand from Pepsi and change the communities in USA.

Our plan is to spend three months traveling all USA and make interventions in at least thirty different cities.

You can find some examples of the interventions we’ll make here.

Or watch this 1min video that describes our main proposal:

If you like the idea and want to help us bringing more joy and break the routine of big cities, please visit the Refresh Everything site and vote on our idea!

Umbrella tree

I’m not sure where it came from, but it made me instantaneously happy just to look at it:

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More smiles!

Just came across this video:

Because usually, the most effective ideas are the simplest ones!

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Best way to celebrate a birthday

You probably already know Lucas Jatobá, the guy who spread colorful balloons around Barcelona. In this post I had described it as the perfect way to say goodbye! Well, the good thing about amazing people is that they never stop being amazing. And now Lucas surprises us once more by showing what is the best way to celebrate a birthday: yes, it has to do with gifts, but in this case, to other people besides you!
 

30 gifts to 30 strangers in Sydney from Lucas Jatoba on Vimeo.

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