Can You Make Yourself Happy — What Does Science Say?

6 Sep

Blog Post #145

A friend of mine shared an article on her Facebook page — New Neuroscience Reveals 4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy.

happy

The article says, right at the beginning, there is a lot of “stuff” on the internet on happiness — countless ways to be happy, why being happy is good for you, happiness challenges (see my post on 101 days of happiness, here and here) And as it points out, a lot of it is written by people who don’t know what they are talking about.

I believe in choosing happiness, finding and expressing gratitude and spreading love through random acts of kindness. So, of course, I was curious to learn what neuroscientists had discovered about happiness and the brain.

The rituals that neuroscience has found to be instrumental in helping you to be happy are: feeling and expressing gratitude, naming your negative feelings, making a decision, and reaching out to touch someone.

I found it interesting that one of the best ways, studies have found, to combat negative feelings is to discover things that you are grateful for and to express feelings of gratitude. These efforts actually boost dopamine production in your brain, helping you to feel happier. And, even more fascinating, is that the search for gratitude is more important than actually finding something to be grateful for.

I like the advice of naming your negative feelings, as a way of acknowledging — not suppressing — those bad feelings and accepting them for what they are.  Also, I love the idea that making a “good enough” decision was more helpful than striving for the “perfect” decision.

As for human touch, well, I am a firm believer that hugs, pats on the back, and a gentle touches on the arm or shoulder, makes two people happy — the “huggee” and the “hugger.” And, as Charlotte Diamond said “four hugs a day, that’s the minimum, not the maximum”

If you’re interested, read the entire article. Tell me what you think — I’d love to know your opinion.

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