Review II Happy Documentary
I happened upon this doco title whilst searching Netflix recently and couldn’t resist giving it a watch. I recently completed a short course in Happiness, so figured the doco would be right up my alley…... I wasn’t disappointed.
I feel like people might roll their eyes at that one, ‘a course in happiness, that’s weird/woo woo/ um a waste of time’ but when you ask people what they want in life, most of them reply ‘to be happy'.
So why is it that we don’t invest some time and energy into understanding how to create more happiness in our own lives? We humans are so bizarre.
Any way, here are my key takeaways from the doco …
1. 50% of our happiness is genetic! We all have a genetic set point for happiness. This is a point on our emotional gauge that we are born with, it’s the reason some people are generally more positive and enjoy a sunny outlook on life, whilst others are more of the glass half empty variety. It all makes so much sense now! We don’t have control over this….UNTIL we become AWARE of it.
So don’t be discouraged if you realise your natural set point for happiness is generally a little low, all it means is that you may require a bit more mindset work than others. Try to actively increase that set point every day and before you know it, the general feeling of happiness will become more apparent in your life. Think of it like a muscle, you can strengthen it over time. Basically it’s use it or lose it!
2. 10% of our happiness is external circumstance Yep, only 10% of our happiness comes from things external to us. Like circumstances, events, people and things that we do not have control over. Have you noticed how we either celebrate or blame the things around us as having so much influence on our happiness, well turns out those things out of our control don’t really make too much difference at all.
3. 40% of our happiness is developed through intentional activity or as I like to sum it up, how we use our time......see what I did there :)
Now when it comes to money and material possessions a lot of people are chasing extrinsic goals, we want the nice car, the good outfits and the image and status that come along with having these things. The studies show that these types of goals, even when we reach them, don’t keep us happy for long. The joy is very short lived, and we’re ready for the next ‘thing’ to fill that void and make us ‘happy’ again.
We seem to end up in that constant cycle of ‘I’ll be happy when…’ we all know that one right?
On the flip side, when we chase intrinsic goals, we start to really jump on the happy train, things like personal growth, purpose, creating loving relationships and so on. People who actively spend their time and energy pursuing these types of goals are simply happier.
Whilst watching the doco I was super HAPPY to realise that a lot of the things the doco recommended to create more happiness in life were exactly aligned with The Life Spectrum philosophy my good friend Sophie and I have been developing and sharing via this website.
We believe in spending time on your Mind, Body, Soul, Purpose and Connections is the key to a balanced and fulfilled life, and what do you know…. it seems the experts agree!
Here are some of the tips they shared in the doco and how they align with our philosophy:
Mind: Getting your mindset right to increase that internal emotional set point
Body: Engaging in physical exercise and maintaining your health. It’s hard to enjoy true happiness if you’re feeling sick, tired or like your body can’t keep up.
Soul: Practicing of faith, maintaining a connection/spiritually to something greater than you (but always in a way that is accepting of others and their beliefs)
Purpose: Finding ‘flow’… those moments when you are doing something that makes you forgot about everything else. This is where you hobbies, creativity and passions come out to play.
Connection: There are countless studies that show people who live in communities and create connections across mixed generations and co-living have much higher reported rates of happiness. Acts of compassion and kindness to others can only lead to more happiness.
So now that you know these simple things, don’t just go about life chasing that elusive feeling of happiness and wondering why it keeps avoiding you.
Use your time and energy to create more happiness for yourself! You are in control my friend, get out there and get you some happy!