Category Archives: Resource

Happy 2013!!!

So, I’m not sure about you, but I decided that 2013 is going to be the best year of my life (so far).

And you may be thinking: you can’t control that. But as a matter of fact, you can!

Small tips to enhance your mood this year:

1) think positively. Your thoughts create paths in your brain, the more positive you think, the easier it will be to keep it. The contrary also happens.

2) Smile often. If you keep smiling, your brain will believe you’re happy and will produce more endorphin and you’ll actually feel better indeed.

3) Don’t be afraid of changes. Trying different things also helps. It can be a new class or a different path to work. You’ll never know what can happen when you’re open to new opportunities.

4) Move your thing. Exercises are always good for your mood. Even when you don’t think so.

5) Practice gratitude. There are so many good things happening to your life everyday. Try to focus on those things instead the bad ones.

6) We’re all fools here. Don’t take yourself too serious. Life only happens once.

And, for those that like diagrams, like me, I created the Mood Calendar! It’s simple: you daily draw the face that represents your mood on the white box below the numbers, and by the end of the year you will check how was your progress. Yes, I’m very determined in making this year LEGENDARY!

Save it and Print it and Use it!

 

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!

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.

Tip of the day: Laugh more!

It’s in NY TIMES today: The act of laughing releases a lot of endorphins and make you feel much better all day long!

For those who don’t have patience to go through all the article (everybody has work to do, right!?), this is a brief sumup:

I always associated the good feeling promoted by laughing to something psychological. Like, if you think in positively, you’ll act positively too. But it turns out, that it has much more to do to the endorphins released by the physical exercise. Have you never laughed so much it hurted?

read more »

When kindness can lead you to jail

Last year I read an interesting news and I still couldn’t take it out from my head:

This man called Jonathan Schoenakase, from Illinois, USA, had a great friend who died on a car accident just because he was driving while he was drunk. Since then, Jonathan decided to provide free rides to people from his community in order to avoid more accidents like this.

It happens that, for understandable reasons, his attitude was bothering cab drivers and even the mayor of his city, so he ended up at the jail and had to close his service.

 

It just made me wonder that sometimes, people may not be kind because they might be afraid of the way they’re going to be returned. And also, that a society where people could just act according to their good will would be a much better place to live.

Here in Rio we’re having a social war between the police and the drug dealers, and who is suffering with this are the citizens. I’m seriously thinking about addressing this issue in my next intervention, just wait and see…

And that’s how beautiful my city is, except for the violence… : /

The Gift Economy in Practice

In order to develop my projects, I’ve been researching a lot about “The Gift Theory“. Apparently, there are some societies where the big part of the economy is based on spontaneous exchange of goods and services which are performed without any specific reward in mind. But, since it’s part of the culture, those gifts are always circulating. Is that old story of what goes around comes around, but within specific cases.

The interesting part of it is that, if you receive a gift, you’re supposed to spend it, because in case you use it to generate profits, you’re ruining the chain. The same way that if you return a favor directly to the person who gave it to you, you’re not creating a chain either. The idea is always to expand the gifts the most you can.

So, this whole introduction was to describe a particular situation that happened to me and made me very happy: every week I go to Le Pain Quotidien to have lunch. In fact, I go so much that the waiters already know by heart what I want (I don’t vary either). Last time, however, I skipped my favorite part: the mini brownie for dessert, because I was starting another diet that I wouldn’t follow.

When I was already paying the bill, the waitress left a mini-brownie on my table and said: – This is for you! She completely made my day! And it made me think that maybe my chocolates for help/ free coffee are returning to me, but in a much better way! Isn’t it wonderful? Time to think for the next intervention, then…

Why “Thank You” Is More Than Just Good Manners

I just read this interesting article about the effects of gratitude in our welfare. Maybe I could do my next intervention with that in mind. Sometimes it seams to be a superfluous expression around here!

Why “Thank You” Is More Than Just Good Manners.