What is it that gives you fulfillment and actually makes you tick? Many times, we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to ask ourselves, what is the purpose of what we are doing? What exactly will this bring us? Happy is a documentary that overviews the scientific research and studies done of what actually makes humans feel alive. I also studied this in my social psychology class this past semester. Much of the evidence that was proven by science may actually surprise you.
Happiness comes in many forms, but surprisingly, social status and where we live has proven to have only a 10% effect on our overall happiness. It was also found that about 50% of our happiness comes from our genes that are passed on by our ancestry. So what is it that actually makes us happy? Why are some people who come from bad families the happiest people on Earth, while others who come from loving parents end up as drug addicts as adults? It turned out, according to psychological studies, that 40% of our happiness comes from ‘intentional activity.’ This means that what we do on a normal, everyday basis is what will actually determine whether we are happy or miserable in our lives.
Doing what we enjoy doing, with the people that we are drawn most to, has shown to bring the most enjoyment to our lives. It is the routines that we set for ourselves, and how they help us to achieve our goals. Also, trying out new things and developing new interests has shown to give us a brew of happiness. As narrated in Happy, even taking a different route to a routine event has shown to increase our happiness, by exploring. Simply spending time with those we connect with most in our social circle has been charted to also increase our fulfillement in life as well. So if any of you are unhappy or depressed right now, take a look at the people you spend the most time around. It might mean it’s time to make some changes to your social circle.
Watching Happy really took me aback and made me think about all of the current activities I am currently doing in my life. Was this actually making me grow and giving me fulfillment? It made me immediately want to cut anything out that was not giving any long-term benefit, while searching for new activities that would be based upon more of my natural strengths. Mindless activity was shown to bring less happiness, because of the feeling of being on auto-pilot, and not actually feeling alive. In this case, Happy advocates the idea for us to make all of our activities intentional, as a way for us to think on our feet better and to feel more lively. I hope you watch this for your mind and well-being.