Happy Brains to rewire yourself, to enjoy dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins — we have to increase these chemical release in our body system as these are responsible for our happiness.
Happiness is a work in progress, but everybody’s process is different. The good news is that every day allows trying something that can make us happier.
Many people blame their situations, circumstances, out of their control, or other people for unhappiness. The truth is that our happiness is their responsibility.
Our happiness is an everyday process. We can do more of what makes us happy every day to experience it fully. Every day, we have the opportunity to control our mood. We can learn how to be happy and stay happy.
It is always believed that a life of enjoyment, quality, and wisdom was our human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon us as time passed. We never suspected that we would have to learn how to live — that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world we had to master.
Wildly happy people have embraced habits that set them apart from the rest — they have happy habits. Happy people do more of what reinforces the state of happiness. Elements of the happiness process involve specific activities, routines, and choices. And the more we practice them, and the more our brain rewires to adjust to the new happiness habits.
When we feel good, your brain is releasing dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, or endorphin — the quartet of chemicals responsible for our happiness.
1. Happy brains find and increase flow experiences
Have we ever lost ourselves in something, so much so that we lost track of time? Being consumed by activity or task, which can be rare for most people, is a state of being called Flow.
It’s an optimal experience that can make us happy. From hiking to reading, gardening, or even watching a particularly gripping movie or TV show, Flow describes the inherent sense of satisfaction.
The Flow is described as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
Flow can be achieved in just any activity that requires mental effort, and our participation is enjoyed literally for its sake. To experience happiness, embrace daily happy habits.
When the brain builds expectations about what will make us happy, it begins to rewire itself to seek more happy practices. If we decide to be satisfied, our mind will find activities to be happy about.
2. They express kindness and gratitude — a skill for happier living
Research shows that the frequency of small, positive experiences has a more significant impact on our life satisfaction than a few epic events of achievements. Grateful people feel better about themselves and their lives, and they show higher levels of happiness.
Expressing gratitude to people helps feel good about themselves — which improves self-esteem. Practicing gratitude can make lasting changes in our brains.
People who intentionally cultivate gratitude show higher neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain region associated with learning, rational thinking, and decision making.
When practiced in lives authentically, gratitude can help you feel more grounded, humble, and connected to the world around you. Practiced over time, we won’t even have to think about it, and we will see the effects on our perspective in life.
3. The happiest people nurture meaningful relationships
Good social relationships are the best and the most consistent predictor of a happy life. Social connections make people happier. Satisfying relationships make people happy, but they are associated with better health and even longer life.
Relationships are connected to the strongest emotions. When they are positive, we feel contentment, happiness, and calm. When relationships are non-existent, we feel anxious, depressed, and lonely.
A Harvard study found that good relationships are the key indicators of long-lasting happiness. Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.
4. Happy people live in the moment
It’s tough to be happy when we spend most of our time worrying about the past or living in fear of the future. We are too occupied to notice life unfolding. We are too busy and worried about the past and the future that let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unattended. Happy brains seek adventure
We squander to precious seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years as we worry about the future and ruminate about what’s past. Bend for the joys in life when we find them. The simplest things are the most extraordinary things that sometimes make life easy to manage.
Don’t overthink about “enjoying” life. The moment we jump to “thinking mode” and seek things to make our life fulfilling, the fullness of life will become a mirage.
5. Happy brains seek adventure — they taste the thrill of life in different forms
Planning adventure can increase our happiness for days and weeks, leading to a trip. People are naturally appreciative, excited, less stressed, and more present when they are adventurous. We can turn everyday life into an extraordinary adventure. We can even be adventurous without leaving our home — take a different route to work, read about other things beyond your usual topics.
Spending two to three hours per week soaking up nature — be it park, woodland, or beach — gives a positive boost to health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically.
To experience true happiness in the omitted details, we must be willing to be surprised or wrong in our assumptions.
Wake up every day ready to take those “small steps” toward our happiness — take reasonable actions, no matter how small to boost your mood. Every little experience counts.