Mar 21, 2011

Act Happy Week

Annually, the week beginning with the third Monday in March is Act Happy Week.

Do you sometimes feel like you are forever chasing the elusive butterfly of happiness?

According to Dr. Dale L. Anderson M.D., creator of Act Happy Week, happiness may well be within our reach through the use of creative method acting techniques. Over the years as I have chased the elusive, and seemingly extinct, butterfly of thinness, I remember reading once that if you want to be a skinny person you need to watch what skinny people do, and do what they do. Acting happy is pretty much the same idea.

Dr. Anderson teaches that "people who positively script, stage, costume, direct, and ACT healthy, happy, and stress free change their chemistry." He goes on to say, "Drawing from the tradition of the theater, we can create a new paradigm for stress reduction and success. This paradigm is based on the idea that we become what we do. In other words, we can become healthier and more successful by consciously modeling (acting like) healthy, successful people. In addition, staging, scripting, costuming and acting the part of a successful, relaxed and healthy person can stimulate our bodies to produce neuropeptides such as endorphins and other chemicals that bolster the immune system and promote well being." Read more at

According to a study based on data from the British Household Panel Survey, an average person's overall level of happiness begins to decline shortly after their teens through their 40's and then picks up again until it peaks in their 70's.

Interestingly, we read on WebMD that according to some psychologists, our talent for happiness is, to a large degree, determined by our genes. Psychology Professor, David T. Lykken, author of Happiness: It's Nature and Nurture, says that we each have a happiness set point and that most people move away from it only slightly. Yet, most psychologists who study happiness - including Lykken - believe we can pursue happiness. They agree that we must do this by thwarting negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger and we must foster positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and gratitude.

WebMD gives us 7 steps that we can take in our efforts to "act happy". They are:
  1. Don't Worry, Choose Happy. We must make a conscious choice to boost our happiness.
  2. Cultivate Gratitude. List a few things each day of the things that make you grateful.
  3. Foster Forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment.
  4. Counteract Negative Thoughts and Feelings. Learn to exert control over negative thoughts and feelings.
  5. Remember, Money Can't Buy Happiness.
  6. Foster Friendship. Close friendships with people who care about us make it easier to overcome unhappiness.
  7. Engage in Meaningful Activities. We are happiest when our minds are thoroughly engaged in meaningful tasks that challenge our abilities.
Read more here at WebMD.

Here's an Act Happy Week challenge for you at KidsLoveHolidays.

Be Happy ~ from SculptTheNewYou

Sources: Work and    WebMD


  1. Wow! Act Happy Week is news to me Lisa. I'm very fortunate to have a positive and "happy" disposition.

    I must admit though, it took a while. I think I've mellowed with age. It seems age has a way of putting things in perspective. It did for me anyway!

    Thanks for sharing...

    P.S. Your Kids Love Holiday blog is sooooo cute....

  2. Thank you so much for having the only informative post on what Act Happy Week is really about. Even from the website it didn't make much sense until I found your piece. I'll be linking to this in a post of my own in the next day or two - thanks again!

    Rachel Curtis