HAPPINESS FOR SALE: Why events make us happy!
Happiness is what we sell in the event planning realm. Yes, you read it right, happiness! Happiness has many facets and you have an opportunity each day to weave more happiness into your clients’ lives and your own life as well. I describe happiness as something that starts with your head and goes down to your toes.
Let’s start with your head, these crazy brains of ours, and the simplest form of happiness: laughter! If you hire on-stage talent with a comedic touch you’re dosing people with endorphins. Though laughter is simple don’t undervalue it. When you laugh your brain releases endorphins and it makes us feel GOOD! Laughter is healing and studies document reductions in stress, blood pressure and improved recovery rates when injured or ill. Make time for laughter and reap the benefits!
Event planners help clients achieve their professional and often financial goals and our brains love accomplishing tasks and reaching goals. When we reach a goal we’re rewarded by a “positive” neurochemical called dopamine that makes us feel good. To access dopamine set realistic goals for you and your clients and then celebrate accomplishments to feel the dopamine flow.
Most of us appreciate being recognized for a job well done by colleagues or clients. When organizing a gathering to hand out awards, accolades, bonuses and recognition our brains release another positive chemical called serotonin. Improving our status makes us happy and serotonin gets the credit for the positive feeling we get from recognition.
My favorite neurochemical is oxytocin which you may know of as the “love drug” or even “hug drug.” Connection is something most humans deeply crave and connecting makes us happy! Real and authentic bonding around a shared cause or value makes our brains release oxytocin and we feel good! The good news with all of these neurochemicals is that we are in control and have the ability to change our habits for to release more happy chemicals in our lives. Check out the book “Habits of a Happy Brain” by Dr. Loretta Breuning for more tools.
Moving from the head to the heart: Dr. James Doty, who I adoringly call the crying neurosurgeon, is the founder of the Stanford’s Center for Compassion Altruism Research and Education. Doty has compiled the incredible scientific findings backing the significant health benefits we received when we are kind, compassionate and grateful. Lead with your heart and everyone wins, including you. If you don’t have a daily gratitude exercise check out the sidebar for a simple tool…it’s as easy as 1…2….3. Check out Doty’s podcast at JamesRDotymd.com.
Our journey down from the head to the heart ends with your toes, where we call home or our community. Research by Dan Buettner (“Blue Zones of Happiness”) and Richard Florida (“Who’s Your City?”) dive into the results of studies on happiness and your community is a HUGE source of happiness. The right community provides you access to people who create your inner circle of trusted confidants, allows you to find your partner, move naturally, gives you’re the freedom to live out your values and have pride in your life. All of these play into living a measurably happier life.
If you’re involved in events you have the extraordinary opportunity to engage clients’ and their audiences in so many of these elements of “head to toe” happiness. Event spaces and gathering places play a huge role in creating happiness and the opportunity for you to start the cascading effect of happiness is huge so don’t underestimate your role in creating happier people in happier communities wherever you may live.
Never forget what you’re selling is more than just a space or a service.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HAPPINESS
- Accolades – celebrate your accomplishments big or small each day for a boost of serotonin
- Connect – happier people gather socially and oxytocin makes us feel good in groups we trust
- To Do – break bigger tasks into chunks and check off completed items on your to-do list for a dopamine boost
- 12345 – be grateful for life’s gifts. Set an alarm each day at 12:34 and express gratitude for 5 things in your life from the simple to the large
- Laugh – have your favorite comedian or funny movie clip, comic book (Calvin and Hobbes is my personal fav) or BLOG around for a spurt of endorphins. Speaking of blog – check out mine called “The View from Behind the Mic” at www.humore.us
Anthony Poponi is a comic, improv artist, brain chemistry nerd and community-minded advocate and owner of Humore.us. He’s brings his love of connection and laughter to audiences as keynote, emcee, workshop host or moderator and his mission is to increase laughter and connectivity to combat the human health crises of isolation and disconnection.