It's an age-old question: What do you want most in life? The majority of people would say they want to be happy. Although you can't control your genetic makeup, there are still things you can do each day to foster your own happiness. If you haven't watched Happy yet, you need to add this documentary to your Netflix Watch Instantly queue. This moving film features people from all around the world and how they find meaning in life.
Inspired by the documentary, we rounded up nine ways you can become happier today. We are all in the pursuit of happiness — read our list below to actually make it happen!
1. Find Your Flow
Whether you like to rock climb, play piano, or practice yoga, find something you enjoy to help you experience flow. Flow is when you are in the zone, or lost in what you're doing. Ronaldo Fadul, a free spirit from Brazil, talks about how he finds his flow through surfing. Riding the waves allows him be present and keeps him from worrying about the small stuff.
2. Serve Others
In Kolkata, India, Mother Teresa's Home For the Destitute and Dying helps hundreds of those who are less fortunate. In Happy, one man tells his story about how he left his corporate job to volunteer at this center. He finds meaning serving others and letting them know that they are loved. When you help those who are less fortunate than you, you will find more meaning in life than just serving yourself.
3. Cultivate Compassion
Through intention, you can actively focus on becoming a happier person. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at University of California at Riverside, says we should all write down five things every day that we are grateful for. Other ways to cultivate gratitude are through meditation and performing random acts of kindness. This helps you appreciate what you already have rather than fixating on what you don't have.
4. Eat Well and Sleep Lots
The community of Okinawa, a small Japanese island, share its secret to living a long and happy life: eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep. Okinawa has the most 100-year-olds per capita in the world. One 106-year-old woman attributes her long and vital life to eating lots of vegetables, drinking sake every night, and going to sleep early.
5. Aspire to the Right Goals
Many people think that a bigger house, a more expensive car, or a fancier wardrobe will make them happier. It might for a moment, but this contentment is fleeting. Instead of pursuing extrinsic goals like money, status, and power, try focusing on intrinsic goals. Find purpose in your community, strive for personal growth, and spend time developing meaningful relationships.
6. Recover After Adversity
When life knocks you down, get back up. Melissa Moody from Happy knows this saying all too well. In a freak accident, Melissa was run over by a car, leaving her face completely disfigured. After several years of soul-searching, she made the conscious decision to love life again. Nowadays, she helps others recover from injuries and says she's never been happier. It might seem contradictory, but those who endure hardships and recover quickly are often even happier than before the traumatic event occurred.
7. Get Out in Nature
Instead of measuring gross national product, the small country of Bhutan is trying to maximize its growth maximum happiness. The government is creating an environment designed for happiness by preserving Bhutan's culture and forests. While many countries are building skyscrapers and expansive suburbs, this southern Asian country promises to keep 60 percent of its land forest. The people of Bhutan understand the importance of nature, and you should too!
Denmark is rated the happiest country in the world time and time again. This Scandinavian nation provides a high standard of living by offering free education through college and free health care for life. It also has more cohabitation spaces than any other industrialized nation. These communities are designed to help one another out. From communal dinners to group activities, those who choose to cohabitate create a different kind of family.
9. Surround Yourself With Family and Friends
The documentary features an African tribe in Namibia that still hunts and gathers for its food. It relies entirely on itself and its environment for survival. When interviewed, the members of the tribe expressed their happiness and unconditional love for the people they surround themselves with. Take a lesson from this African tribe and spend time with the ones who make you feel as special and loved as you deserve.
Source: The Happy Movie