Ten Reasons To Be Happy You Live in Miami, From Happy Wall Creator Hannah Sentenac

Look! Nature is painting you a picture!
Look! Nature is painting you a picture!
Photo by Hannah Sentenac

The holidays are here!

Traditionally, the time for family cheer, singing, and decking the halls, right? Well, there's also a darker side to the season. According to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is also prime time for depression and anxiety, with police reporting high incidences of suicide calls.

So what can you do? First of all, don't sweat all the small stuff. Chances are your Aunt Milly won't notice you forgot to light the holly-scented candle in the guest bathroom. But, more importantly, take time to reflect on all the good things happening around us.

Can't think of any? Hannah Sentenac has shared ten Miami-specific reasons to be happy. Sentenac, by the way, should know all about the topic of bringing more joy into your day to day life. The New Times contributor's blog, Hannah Gets Happy, is an amalgam of happy quotes, inspirational stories, and tips for living a happier, more fulfilled life.

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See also: Giving Thanks: UM Professor Explains How Gratitude Can Change Relationships

Sentenac is also creator of the Happy Wall, an interactive performance art piece that asks people to share "What makes you happy?" The Happy Wall goes up in Coconut Grove's Cocowalk on November 29 at 10 a.m., with an official launch party all day on December 6, as part of the outdoor shopping paradise's holiday tree-lighting ceremony. Sponsored by Happify, Tervis, KIND Snacks, Brent Berman & Associates, and The Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures, the wall will be on display until January 2.

So turn that frown upside down and take a cue from Miami's resident joy expert. In the immortal words of the Partridge Family, "C'mon, get happy."

10. We're Surrounded by Water

"Marine biologist marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols has written that there are tangible psychological benefits to living near the water -- if we take the time to appreciate it. We have opportunities everywhere we turn, from Biscayne Bay, to Miami Beach, to rooftop swimming pools."

9. We Can Wear Flip Flops in December

"We all have jealous friends in the Northeast who would kill for this weather. There's something to be said for living in a tropical paradise."

8. We're in the Middle of Miami's Renaissance

"So many awesome things are happening here, from the culinary scene to the arts scene to the start-up scene. It's super exciting to be witnessing the city's rapid growth and evolution."


Ten Reasons To Be Happy You Live in Miami, From Happy Wall Creator Hannah Sentenac

7. The Keys and the Everglades are ours for the taking

"Two of the world's most fantastic natural treasures are right on our doorstep. We can snorkel in the keys, cycle in Shark Valley, canoodle with alligators -- anytime we want."

6. Events, Events, Events

"Because we're such a desirable locale, we get events like Oprah's Life You Want Weekend, SOBEWFF, Ultra and tons of others coming to town. There's no shortage of stuff to do, particularly in the winter months."

5. Those Views, Though

"Biscayne Bay from Matheson Hammock Park, Brickell from Key Biscayne, Miami Beach from any rooftop in downtown -- we have some seriously awe-inspiring views."

4. Lots of People are Working to Make Miami an Even Better Place

"Seriously, we have so many philanthropic organizations and dedicated individuals working to better our circumstances, many of which go relatively unnoticed. From Urban Paradise Guild helping to cultivate native plants to Miami Arts Brigade supporting local arts groups to Celebrate Diversity Miami trying to bring a sense of interconnectedness to our neighborhoods."

3. Living Here, it's Like We're in on a Secret

"Most people have no idea what Miami is all about. Tourists still flock to South Beach, but there's so much excitement and burgeoning cultural stuff happening everywhere else. People who call Miami a cultural wasteland clearly aren't looking in the right places. There are so many fascinating things to learn and places to visit and people to meet."

2. The Art Scene is Everything

"In addition to MOCA, the Lowe Art Museum, the Bass Museum of Art, and the Wolfsonian, there's the totally stunning new Pérez Art Museum Miami. Plus Wynwood Walls, countless galleries, and the annual Art Basel; plus amazing theaters and venues, dance troupes, performing arts -- Miami is art central, and there's literally something for everyone."

1. Sunshine

"No signs of seasonal affective disorder in South Florida. How lucky are we to walk outside to a bright blue sky almost every day of the year? If there's one thing we can count on, it's the sun."

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