Let’s take a few minutes to talk about happiness this month, to contrast all the emotions of fear and anger floating around with the current virus situation. Happiness, just like any other emotion, is a transient experience of life. This means that it’s not a permanent state of being; all emotions have a beginning, middle and end, which is why we call them “energy-in-motion”. However, because most people think it’s possible to cling to emotions, happiness has become that one emotion that people crave for most, thinking it’s possible to “always be happy”.
In light of this I’d like to offer two takeaways:
- The best way to look at happiness is to allow it when it comes and experience it to its fullest, knowing that it is a moving energy that will transform to something else. Peace is a state of mind that we can have permanent access to, happiness is something we can welcome and watch as it comes and goes.
- To have more experiences of happiness in our lives, we can break it down to a formula to see what we need to do in order to increase the frequency of this emotion.
Our body releases four types of happiness hormones:
- Endorphins: This gets produced when you are doing what you enjoy, exercising and having a hearty laugh.
- Dopamine: This gets produced when you feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
- Serotonin: This is produced from a sense of contribution and giving back to the world.
- Oxytocin: This is generated from feeling a sense of connection in your relationship with other beings.
Hence to have more happiness in your lives, you simply need to keep your body moving with exercise, cultivate close relationships where you feel a sense of love & connection, learn things to keep your mind growing and accomplishing, and do something to contribute back to our planet.
I was just in San Francisco with a few dear friends where we created opportunities for all hormones, from connecting to the silence of the trees in Muir Woods, to inspiring our minds at Oprah Winfrey’s show, lots of exercise, hearty laughs and taking care of each other. I wish you all a lot more experiences of happiness this month.