“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
― Groucho Marx
HAPPY – The Movie tells us in no uncertain terms that Happiness is within our grasp.
While 50% of our level of happiness is genetic, only 10% is attributed to circumstances (like income, health or the number of shoes in our closet). The other 40% is up to us: what we do, how we think and our intentions to be happy.
HAPPY is uplifting and insightful. It asserts that we can actually re-wire our brains, altering its structure and function, by engaging in some simple activities. And that happiness is a choice that everyone can make, everyday. The movie outlines several ways to be happier:
- Simple Meditation Practices (*see info below about the Compassion Meditation)
- Physical activity, especially that which gets us “in the flow” and unaware of our surroundings, can contribute to chronic happiness
- Other activities which get us “in the flow” – like playing music, doing something we love
- Being of service
- Community, being with friends, and of course, Love
This information is consistent with Martin Seligman’s findings:
Seligman’s Five Elements of Well-Being (PERMA):
- Positive Emotions (P) – Feeling positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love.
- Engagement (E) – Being fully absorbed in activities that use your skills and challenge you. (Flow)
- Relationships (R) – Having positive relationships is a universal requirement to well-being. (Community)
- Meaning (M) – Belonging to and serving something you believe is bigger than yourself. (Service and Helping others)
- Accomplishment (A) – Pursuing success, winning, achievement and mastery for their own sake. (Gratitude)
Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is a renowned neuroscientist and one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of contemplative practices, such as meditation, on the brain. He is the founder and chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in studying emotion and the brain. A friend and confidante of the Dalai Lama, he is a highly sought after expert and speaker internationally. Time magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world.
The same meditation practice used in these studies is offered by CIHM online, free of charge. So it’s even easier to choose happiness!
If you haven’t seen the movie, please take the time to watch it. In my opinion, it is nothing less than life-altering!
Please let me know if you’ve seen HAPPY, and if so, what you thought of it. And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.