Do you remember the last time when you laughed wildly at something? When was the last time when you woke up with a blissful and energetic smile? Do you wonder the reason for that happiness? So, in this article, we will try to discover the significance and the science behind happiness.
What is Happiness?
Does it seem like an odd question? Do you know the meaning of happiness? Is the meaning of happiness to you similar to that of others? However, some know-how to cultivate it. Many people believe that happiness is an emotion that comes up from our experiences. However, some believe that it is constant. Aristotle was the first philosopher who defined happiness as the combination of pleasure and well-lived life. There is a word for happiness in Positive Psychology- Subjective Wellbeing. Some of the researchers of Positive Psychology believe that happiness is among the components of Subjective Well-being. Most people define happiness as one mood, so, here is a quick description of mood and happiness-
Happiness Vs Mood
If we define happiness in terms of mood, then we can say feeling happy is the same as being in a good mood. This means happiness can be defined subjectively. We can say whatever boosts up our mood is the source of happiness. No matter, it can be success, pleasant surprise, a long day of break, a party, anything. Happiness is an emotion, slightly different from the mood. Basically, mood can last for days, but happiness as an emotion is slightly a variable phenomenon. Secondly, happiness is something about a specific situation or person, but the mood is a kind of diffused phenomenon.
There are so many factors on which our happiness depends. The reasons are part of social, psychological, and economic domains. Hence, there is another aspect that is considered as the reason for happiness: the science behind happiness. So let us see how science can control and cultivate our happiness?
Science behind Happiness
With the help of present technology, such as MRI and PET, we can know that which part of our brain is responsible for happiness. It is the frontal lobe of the brain which processes the emotions such as Happiness. Also, this is the structure that is continuously evolving in human beings alone. Maybe this is the reason why humans are the only mammals who contemplate happiness.
Thus, some neurotransmitters, which send the message to our brain, like serotonin and dopamine are responsible for our happiness. Typically, neurotransmitters are the messengers of your body. Their main function is to transfer signals from nerve cells to the target cells of your body. these target cells can be located in muscles, glands, or other nerves. Some of the neurotransmitters regulate your mood and some make you more anxious. So, do these neurotransmitters make you happy? Then the answer is these are one of the reasons for happiness but not the only reason for it. It could be explained, these neurotransmitters are the results of certain tasks we as organisms take up. We, human beings try to seek pleasure from things and avoid painful situations. So, our brain structure is somewhat designed to do so by releasing chemicals in our brain. These chemicals make us feel good. So, we will focus on two neurotransmitters: serotonin and dopamine.
Dopamine and Serotonin as Science behind happiness
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is processed in the brain and distributed in the entire body. It helps in the body functions such as heart rate, vomiting, nausea, etc. The main role of dopamine is to make us happy. Generally, your body releases dopamine in the form of reward when you complete any task and this is the reason it is a “Reward Molecule”. People with low dopamine levels can experience depression or other disorders. Low dopamine levels can result in difficulty in concentrating on the task. Therefore, getting a great and relaxing sleep can increase the level of dopamine.
Another kind of neurotransmitter is serotonin which processes in the brain and intestine as well. Serotonin helps in the regulation of mood. Serotonin is also phrased as a “Happiness Chemical”. People who suffer from depression generally have a low level of serotonin. Research says that people with a high level of serotonin also have high self-esteem. Doing some aerobic exercises, getting out in the sunlight can help in increasing the level of serotonin. So, this is the hidden science behind happiness.
Natural strategies to be happy
While some conditions affect the function of these neurotransmitters. These chemicals function well with the help of exercise and diets. If people do not concern about this, then a chemical Cortisol release which inhibits these neurotransmitters. Cortisol produces in the adrenal glands and it also has negative impacts on memory. Thus, these happy neurotransmitters help you in feeling happy. Although. Not all of your body is full of happy neurotransmitters, your body needs both. Then how to be happy? There are some natural strategies:-
Make happiness your foremost priority. Set a simple intention to be more positive, which can boost up your level of happiness.
Practice a daily exercise. Do exercise for an hour daily which will release endorphins. Resultantly, it will boost your mood.
Practice gratitude on regular basis by writing in the journal. Just be thankful for all the things to be there in your life.
Feed your mind something nutritious. Now, what is nutritious for our minds? For this, you can dwell on your read list and can read some books or biographies, etc.
No one feels 100 percent happy all the time. However, we read about the science behind happiness. Then we can go through these reasons that cause happiness that show that there are certain things to boost your mood. So, you can find a solution to be happy. Happiness has most of the benefits as it can result in the improvement of nerve connections, can make your reasoning abilities strong. Thus, take a step out of your room and take a mindful walk in your garden or play a game with children. Surely, this will boost your mind and you will be happy.