You probably want to escape unhappiness forever, but it helps to know that the chemistry of unhappiness is just as necessary as the chemistry that produces happiness. The brain needs the chemicals of unhappiness to warn of threats and obstacles, just as it needs the chemicals of happiness to draw attention to opportunities. We are designed to survive by searching for happy chemicals and avoiding unhappy ones, but not for pursuit and elimination shortcuts. According to the book Habits of a Happy Brain by Loretta Graziano.
However, we all want to be happy, or at least the majority. So while we can’t avoid unhappy moments, we can encourage the nine things that happy people have in common:
1. The quality of relationships. A large study followed hundreds of people for more than seventy years, and found that the happiest (and healthiest) people were those who had strong relationships with the people they trusted to support them. This helped increase serotonin levels in the brain.
2. Time is better than money. It has been proven that people are happier when they have more time than more money. It seems that trying to approach life with that mindset makes people happier.
3. Money helps. People who had to pay their bills month to month were happier. However, there comes a time when more quantity does not mean more happiness.
4. People who stop to appreciate the moment, slow down daily stress and enjoy the little things are happier according to recent studies.
5. Generosity helps improve mood. People who volunteer or support charitable work had higher levels of satisfaction.
6. Exercise helps a lot to improve mood, and lowers the rate of mental illness. For example, basketball helps use the four chemicals of happiness:
1) Dopamine: for being a game/fun.
2) Endorphins: from exercise.
3) Serotonin: spending time with your friends, feeling that they are part of something.
4) Oxytocin: When you love the game.
7. Experiences and fun. People who spend their money on experiences like hiking or traveling are happier than those who spend their money on material things that don’t involve the experience.
8. It helps to be present in the moment. Several studies have found that people who practice mindfulness meditation experience increases in mental well-being and health. People who kept a gratitude journal also experienced higher rates of well-being.
In addition, cognitive psychology talks about giving up. “In renunciation lies strength, this is the royal road to happiness,” says author Rafael Santandro. And I understand that it is very difficult to give up, because sometimes it is to give up on other people or the same health, when we are sick. “I got sick and will live with this disease in the best possible way,” the author paraphrased.
9. Friends and the time we spend with them helps a lot in well-being. Interacting with ordinary friends can make people happier, and close friendships, especially with happy people, can also have a powerful effect on your happiness.
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