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Must-See: Happy

2013 November 2


As I mentioned, we were surfing Netflix the other night and came across “Happy,” a documentary about…well, happiness.

And how it manifests in different cultures and among various people around the world from the slums of India to the country roads of Louisiana. And most importantly, how you can find more of it in your own life.

I wrote about finding my happy a while back and though every day hasn’t been filled with sunshine and unicorns in the year since, I think the quest to live a more fulfilled, optimistic, positive life has definitely been working out for me. Except on PMS days…those are just a lost cause. I have tried.

I believe that even the most pessimistic-by-nature personalities like mine can find happiness, choose to embrace life from a happier place and in general, be happy more days than not. No matter what life hands us.

It turns out, I am right.

I took two very important things away from this movie:

1) You can control your happiness level! It’s all you, baby. Well, most of it. They claim that science shows that our happiness levels are influenced by three key things:

50 percent of it is genetics. Is your mom miserable? Grandpa a little grouchy? Those things will impact you and your happiness levels. But keep reading…it’s not hopeless!

Only 10 percent of it is what they call “circumstances. This means income, social status, health, what kind of car you drive, where you go on vacation, whether or not you’re skinny – the things we typically equate with happiness in our daily lives only really impact 10 percent of our happy factor. Ten percent! That basically equals nothing! So go have a donut, already!

So here’s the good news: the remaining 40 percent? Intentional activity. What you choose to believe. How you choose to think. How you choose to feel. Grouchy grandpa may be screwing you with genetics, but you still have a huge amount of control over your own mood, disposition and happiness level – if you TAKE control of it.

2) The next big takeaway for me was the five building blocks to happiness (in no particular order):

Play – physical activity, mental activity, fun. Getting out there and doing fun, frivolous, playful things – whatever they may be – has a direct impact on your happiness level.

Friends and family – surrounding yourself with happy people. This is tough. We can’t choose our siblings or our parents. But if you focus on spending a little more time on the relationships in life that bring you a sense of joy, you may find more patience in your new happy existence to deal with the not so joyful ones more peacefully.

Doing meaningful things – volunteering, donating, sharing. Doing things that have a solid impact on the world around you, your community, your family – all have an impact on your happiness.

New experiences – I am a big proponent of change so this one made me very happy (get it?). Try a new coffee shop, switch jobs, move across the country. You don’t like it? Move back. But it’s always worth trying.

Appreciating what we have – and when you do find a home or a coffee shop or a new friend that you love? Be thankful for it. Appreciate it. Take a moment here and there to look around and be grateful for everything you do have, without giving a second thought to everything that’s still on your wish list. That wish list will always be there. Happiness isn’t. You have to work for it. After all, you don’t want to be someone’s grouchy grandma some day.

You can watch “Happy” on Netflix streaming or learn more about it here*.

Have a great Saturday!

*not a sponsored post in any way, just an inspired one

**Be Happy print above by Sugar Paper LA

2 Responses leave one →
  1. November 4, 2013

    What a great post to read this Monday Morning!!! Thank you so much for sharing, I am definitely adding “Happy” to our what to watch list. Have a Fabulously “Happy” Monday!

  2. Liz Duncan permalink
    November 4, 2013

    I’ll have to watch! Thanks for the post. It all hit close to home.

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