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Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese


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Sustainability & Film: Pursuit of Happyness


still-of-will-smith-and-jaden-smith-in-the-pursuit-of-happyness-large-pictureTo celebrate the end of Sustainable Happiness Week, I thought I would take a look at one of the leading contemporary films about the issue, The Pursuit of Happyness.

This very-American drama is based on the true life of Chris Gardner and his experience of homelessness. Will Smith plays Gardner, a salesman who decides to risk everything by entering into stock brokerage, despite the fact that he had no home and sole custody of his young son. This harrowing role got Smith nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

In this film, Smith’s character asks the question everyone wonders at some point: “They all looked so damn happy to me. Why couldn’t I look like that?” Continue reading

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Steps to Happiness: Environmental Quality


SeattleSkyline_300Media and research often talks about how people affect the environment, but few are concerned about how the environment affects people. Issues like greenhouse emissions, waste management, and air quality actually influence our levels of happiness and satisfaction in life.Though we have posted about environmental awareness before, this post primarily concerns how environment directly affects your happiness. Continue reading


Steps to Happiness: Lifestyle


HE_apple-on-scale_s4x3_leadIf you consider part of happiness to be a daily maintenance, or a homeostasis, of mood, then there are concrete steps you can take to regulate a steady level. These aspects contribute towards physical health, which is one of the ten domains of happiness.

This post will identify and analyze the key lifestyle aspects that affect mood and happiness.

Eating Well: It turns out that your “Happy Meal” is a misnomer. Continue reading


Steps to Happiness: Laughter


tumblr_ml351tJdit1r4x0u7o1_500Proverbs 17:22 claims that “a cheerful heart is good medicine.” Today we can prove that as true. No one can deny that a life filled with laughter is likely a happy life, but now we have evidence to back it up.

Researchers have proven that laughter boosts happiness levels while reducing stress. Regular humor gives instant and long-lasting benefits. Scientists hypothesize this is because laughter causes a surge of hypocretin, the neurotransmitter that regulates things like sleep, appetite, and joy. Continue reading


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Happy Pursuit of Happiness Day!


Adorable-Photos-of-Champ-The-Happiest-Dog-in-the-World-1

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” – Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen

Happiness is the ultimate goal for many, but the definition of such a state varies with each individual. Your mental picture of perfect happiness is likely very different than your best friend’s. The pursuit of happiness, however, may be easier to pin down.

In honor of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13th was declared the national Pursuit of Happiness Day. April 13th also kicks off Sustainable Happiness Week, which ends on earth day, April 22nd.

This initiative is especially geared towards university students.
Continue reading


Increase Your Happiness


imagesAs corny as it sounds, volunteering really does make a person feel happy. Giving to one’s community gives you that “helper’s high” that can keep your spirit up for days.

Volunteering also provides a great way to meet new people and form connections with your community — two strong factors in leading a healthy, happy life.

SPU provides a variety of ways to get involved around Seattle like City Quest, Latreia, and the John Perkins Center. It could be serving at one of the homeless shelters downtown, or just picking up trash around your neighborhood. Click here to learn more about nearby opportunities.


“There Is No Happiness Without Action”


happiness

To celebrate the first ever International Day of Happiness on March 20, declared by the United Nations in 2012, we encourage everyone to do five things that make you happy today, and stop to think about how happiness plays a role in your life.

Though happiness is a term that many throw about carelessly, its place in the sustainability vocabulary holds a potent meaning. We consider it a complex balance of satisfaction with life, physical health, a quality environment, psychological well-being, and community vitality. Continue reading