So today as I was procrastiscrolling (scrolling aimlessly trying to pick something to watch to avoid doing chores) through Netflix, I came across a documentary called ‘Happy’.. and because I LOVE learning about people, science and all things psych-related, I started watching and am SO glad that I did 🙂
I was so intrigued by what I learned that I started jotting down notes and thought why not share a summarised version with my blogging world (of 15 people lol).
You may have heard of it before, but Dopamine is basically the body’s ‘happy drug’ 🙂 .. it’s released whenever we experience joy, and stimulating it significantly improves our mood.
The great news is that basically, the magical stuff is released in bucketloads when we exercise 🙂 particularly when we play a sport that we love or try novel activities that get our blood pumping. And I love this! Because sweating it out inside a smelly gym while watching the time crawl by at sloth pace pains me more than you know.
This is my first time hearing about Flow and was probably THE most interesting thing I learned.. and no it has nothing to do with that time of the month.
Flow is pretty much a term coined by some professor/scientist dude with a name way too long to even try spelling. It describes the experience you have when you’re ‘in the zone’. Be it painting or singing or cooking or even working/studying… it’s that feeling of control and rhythm while you make progress in whatever it is that you have immersed yourself in.
I don’t know about you, but even just thinking about it makes me feel really really excited!
Definitely gonna be finding me some more flow 😉
3. Recovery from adversity
Happy people don’t avoid adversary… they also don’t ignore or pretend it’s not there. The truth is, that everyone will experience adversity and pain at some point in their lives. But it’s the speed at which you recover from it that differentiates happy from unhappy in the long run.
Simply put, happy people recover from adversity more quickly..
4. Wealth ≠ Happiness
This one is pretty self-explanatory and really well documented! While the difference in wealth between a homeless person and average working-class citizen has significant impacts on happiness.. any wealth acquired beyond that which provides our basic human needs, doesn’t actually do all that much more for our happiness.
Ok fine, for the sake of science, here’s some legit data:
5. Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic goals
People who pursue extrinsic goals such as money, fame, attractiveness etc. all end up experiencing lower long-term satisfaction and wellbeing when compared to individuals who seek to fulfil intrinsic goals. These include things such as personal growth, wanting to help others, self-acceptance etc.
Moral of the story is – do what you do because YOU choose to.
So apparently when you put a whole bunch of people together and give them the opportunity to either cooperate or compete, they choose cooperation 🙂
Unfortunately, society doesn’t always join the cooperation bandwagon and has left many of us feeling like we need to be ‘as pretty/wealthy/smart as’ or even ‘better than’ this or that person.
At the end of the day though, we’re all encompassed in the same sphere, tanning under the same sun and sharing the same air.. clearly we weren’t meant to be alone. So it makes sense that cooperation and community breeds a natural sense of happiness.
So let’s just all be friends 🙂
Having compassion can make you feel happier, even if you’re not actually acting compassionately! It’s called compassion meditation – and while I don’t know anything about it, studies show that it activates areas of the brain which ultimately lead to empathy and can play a role in increasing happiness and reducing depression.
‘Clothe yourselves with compassion.’ Colossians 3:12
Now go find someone to hug ❤
8. Acts of Kindness
This is probably one of the most obvious sources of happiness.. I mean we’ve all done something completely random for someone or had a crazy idea out of nowhere and followed through right? And who doesn’t feel this incomparable sense of joy and fulfilment afterwards? Even if no one knew it was you?
I wanna chase that feeling 🙂
This reminds me of one of the most powerful verses I’ve come across.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
I read this verse on my 21st birthday and resolved to live by it for that year – while admittedly over time I forgot about it.. in the time that I did this, I honestly experienced unparalleled joy and contentment. Because as paradoxical as it seems, the more you give, the more you really do receive ❤
I’m off to start a new years resolution list 🙂