ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

Discussions over coffee get so intense at times, that they make you wander and drag your feet around the globe, out the stratosphere, into the galaxy, all while at your seat! Like this one time, my friend and I were talking, about math, but somehow ended up talking about happiness, which led to the following outstanding inference.

To be happy, is to be healthy. To be healthy, is to be happy.

But what leads to what? Well, isn’t that just another twister of the question, “What came first? The egg or the hen?” This one question that has boggled the likes of adults and children and oldies, at book clubs and card games and family time and dumb charades! And now I gave you another, huh?

But I do have the answer to this one. And the answer is, that it doesn’t matter. What matters is what we do about it. And in an attempt to be happy, let’s start with being healthy. Straight up!

Being happy, though may seem philosophical and subjective, as my friend had said, but it does have roots in the science of human body. The most common and highlighted hormone of happiness being dopamine. You type dopamine in the search bar, and you find a treasure trove of articles and information and studies that glorify it and its importance. What we don’t face as often are the other chemicals that contribute to happiness – Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins

So, how to get these going for your happiness?

 

Dopamine:

This one releases on the reward mechanism. That is, release of dopamine in your brain is connected with achieving goals and objectives.

How to go about it?

  • Setting and achieving to-do lists – Functional, organised, and (ticking off) rewarding
  • Your deed of the day – Set a deed of the day for yourself. Achieve it, and brim with happiness
  • Hum to some music – Music is pleasing to your senses for a reason, dopamine! So plug in your favourite music, or produce some of your own, or mix and match it to your liking
  • Meditate – Strike those beautiful, enhancing Yoga postures and work your way to a fitter and happier lifestyle
  • Foods that help – almonds, apples, chocolate, turmeric, watermelons

 

Oxytocin:

This one is a Casanova’s pet, a mother’s need, and catalyst of one of the most important searches of humans – Love! The “Cupid Hormone” is a hormone of attachment, creating feelings of closeness and calm.

  • Eliminate Stress – Eliminate stress? Is that even possible? Probably not. But I say, aim for becoming Warren Buffett; trying to reach to that pinnacle will get you somewhere near a successful businessman/woman, if not “there” there
  • Reach out to happier memories – In the time of distress, de-stress! And the go-to for lifting up your mood is reaching out to those preserved, cherished memories of the past. (I see a smile creeping on your lips already!)
  • Express – Share and spread some love. Express to your parents, your mean sibling, your beloved partner, your helpful teacher and yourself! (The last one is the most important one)
  • Get some sleep – Life is a rat-race. Indeed. But it is important to live life, not just survive. And in order to live life to the fullest and enjoy it, improving on our sleep cycles would make a world of difference
  • Generosity – Being generous is not only a way of life, but also a welcoming hormone bash for your body. One more reason to spread smiles?
  • Foods that help – Bananas, peppers, eggs

 

Serotonin:

The Mood Hormone, as its name reads out, has a lot to do with how your day goes. Pep up your mood to release more of the serotonin in your brain and brighten your day with a flashy smile, a beaming attitude and a productive you!

  • Exercise – Can’t emphasize on it enough. So here it comes up on this list again. You’ll keep seeing this word everywhere. So let’s just start doing it now? Starting today please?
  • Eat more protein – Fill up on protein in your diet. A natural and tasty way to increase your serotonin levels
  • Manage your carbs right – That doesn’t mean you cut out your carbs entirely, but you need to hold out on the extra pizza slices and tacos
  • Foods that help – Eggs, cheese, pineapple, nuts and seeds

 

Endorphins:

The Pain-Killing Hormone … helps kill and treat pain. (Seriously, what else were you expecting?)  But it is also the Feel Good Hormone. You can fortunately add a lot to your routine that contributes to release of endorphins in your brain naturally

  • Laugh, Daily – Start your day with a smile. Laugh out loud before bed. Smile when in actual pain. After walks, treat yourself with a smile. Watch movies in the comedy genre, or the romance genre (those are comic too sometimes!)
  • Umm… Exercise – Okay, guilty as charged! But it is indeed important for your happiness. It doesn’t matter in what manner you engage in exercising – running, brisk walking, swimming, sports, gym-ing, and what-nots! Don’t be in a rut, and move that butt!
  • Smell nice – There is a reason that people want to smell nice. It is not just about being sociable (well!), but also about feeling pleasant. Smells, aromas and fragrances play their magic on you because they release endorphins which brings that smile stat on your face
  • Foods that help – chocolate, strawberries, oranges, grapes, spicy foods

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