Happiness is not a destination.
It’s a method of life.
Some say we can laugh our way to happy, and I’m one of them. We all are born with happiness chemicals. Yes, you too. So why do you feel so sad? Why are you dragging through life? Perhaps you haven’t tapped into your natural happy chemicals.
Mysterious Chemicals to Happy
What are these mysterious chemicals that can lead to happiness? Well, there are many, but we’ll focus only on four: dopamine, oxytocin, endorphin, and serotonin. The big four lead to our happy. Let’s take a peek into each chemical.
Dopamine is the reward chemical that’s turned on eating food, achieving a goal, completing a task and our self-care activities.
Endorphin is the pain killer chemical that’s ignited when we exercise, listen to music, watch a movie and laugh.
Oxytocin is our love hormone tapped into when we socialize, physical touch, pet animals and help others.
Serotonin is the chemical of mood stabilizing, which comes from sun exposure, mindfulness, being in nature and meditation.
Yep, just stop what you’re doing and look at the four magical chemicals that can ignite your happy button. That feel-good feeling makes us smile and laugh. Take a pause, stop reading and smile. Do you feel the lift? Smiling, along with laughing, stimulates the endorphins in our brains. You don’t have to think about anything, just smile, and the change simply happens.
Smiling can trick your brain into happiness. Science has shown that the mere act of smiling reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that your body secretes to help your organs function optimally, quickly, and more effectively during periods of stress.
When we smile, our brains releases neuropeptides, a nerve protein that influences our brain, body, and behavior. Particularly, this negates stress and elevates our moods.
When we flash radiant smiles across our faces, or burst into a giggle, we release “feel good” neurotransmitters, including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. And when we snuggle with our pooch, kitty, or even our birds and horses, we feel good getting the oxytocin.
The neurotransmitter dopamine gives the brain energy and motivation—a rush that is necessary for a habit change. Endorphins lessen our perception of pain, triggering a positive, euphoric feeling in the body very much the way morphine does. And serotonin, a confidence booster, seeps into our very essence, changing our overall moods.
Don’t Take Life is Too Serious
Give it your best and make it a toothy smile. Or, go big or go home with a deep throaty laugh that shakes those around you to attention.
We take life too seriously. Sometimes we just have to step away and take a breather from our existence so that we can jump back in refreshed and ready to take on whatever life hands us.
Richard Carlson writes in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: and It’s All Small Stuff, “One of my favorite posters says: Life is a test. It is only a test. Had this been a real life, you would have been instructed where to go and what to do.” He says, “Whenever I think of this humorous bit of wisdom, it reminds me to not take my life so seriously.”
My sister Mickey has the most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard. She loves to laugh. She laughs freely. She laughs often. And she laughs loud. I’m more subdued and quiet, but not when I’m with Mickey. I laugh. Laughter is a great getaway from reality, from taking life so seriously.
Who do you know that’s quick to laugh? Take a moment and zero in on this person laughing and notice how you feel instantly. Do you feel a lift? Think about a little child in your life when they get on a giggle kick. What happens to them? They often fall to their knees from laughing so hard. What a difference it could make if we did the same.
Okay, maybe we don’t want to fall to our knees, but just go for the giggle attack and watch all the chemicals ignite. Smile and they’ll ignite too.
Have you ever watched a young child having a laughing fit? He falls to the ground because he feels the laughter in the core of his being.
When was the last time you laughed? I mean, really laughed. Laughter is one of the quickest ways to dull the inner chatter and escape to another place—a quick getaway right in your mind.
Laughter Heals, Smiling is Contagious
Laughter is powerful and healing. Smiling is contagious. Try smiling at everyone you see today and I promise if they’re looking at you, they’ll smile back. And if you laugh, they’ll laugh too. Did you know there are laughing sessions? There are. I’ve never attended one, but just thinking about it makes me chuckle.
So, the message is simple, we can laugh our way to happy and it can start with a simple smile.
When was the last time you laughed? How did it make you feel? Are you a natural laugher or do you squelch this part of you?
Thank you for spending time with me and my thoughts throughout these pages. I hope my words lit your excitement to become your best self for you. I look forward to sharing my next book with you on how to release your obsession with money. God bless you… and your journey through this life and all that awaits beyond…
Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. I’m here for you.
To learn more on recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, aging, and now money, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.
Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander…
And now my newest release:
I learned firsthand and now I’m passing it along to you…