Happy in Vancouver
Vancouver is one happy city!
Have you noticed how incredible it is living here in Vancouver this past week? We’ve seen hundreds of dolphin and whales frolicking in our Howe Sound, Owen Wilson riding his bike around town, waving back to all the ladies in our streets. (He’s not afraid to wave back!)
Cherry blossoms are out. Daffodils are up. Spring is springing. Does it get any better than this? One wonders if those dolphins and flowers have been picking up those good vibrations from TED’s 30th Anniversary Conference in town this week? Our hotels are filled, our restaurants are humming, the people are smilin’ below their sunglasses. Whistler has tons of snow with bluebird skies and huge powder.
I was skiing with my friends and kids at Whistler these past two weekends. Believe me, there is powder up to your knees on those slopes. OK, I’m sounding like a travel log. But after so many grey raining days this winter, the sun is out, and all of this makes me sooooo HAPPY!
I’m saying all this because yesterday, if you didn’t already know, was the U.N. proclaimed International Happiness Day.
According to John Helliwell’s World Happiness Report last year, the happiest Canadian province is Newfoundland. Why? Because it’s the province with the strongest sense of community and family. It’s not weather and it’s not money. It is connection. More people ride their bikes, spend time outside, and are generally in more contact in Newfoundland. Happiness is the best measure of true wealth. Research shows that if you are happy, you live longer, are more productive, earn more, and are better citizens: http://unsdsn.org/resources/publications/world-happiness-report-2013/
According to the 2012 Happy Planet Index, on a 10 point scale, the most happy countries are: Denmark 7.8, Canada 7.7, Norway 7.6, Switzerland 7.5, Netherlands 7.5, Sweden 7.5, Venezuela 7.5, Australia 7.4, Finland 7.4, Israel 7.4 (Posted http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/25/ninety-per-cent-of-canadians-happy-nova-scotians-happiest-report)
Pharrell Williams (mentioned in my Feb. 18th blog http://joanneweiler.com/happiness-and-meaning-making/ ) Oscar nominated producer and performer of the famous Happy song has teamed up with the United Nations this year! http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/arts/the-buzz/2014/03/pharrell-teams-with-un-to-make-people-happy.html
Don’t you just love that?! The Happy Song has gone viral. And there have been a number of cities making dance u-tubes across continents to the song “Happy”.
I know, life throws it’s curve balls and we all have those days, months, where life feels fully in the black. You need to have a rescue remedy. As much as Vit D has become the panacea for all cancers, so has meditation for healthy brain and physical stress reduction.
There is a helpful resource created by Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon, who shares ways to meditate, how to maintain greater focus and clarity. http://whil.com
Chip’s directions are simple: power down by closing your eyes. Take 2 deep breaths. Visualize a simple dot. Float through. Power forward. Take a deep breath in. Open your eyes wide. And go.
So what is your rescue remedy? Here are a few of mine:
1. I like to keep my personal goals front and center every day – you might write your own down on a card you keep on your desk or in your wallet.
2. Take a moment in the morning to reflect on what you are grateful for – it makes you rehearse positive information and helps you focus.
3. Manage your self-talk! The average person has 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day – that’s 60,000 to 80,000 opportunities for happiness!
4. Think about one thing you want to get done in your day – it feels good to complete things.
5. Play music in your morning – music and dance have been well supported as ways to improve your mood.
6. Invite someone to have lunch with you today – this simple gesture may make a huge difference for you and him or her. We all need to know we are not alone.
7. If you are struggling with some aspect of your life, get a partner on your team.
8. Assess how you spend your time. Where you put your attention, is where you will be getting your results. If that focus is bringing you happiness, do it more. If it isn’t, step up other aspects of your life that will.
By the way, I will be doing a book signing at the Park Royal Indigo Books next Saturday, March 29th from 3:00 – 5:00.
And in case you want to make your own Happy video this week-end to Pharrell Williams, here are his lyrics:
“It might seem crazy what I’m bout to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel that’s what you wanna do
Here come bad news talking about this and that (Yeah!)
Well, give me all you got, don’t hold it back (Yeah!)
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine (Yeah)
No offense to you don’t waste your time, here’s why…
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high to bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down, I said…”