Tag Archives: happy

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!

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.