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Facts On Happiness

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Do you ever open up your Facebook only to discover its just a bunch of people complaining about their lives?  I often become sick of it.  I really don’t want to hear that you’re having the worse year ever.  Hearing your negative thoughts can affect my positive thinking…you’re starting to sound like a really bad country song…Really, really, really bad.  Life is tough.  It’s not easy.  We all have good days, rough months and bad years but the trick is not to wallow for too long.  The trick is to turn it around.  You can only do this if you change your prospective from negative to positive.  It's not easy.

This past summer I was having a really rough day and roughness started bright and early: I woke up to some upsetting text messages.  Some business, some personal.  As the day progressed, it just became worse.  I was having the worse day of my life and it wasn’t even 10am.  So what do I do when I am having a difficult time?  I try to talk myself out of it.  I threw on an over the top dress and bright red lipstick.  (Dresses and the color red make me happy.) I told myself, “Lady, you’re going to turn this day around.  Today is going to end on a high note.”  It took a few hours but my day did turn around.  The high note: I met a handsome guy quite by accident and I learned that I could change anything; I just had to make my mind up which direction I was going to travel to. 

The other day while perusing my favorite Twitter Feed, OMGFacts, there was a link for Facts on Happiness…15 facts to be exact.  I thought I would share the article with you.  To find the orginial post and/or follow OMGFacts

Facts on Happiness

#15 Fighting for Happiness – Aggressive behavior triggers dopamine production.
#14 Work for Yourself – You would have to make 2.5x as much money to be as happy working for someone else. – Malcolm Gladwell
#13 Exercising Helps – 20 minutes a day, three days per week for six months has improved happiness by 10-20%
#12 Givers are Happier – In a Three-part study conducted by Elizabeth Dunn, Lara Aknin, and Michael Norton, they found that people who give gifts experience significantly more happiness than those that spent the money on themselves.
#11 Conservatives are Happier – A study found that conservatives have significantly higher levels of happiness than liberals. 
#10 Women should be more attractive in a couple – In married couples, it was found that both spouses tended to be happier overall when the female was more attractive than the male. 
#9 Video Games – One study showed that peope who play video games ona  consistent basis experience less unhappy dreams than those who do not.  The reason for this, according to the researchers, is that playing video games allows the mind to undergo “threat resolution rehearsal,” letting it relax when it’s at rest.
#8 Marriage – People who are in a closed relationship or are married report being happier than those who are not.  Also, of note, the least happy people tend to be those who say they are in an open relationship and of those of the least happy tend to be men.
#7 Small Talk – Happy people report being very social, but they also report engaging in about 1/3 the amount of small talk as others.  Talk to people if you’re genuinely interested, but don’t fake it. 
#6 Breaks – Taking break or being interrupted in the middle of something can make good activities feel better and bad activities feel worse. 
#5 Happiest and least happy places – Some of the happiest places in the world are North America, Northern Europe, Saudi Arabia, Australia and New Zealand.  Some of the least happy?  Eastern Europe, Northern and Central Africa, Pakistan and Turkmenistan
#4 As a general trend, American have reported being happier in recent years.  Even between 2008, the year of recession, and 2009, studies show that we got happier as a nation. 
#3 Red Meat – An Australian Study following 1,000 Women found that not eating the recommended amount of red meat doubles the rick of depression.  Vegetarians, it looks like you have to try twice as hard to keep that smile up.
#2 Sad Movies = Happy Viewers – Watching extremely sad movies tends to make the viewer happier.  To test this theory scientists used the movie Atonement, which has been described as “every sad movie ever made, for two hours.”
#1 Parenting and Hugs – A study found a direct correlation between how much parents hug their children and how happy those children are later in life.  Parents, don’t shy away from those PDAs!

So my take from this list is as follows: Work for yourself, Be in a committed relationship, if you’re a woman, be in a committed relationship with someone less attractive than you, if you're a male, marry someone more attractive than you, Play everyday, have meaningful conversations, hug as much as possible, cry when you need to, eat what you like in moderation, find an activity you love to do and do it three times a week, get out of the office in the middle of the day or call a friend to say hello and lastly but not least, punch a punching bag when you’re angry.  Don’t keep that anger locked in.


~Stay Well Nantucketers~


Great advice, and great attitude.  Dorothy, you're a winner!