Life Lessons from Movies


In Documentary, Movies on December 22, 2012 at 6:39 AM

Happy (2011) is a documentary by director Roko Belic about the latest research studies on happiness. Experts discuss their findings while everyday people talk about their experiences. It features Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who explains his theory of Flow, what athletes call “being in the zone,” a state of fulfillment during demanding physical activity.

Life Lesson:

People find happiness when they are: engaging in play, having new experiences, feeling connected to a community through friends and family, doing things that are meaningful, and appreciating what they have.

Movie Scene:

Narrator: “Any discussion of happiness centers a lot on dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain called a neurotransmitter that’s necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness.”

Professor Gregory Berns, M.D., Ph.D.: “Pretty much as you age from about teenage years onward, you’re slowly losing dopamine synapses … As far as we know, no one’s observed those regenerating … The body adapts to what it needs to do. So ‘use it or lose it’ … And so the idea would be to seek out experiences that release dopamine or you need dopamine to do. The things that are best at doing that, interestingly, involve physical activity.”

  1. I always feel happier after exercising. Physical activity is one of the things we can control. Depending on others for happiness is risky, but most people can take a 10 minute walk. I think even that little bit of exercise is enough to bring a sense of calm and contentment.

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