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and life along the winding road

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happiness

The Happy Movie was produced by Roko Belic after years of research around the world. The opening scenes were of a man living in the slums of India with his family in a "house" that looked like a slight breeze might blow over. He talked of days where his feet were sore from the hot ground when he ran through India pulling people in a Rickshaw. He spoke of the monsoon days when the streets were flooded, but surprisingly he said he was happy. He attributed this to his children running to meet him when he arrived home in the evening and he had great neighbors and friends.

So is the key to happiness community and a sense of belonging? Although Japan has the least happy population focusing on achievements and long working hours (they even have a name for death by overwork karoshi), Okinawa has a population with longevity of over 100 years. In Okinawa they focus on community and elders treat the children as if they were their own grandchildren, an act of kindness.

Happiness is 50% genetics, 10% of circumstance and 40% of intentional behavior.

To sum it up, extrinsic values such as success, image and status do not increase happiness whereas intrinsic values do (personal growth, relationships, desire to help). The hedonic treadmill has a theory that after a bad or good experience, people return to a state of neutrality. Once our basic needs are met the increase in wealth has little effect on happiness.

Roko Belic's list for happiness:

  1. Practice gratitude - write a list each week of things you are grateful for.
  2. Community and friends - spend time with friends and family. When we are part of a community it makes people switch from thinking what they don't have to what they do have.
  3. Focus - completely immerse yourself in an activity or hobby. Live in the moment.
  4. Be a part of something offering meaning (volunteer for a good cause)
  5. Act with compassion - Do something for others.
  6. Exercise - increase dopamine by exercising (aerobic)


4 comments:

Carole Anne Carr said...

An excellent list, especially the first.

Mason Canyon said...

Indeed a great list. Sometime we forget the simple things in life that really bring happiness.

Joanne said...

this is an excellent post. It's a bit like airconditioning - before it was invented, folks lived just fine - used fans, sat on wide porches, etc. Very happy. Now that we have airconditioning - if we go someplace without it, we complain. I think a lot of happy is being content with your surroundings.

K9friend said...

Someone once said we're about as happy as we make our minds up to be. So true!

Pat
Critter Alley