The Scientific Secret to Happiness
Everyone wants it. Everyone seeks it. Its everywhere, yet we somehow can’t find it inside us. Happiness. It is a funny idea though – if we are always searching for happiness, does that mean none of us are happy? Or if we have found it, why do we keep looking for it? Are there formulas one can follow to be happy? Let’s find out.
“Our bodies produce what is called happy chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin that make us feel good. The secret to happiness is in knowing ‘how’ to release those happy chemicals in our bodies and ‘how’ to clear ourselves of our stress chemicals.”
With the stress of daily life, and the depressing news that we see on TV everyday, it is hard to be happy these days. Happiness is a state of mind – where your mind looks at the positive outcome of every situation. However, with the world taking such a negative turn with politics, war, refugees and more, it is really hard to try and keep a positive state of mind. Nevertheless, there are techniques – a few little things we can do in our daily lives that can help us remain in the state of happiness. We spoke to Neha Arora Nicholas, a happiness expert, based in Bangalore. She helps people realise that they can be happy with what they have, with the help of some simple scientific tips. “It doesn’t take magic, just some science to be happy. Our bodies produce what is called happy chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin that make us feel good. The secret to happiness is in knowing ‘how’ to release those happy chemicals in our bodies and ‘how’ to clear ourselves of our stress chemicals.”
We got some easy, everyday tips from Neha that everyone can use to release the happy chemicals in our bodies. Here they are, give them a try and let us know if they work for you!
When we give to others, it activates the areas of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins in the brain and boosts happiness. Studies have shown that giving to others tends to make people happier than doing for themselves.
Give a 20 Second Hug
Every time you hug, touch, kiss, cuddle for 20 seconds or more, your body releases oxytocin. A giant, hearty bear hug reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, lowers blood pressure, reduces feelings of pain and makes you so much less vulnerable to infections! It also heals wounds. This doesn’t only stand true for humans alone! You can also give that hug to your pets!
Practicing gratitude helps you create positive neural pathways. People who practice gratitude are 25% happier, experience less stress and depression and make greater progress towards their personal goals and success.
Do Rigorous Exercise
High energy exercise releases endorphins, and also activates the channels that produce serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which makes you feel happy! Some great forms of exercise that can help you feel euphoric are dancing, walking and sprinting.
Neha Arora Nicholas