“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t’ understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
Last Saturday, the Lululemon showroom in San Diego held a screening of the movie HAPPY. My husband, Deryk, and I decided to make it our date night activity, and we were so glad we did! Before I dive into the movie, I must first tip my hat to the San Diego Lululemon team. These gals are all smiles, super friendly and exude a zest for life (they get to live and breathe yoga while wearing stretchy pants all day at work, who wouldn’t smile about that!) They partnered up with Bouchee organic cupcakes and Fitzee Foods, to provide generous servings of yummy, healthy snacks for all attendees – thank you Lululemon and Friends! And now back to the movie…
HAPPY is an inspiring documentary that combines science, psychology and real-life stories of people from around the world to guide the audience toward a deeper understanding of how we can all live more fulfilling, healthy and happy lives. HAPPY explores 5 different continents, from the bayous of Louisiana, to the slums of Kolkata, the beaches of Brazil to the co-housing communities of Denmark. HAPPY introduces people that our society would consider poor or unfortunate, yet the film shines a light on the fundamental values that make all of these unique individuals rich with happiness.
“I feel I am not poor, but I am the richest person in the world,” says Manoj Singh, a dirt-poor rickshaw puller from Kolkata, India. His hut is near a stream of sewage and made from bamboo sticks and plastic bags. He often times only has a few bowls of rice to feed his family, yet he believes he is the luckiest man alive because he has the love of his family and camaraderie of a community.
From sake drinking, century-year-old women of Okinawa, a Texan mother of three who is disfigured for life, a humble crabber from the bayou and exuberant San Franciscans dressed in gorilla costumes, this feel-good film had me grinning from ear to ear, with tears of gratitude.
How can you become more happy? HAPPY director Roko Belic offers these simple ideas on how you can live a happier and more fulfilled life:
- Get in the flow: a state of being where you are totally immersed in an activity like yoga, gardening, painting or surfing.
- Integrate exercise daily: our brains produce a chemical called dopamine, which is essential for feelings of pleasure and happiness, and is released through physical activities like biking, dancing, tennis and volleyball.
- Build relationships: spend time with friends and family and make connections with neighbors and co-workers. These relationships enrich your life and expand your support circle.
- Focus on intrinsic goals: rather than prioritizing extrinsic goals such as money, fame and status, prioritize intrinsic values of compassion and wanting to make the world a better place.
- Be a part of something meaningful: happy people often feel they are apart of something bigger then themselves, such as a community organization, charity or spiritual affiliation.
- Act with compassion: be kind and help others, even strangers.
- Practice gratitude: take time to notice the good things in life, big and small.
Yoga, sunshine, the beach, chocolate, my husband…these are just a few things that make me happy. What makes you happy?
Peace. Love. Namaste.