I'm a big proponent of watching documentaries - they're a cerebral departure from romantic comedies and I love how they get me thinking about things in a different way. This past week, my husband and I watched Happy and we haven't stopped talking about it. It explores what really makes people happy (hint: it's much more than just money) and I found the results quite impactful. I consider myself to be a genuinely happy person - but it's also something I actively pursue. It's not often that a movie makes me question aspects of how I live my life, and I've since made three simple changes that have made me feel more fulfilled and ultimately...happier.
1. Support a cause I believe in. When it comes to my happiness, nothing makes me more delighted than my cats. I don't have time to volunteer at local shelters right now, so I donated to the two rescues where we got them (Luna's from here and Rocco's from here). Knowing that I can make a difference in the life of an animal is much more important than that new coat I've been eyeing.
2. Take care of my body. I was extremely active in high school (I played varsity soccer, basketball, and track), but since then, I haven't made it a priority to take care of my body. For the most part, I can get away with eating what I want with little exercise, but as I approach 30, I wanted to make a change. The film explores the idea of discovering one's "flow," an activity that you find so enjoyable that it becomes your sole focus. I never took dance classes growing up, but find them so fulfilling that I've started taking one every morning of the work week.
3. Connect with others. I love spending time with my husband and will usually choose a relaxing evening at home with him over pretty much anything else. But just because that nightly option is there, doesn't mean it's always the right choice. Instead, we've been making an effort to get out more - whether it's to support a store opening, a restaurant we've been wanting to try, or to meet up with friends. At the end of the day, my relationships with people and my community means more to me than anything else. A lot of documentaries support great causes, but sometimes their initiatives seem so huge that I wonder just how much of a difference I can make. What I found most inspiring about Happy is that it really doesn't take much - a few little adjustments can make a big impact.