Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Our bodies can self-produce morphine during orgasm, or heavy exercise, providing a release of ‘endorphins’ that also assist in relieving pain.
Yoga and meditation provide a sense of peace and calmness, which is due to the hormone GABA.
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.
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