When you ask people what they really want in life, most of the time happiness is in their top three list.
Happiness is not easily defined as it means different things to each one of us. Lately though, more and more research goes into that direction and people seem to be more mindful about the simple pleasures in life. Living in the now is no longer just a new age term someone wrote about in a self help book.
So if we all want it, why is it so hard to get?
You can’t buy it (or actually, you CAN according to talk number 6 below). It is not a point you reach in life. Often enough we don’t even know how to define it.
Happiness is a state of mind, a way of living, being. Happiness is a choice.
Happiness is something we can all have. It’s actually not that difficult once you know how and practice a little every day 🙂
So below is a list of some of my favorite videos and articles I keep stored away for those days when things are not going so well.
Because we all need a dose of reminding, a little help or even some serious, scientific proof.
The videos and articles are not all necessarily specifically about happiness. But about themes that can make you happy (there’s science to prove that) such as: sound, seeing (things differently), touch, design, purpose, smiling, play, food, other people and connections, dreams, time-off, beauty, positivity, faith, facing fear, health, exercise, laughter,
Today, and over the coming weeks, I am sharing these with you.
Enjoy and be happy!
HOW TO USE THIS LIST:
- Below are the first 10 insightful ways to be happy.
- For the next 5 weeks you will receive 10 more each week.
- Watch one video or read one article or two each day.
- If you are too busy to do this every day you are probably not happy (enough)!
- Save them as bookmarks to read later.
2. Change your Mind, Change your Brain: The Inner Conditions for Authentic Happiness
If happiness is an inner state, influenced by external conditions but not dependent on them, how can we achieve it?
Let Mathieu Ricard, Buddhist monk and biologist , show you how your mind has the power to make a huge difference in the quality of your life.
Meditation improves your health, your attention, your life expectancy, and so on. He has a unique way of presenting things with his unassuming humor.
It is a long video, but well worth your time. So grab a coffee and listen while looking at amazing photos he took in the Himalayas. If you want to go deeper, visit the Mind and Life Institute.
Mathieu Ricard also did a TED talk called The habits of happiness.
3. Eve Ensler: Happiness in body and soul
Yes, this TED talk is about vaginas… But it’s also about happiness in both body and soul.
Eve Ensler, creator of “The Vagina Monologues,” shares how a discussion about menopause with her friends led to talking about all sorts of sexual acts onstage, waging a global campaign to end violence toward women and finding her own happiness.
4. Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
Dan Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong – a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.
5. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness
Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” – a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work
6. Michael Norton: How to buy happiness
At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness – when you don’t spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.
7. Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice
Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
8. Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness
Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.
9. Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy – and our own self-awareness.
10. Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling
Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live – and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior.