I’ll be happy when……… Don’t we all know that ploy? It’s the carrot and the stick out in front of us with the promise of ecstatic upliftment. But there has to be a catch….. always a catch of something happening, something being purchased, someone calling, money coming our way…. and the list goes on.
Happiness dependent on external events or stimulus is not happiness. It is a good feeling when something happens. It is not generated from our internal workings. It is as if happiness has to be earned and traded for. Yet research shows that happiness can be generated. It’s the kind of happiness referred to as contentment, joy, satisfaction, fulfillment that is based on an emotional state. Happiness creates endorphins, natural pain relievers.
We choose our emotions, our thoughts, our actions and reactions. We want to react in a happy state to external stimuli and are disappointed when the expected does not happen. So we seek other avenues to be able to grasp the Holy Grail of Happiness.
Recently one Sunday morning I had a conversation with myself about happiness:
Self to Janai: “What do you really want to experience today?” Janai to self: “A chunk of time to ONLY feel happy with no interrupting thoughts.” Self to Janai: “Skip the dishes. Forget the laundry. Projects will wait. Go hike and just make it only a happy hike. NO other thoughts allowed.” Janai to self: “Sold! Happy hike it is… with no commercial breaks from the happy thoughts and feelings. I will keep it in my stride.”
Successful result from a 2 ½ mile hike with zero tolerance for any thoughts other than happy ones: “I feel happy. I am happy. Happy feels good inside me. I am generating happiness. I can feel happiness in the way I am walking. I feel happiness radiating from my heart. I can feel the glow of happiness in my heart. I am smiling so much it makes happy ripples throughout my whole body.”
So be it. Clean. Clear. Happy. Nothing Else. Tailored Heart and Soul Medicine. Peace within. My choice and gift to myself. This meant I had to decide to block any monkey chatter in my mind that would involve anything negative. It also meant only relying ON myself and no dependence on external reasons to be happy. My stride reflected the happiness I was generating. I could feel it in every step. My thoughts kept in alignment with my stride. It was a win-win.
Using my will power, I plugged my intentions into my emotions to FEEL happy as I began hiking. Like a meditative mantra, I kept repeating to myself, happy statements and a mix of feeling grateful that I could generate happiness on the spot.
What ensued for the next three days was an ongoing natural high from the endorphins made during that happy hike. It dawned on me that I had discovered a way to tap more of my own human potential by generating happiness. I wondered if I regularly would commit to happy hikes with no interfering thoughts about how my life would change. Life happens and it’s a discipline to get back to the focus. I tell myself the dips bring greater appreciation for the times I remember to generate happiness. It IS a choice.
Endorphins are the body’s natural pain reliever and also promote pleasure. They’re produced during activities such as exercise, laughter, running, playing, eating chocolate, dancing, sex, fun activities and listening to music. They are a type of neurotransmitter. A lack of endorphins may put a person at an increased risk of health issues such as aches, pain, depression, mood swings, and addiction.
The Dalai Lama states: “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. Human happiness and human satisfaction most ultimately come from within oneself.”
Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. They reduce rates of depression and anxiety, improve mood, decrease pain and discomfort and increase self esteem.
Business Insider insists, “When all else fails, pretend to be happy; after a while, it can become real.” (https://www.businessinsider.com/5-science-backed-habits-that-leasd-to-long-term-happiness)
“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” Buddha
Find your happiness-generating formula to pick up your life stride!
Janai ‘Grandma Boom’ Mestrovich
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