Wednesday, March 6, 2013
"In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer." Albert Camus
Last Saturday I attended an international film festival at the university in the city where I live.What you can see with a four-year old child is limited, but we managed to watch two documentaries. One of them was called "Happy".
Seeing this documentary confirmed my ideas on happiness. Let me share with you some of the most important points:
-Once the basic needs are covered studies found that more money will not make people happy.
-Those who associate happiness with money and material possessions are less happy than people who associate happiness with family, friends and things they like to do.
-Forty percent of our happiness depends on our genes. People under the same circumstances will have different levels of happiness.
-Studies showed that when people help each other, there is a release of chemicals in the blood that are associated with feeling happy (endorphines, dopamine, oxytocin). On the other hand, when people compete they feel stressed.
-People feel happy when they are "in their zone", which means that they are engrossed in doing something they love to do; during this time, they let go of worries and anxiety.
-Exercising and having fun make people happy. Again, this is associated with the release of brain chemicals I mentioned above.
Happiness is not a complicated emotion to me. Being with my daughter, helping others, doing things I love, looking at the sunset, staring at the naked branches of the trees in winter, being in touch with nature are some of the many things that make me happy.
This doesn't mean that I never feel sad, anxious or worried, but I think my happiness has to do with a sense of gratitude. It has to do with embracing the present without fretting over the future...
What makes you happy?