7 ways to happiness…just choose 1 and get started

7 ways to happiness…just choose 1 and get started

Here's a great article from Forbes.com to get your Monday and your week off to a happy and positive start…

Manoj Singh, a rickshaw driver living in the slums of Kolkata, India, calls himself happy and his life good. His makeshift, one-room home protected by a plastic tarp may be a struggle during monsoon season but is otherwise wonderful because it has a window and nice airflow. His neighbors are his friends. His son, who waits for him to return home each day, and his baby daughter’s face regularly fill him with joy. “I feel that I am not poor because I am the richest person,” he says. “Sometimes we eat only rice with salt, but still we are happy.”

Singh’s story is the opening of new documentary Happy, which explores the science of happiness and its prevalence across cultures. Director Roko Belic shot over 400 hours of footage all over the world—from the swamps of Louisiana to co-ops in Denmark and the streets of Japan—to explore what really makes people happy. The film has won numerous awards in nations like Mexico, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and the U.S., and tomorrow it will screen in 200 cities in 30 countries for an effort the producers have dubbed World Happy Day.

Six years in the making, the film is full of insight from happiness researchers, positive psychologists and real people from every demographic, all asking the question: What lies at the core of a human being’s happiness? I spoke with Belic to find out what he learned.

Practice Happiness

Scientists believe that 50% of our happiness is controlled by our genes, which is known as the happiness set point. Meanwhile, just 10% is based on the circumstances of our lives: status, money, career and the objects we surround ourselves with. The remaining 40% is believed to be subject to intentional behavior and choices. “When I started this, I thought 95% was genetic—you’re either born grumpy or finding the silver lining,” says Belic. “I know now that happiness is within our control. That’s inspiring.” Think of happiness like any other skill that can be developed.

Keep Moving

If happiness is intentional, you’ll have more if you, quite literally, exercise it. “Physical exercise is like medicine,” says Belic. The movie follows several people who’ve discovered the happiness chemical induced by physical activity. Tanned and toned, one man gushes that surfing keeps him young, while a middle-aged woman says she gardens because she loves to sweat. Moreover, losing yourself in an activity or hobby that gives you great joy, something psychologists have called “flow,” boosts happiness and fulfillment.

Invest In Your Community

Having a sense of community and positive social relationships may be one of the best influencers of happiness. Belic takes viewers to the island of Okinawa, Japan, home to the largest concentration of centenarians per capita in the world. A chipper 106-year-old woman explains that in their community they work hard, all look after the children, get together frequently with peers to talk and gather cross-generationally to listen and dance to the island’s one musical group. The mantra in Okinawa: We’re here for each other…

…keep reading the rest of the ways to happiness and the full and original article HERE

Then get started; you don't have to do all of this right away. One of the "secrets" to happiness is just doing something, almost anything, that will boost your mood because that will then motivate and energise you to engage in other positive and constructive activities.