Opinion, by Pia Granjon Lecerf
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – We live near people who reached the first rank on the index for future happiness! And it is the fourth time that Brazilian people dominate this ranking. So it has nothing to do with chance. It is constant!
The etymology of the word comes from the Latin word “bon eür” that gives a notion of increase, growth. How many of us, in Rio, already thought that Brazilian people are particularly smiling? Sharing those Carioca smiles does not necessarily lead to a friendship; it is just a ‘free smile gift’ for the pleasure, without gaining anything more than it.
People here are smiling even though the life conditions of the majority aren’t easy. Do you feel touched by those smiles when you get one? Have you ever felt that offering leads to receiving a gift?
The research from the Getùlio Vargas foundation shows that the acquired level of education is partly responsible for the happiness feeling. Brazilian people can then imagine a future with more employment possibilities and better life conditions. I can just agree with that! Education and health are two major parameters for building a better future in emerging countries.
The quantity of light exposure can only help for a better mood as well; light stimulates our brain and make it work better. It’s a proven fact. You may know that light therapy was developed in Northern countries where people can suffer from light deficiency and develop a depressive state.
For those of us who may feel low sometimes; there are tips that can give us a little help when we feel a bit numb. Those tips that I am going to give you are interesting when our heart needs a bit of a boost. It is more a short/medium-term help than a long-term one; except if you decide to revive them by using them again!
It is about influencing your close censorial environment as it is the one which allows you to perceive the world that surrounds you. Expose your senses to stimulation that are agreeable to you. Everything you expose your body and soul to affects them. You chose what you want to be fed with!
Our senses? Five officially recognized. Tasting, touching, hearing/listening, looking, smelling. You have to know that the most used one is sight; so, if you don’t really know what sense is you major one, go for the visual.
How can we make our eyes drive us to a well being state when perceiving something? For sure, light is important! We all have a minimum daily light exposure needed. Light affects the synthesis of vitamins. So, when you feel so-so, don’t stay stuck inside!
Look at things you find pretty. Try this: look for a while at an object you find ugly; then look at another one you think is particularly beautiful for its shapes, its colors, then check the state of mind you are in by looking at each of the two objects. So different, isn’t?!
If you put around you objects which aesthetic you appreciate, it will influence your mood for the best! Allow your eyes to look at a non-blocked horizon, look further away with no obstacle to shorten the distance of what you can see. If you are in a very busy urban area, then look up, the sky shouldn’t be that far!
The hearing… Listen to a tango and you feel nostalgic. Listen to “Oye com ova” from Poncho Sanchez; I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up with an amazing energy! Or listen to Mozart and you become calmer. You may have other musical choices though, go then, let’s make those loudspeakers work!
You also have the combination of several senses to play with; for the visual and the hearing, think about films. Some make you happy and some make you sad. It is your choice to feel this or that way. Which film do you chose for tonight then? And it is the same process for all our senses.
What you give your brain to perceive directly affects your emotions and your behaviors. That is the way it is. It is true in the long and the short-term. Since before our birth, we absorb all that surrounds us; noises, images, what our skin can feel, what we taste, what we smell.
That information, which majority directly goes to our unconscious mind, settles in us all the time and participates in building who we are. We can, if we chose to, create our censorial environment and obtain a chosen feed-back.
Have optimistic and smiley people around you when your mood is a bit low; they will instantly communicate you their good mood! And, even if it is only for a few hours, it is worth it! People’s mood is contagious. We are social animals, we do influence each other. We capture the state of mind of people that are around us by simply looking at them.
Here is another simple experience: Look at the picture of someone bursting with laugh, feel what you feel; Now, look at the picture of a very sad face and feel what you feel;
Humm… Probably not exactly the same? The very happy face leads you to a better mood. Extend this experience then! Get happy people around you when you need to cheer up! You can choose the way you want to feel at a precise moment.
Positively stimulating your senses lead to a feeling of well being and even happiness. You can create a chain of reactions; the feeling of happiness engages a hormonal modification and the secretion of phenylethylamin, which is the natural amphetamine for love, happiness and when you do a lot of sport, you also find it in small quantities in chocolate!
Personally, I resource when walking under the sun admiring the landscape with my camera ready to shoot!
What is your way? I wish you a very good day!
Pia Granjon Lecerf