What does dark chocolate with sea salt have to do with happiness? A lot if you’re Matt Glowacki. Dark chocolate with sea salt is just one of the things on Matt’s “best, most happy” list. Matt said that having a list of your favorite things can promote happiness. “Create a list of the things that bring you happiness and review the list often,” was Matt’s advice.
That is just what Matt encouraged a group of CVTC students recently. He spoke twice during the day. The first presentation was more about him and the second was making the most out of life.
What you notice first about Matt is that he is in a wheelchair. But what you quickly notice, is his energy for life and his energy to share his story. Most students who attended didn’t quite know what to expect. But they walked away with a smile on their face.
Matt mentioned a number of things you can do to increase your happiness including living in the moment and paying attention to things that boost your mood, such as enjoying sounds that make you happy. People can’t choose to be happy but they can maximize moments to be happy.
Hugging is a feel-good experience, but in order for a hug to be really effective, it needs to last at least six seconds because that is how long it takes for a person’s body to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotional responses. Matt gave his audience the opportunity to give six-second “happiness hugs.”
According to Matt, if you need to leave a message for someone, the best means to do it is through voicemail. It allows the listener to hear the tone of the message. You can leave a smile through your message. Texting messages, on the other hand, can affect our mood. It’s not about the message, but how long it takes to receive a response that can have a negative effect on your self-esteem.
Reliving moments can help maintain happiness. Matt also said we need to be more curious. “Live your life in a curious way to maximize experiences,” he told the audience. “It makes life fun.”
In personal relationships Matt said that it’s a known fact that after about two and a half years relationships get stale. Couples have to create a new love chemistry. He recommended learning something new, going new places, and paying attention to how others love the person you’re with.
Matt’s bottom-line advice is to “do what makes you happy.”