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Don't confuse "reward" for happiness

Don't confuse "reward" for happiness


6.49K reads

Happiness Is Not Like Instant Coffee

Happiness is a slow burn, something existentially different from the various feel-good ‘rewards’ that most of us believe to be happiness, and are therefore addicted to.

With many of us who are unconsciously looking for happiness online, the little releases of dopamine when we get ‘likes’ o...

People who exercise regularly feel a certain bliss post-workout. It is a state of happiness that comes from the release of endocannabinoids after the body has pushed itself harder than normal.

Runners experience this state of ‘high’ after they complete a good run.

Also known as the ‘reward’ high, it is a happy chemical released in the brain as a reward for anything that is pleasurable. It is a short-lived feeling that goes as soon as it comes.

The plus side is that it is also felt when we achieve any goal, or even when we simply tick a box in our t...

Bonding with fellow humans and animals makes us happy. A hug from a loved one, or even stoking one’s dog releases oxytocin in our brain and has lasting benefits of happiness.

Even looking at old pictures of fond memories does the same thing to us.

Our bodies can self-produce morphine during orgasm, or heavy exercise, providing a release of ‘endorphins’ that also assist in relieving pain.

Acupuncture therapy also stimulates this type of hormones to be secreted in the body.

Yoga and meditation provide a sense of peace and calmness, which is due to the hormone GABA.

This anti-anxiety molecule produced during such practices works by slowing down the neurons being fired inside the mind.

This hormone stabilizes our emotions, and can also affect our ‘arousal’ intensity and bowel movements.

Low levels of this ‘stabilizing’ molecule is linked to depression.

Our vast catalogue of hormones produced in the body also includes the ‘energy’ molecule, adrenaline (epinephrine) which when released, creates a surge inside the body which feels exhilarating.

Extreme sports, horror films, roller coasters and sudden accidents (fight or flight situations) t...

We could help ourselves with the following understanding:

  1. Dopamine comes and goes like a flash, and oxytocin is a better, more lasting happiness hormone.
  2. Loving others generates oxytocin, but so does loving and being kind to yourself.
  3. Breathing exercises make us cal...

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