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Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof!” This is a lyric from a popular song by Pharell (here’s a link to his music video). In this blog post, we’ll discuss: can happiness spread? If so, how?

 

Happiness, well there is a broad topic!  What makes you happy?  How does this change as you go through life, and if you want to be happy more of the time, what needs to happen?  I am starting this blog in the hopes that

  1. we can share what makes us happy
  2. come up with some ways to help others get happier
  3. and support a healthier and happier population 

As we explore this topic together, let me know your thoughts, and if you wish to jump on a multi-point video call to discuss over live video, let’s set something up. Perhaps we can “clap along”, use our social networks and our collaborative healthcare tools to build awareness, a course of action, and implement programs to support “happiness”.  We are, after all, connected in our desire to be happy and connected in more ways today than ever before in history.

I will throw out a starting point, but hope others will share good books, links to check out, and models that will help us in our search.  So I will start the ball rolling. 

 

Perhaps you remember hearing about “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” in school?  I am not an expert on Maslow’s approach, but perhaps it lays out a way to view types of happiness, and perhaps indicates there are different degrees of happiness, and even an order in which happiness occurs. 

 

Given today’s focus on prevention and wellness, it’s important to think about the following as it relates to happiness:

  1. eating and exercise behaviors
  2. joining prevention and wellness programs (read the prevention and wellness brief)
  3. embracing new methods for reducing unnecessary hospitalizations (read the related brief)
  4. working together for better care at reduced cost (watch this collaboration video)  

I wonder about the duration of happiness. Does it peak and then attenuate over time? If so, why? Back to the needs in Maslow’s model: how can we meet biological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs to support healthier, happier populations?

 

Let’s discuss by sharing a happy sensation!baby head with mom.jpg

I’ll go first: after a colleague added a new baby to their family, I flashed back to what it felt like to hold a new born, and the sweet smell of their little head topped with that fluffy new born hair... this made me happy. Ever notice how smell can bring back a sensation of happiness? Maybe we should think about this more as we design our healthcare programs.

 

Comments

Thanks for sharing this *happy* post, Dr. J! My happy sensation: dancing (like no one is watching)!

Listening to Pharrell's Happy song definitely shifted my happy in the right direction just now and dancing with life is high on my list. I've found Maslow's hierachy of needs interesting and what's worked for me is to practice paying attention, being here now is this moment, not believing the stories and conversation created in our heads, and not taking anything personally because it's not personal. For me it's a daily practice of sleeping well, meditating daily, movement of some form (yoga, swimming, hiking), mostly plant and whole grain foods, laughter, fun, music, dance, friends, family, love, and community.  Gosh I could really go on and on and on. And let's not forgot my strong practice in several faiths out there in the world. So much to be grateful and happy:-)!

Frequent Collector

The smell of delicious food (and the promise that I'd get to eat it) makes me extremely happy. Of course, sharing that food with family and friends while having great conversation is a major plus!

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