Title and writer of happiness blog

Happiness at your Fingertips

Wanna be Happy at will? Wanna have happiness at your fingertips? Wanna control happy hormones in yourself and others? Read on.

We as humans experience that our desires govern our life. We live in a state of “wanting” something. Be it a good career, a loving life partner, a warm relationship, a huge bungalow, a royal car, good wealth and health, etc. And there is no end to the list. But why is that so? What do we want? What is the ultimate goal of every human being? The simple answer is: HAPPINESS!

A survey once found out that 80% of people wanted to become rich or get famous to be happy. And the impression that they carry is such that they need to constantly push themselves to achieve their goals to have a good life. But actually they don’t find happiness in the process and “miss” life. What if they learn to see the entire life as the sum total of instances and experiences? That will surely change their perception of life and happiness. But then the question is what is happiness and how to bring it under our control?

The same question must have popped up in a psychiatrist named Robert Waldinger’s head when he chose to conduct perhaps the longest and the most extensive research in human history, i.e., study on human life AKA the Harvard Study of Adult Development. This professor of Harvard Medical School is monitoring the study that has tracked the lives of 724 men for over 80 years.

Since 1938, they have tracked the lives of two groups of men. The first group involved the sophomores of Harvard College. They all finished college during World War II, then went off to serve in the war. The second group was a group of boys from Boston’s poorest community; they were chosen because they belonged to some of the most troubled and disadvantaged families in Boston. They lived in tenements without many basic facilities like hot and cold running water.

The project involved studying the journey of subjects from their teenage years into their old age and to know what keeps people happy and healthy through yearly questionnaires regarding their work, their relationships, their health, etc.

They began by interviewing these teenagers along with their parents. They were given medical exams. When these teenagers grew up into adults, they chose to be different professionals from factory workers, lawyers, bricklayers to doctors. Some developed alcoholism and some developed schizophrenia. Some became very successful and some lost their success and failed miserably.

Sometimes studies like this may fall apart within a decade due to various reasons, like people may drop out or die, the funding of the research may fall short, or the researchers get distracted. But this rare study survived all odds. Several generations of researchers were consistent in conducting this, and took it further. A few of the subjects are still alive and participating in the study even at the age of 90. Now they are studying more than 2000 children of the men who participated in the study.

So what was the conclusion from this 75-year study? Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. And there is a scientific reason behind that. Having the people whom you love around you, your body generates all those happy hormones, neurotransmitters, chemicals that can help you to lead a happy and contented life. So technically, our happiness is in our own hands. Anatomically, indeed in our own body.

Hormones act as messengers for our body that regulate our physical functioning like heart rate and digestion, our emotional well-being, mood, and feelings. Our thoughts, emotions, activities, conducts, diet, gut microbes, exercise regime, environment, relationships, and the people we surround ourselves with, all these things influence the hormones in our body. Some hormones help one to feel joy, experience pleasure, give relief from pain, boost mood, and promote general well-being. They alleviate anxiety and prevent depressive symptoms. These are called happy hormones. These feel-good hormones are dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. Let’s have a brief look at them all.

  • Serotonin:- The mood stabilizer

Our gut bacteria stimulate the cells which are responsible for serotonin production. This happy hormone (and neurotransmitter) helps regulate your mood as well as your sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory. Most rhythmic activities generate this hormone.

The activities which increase serotonin in the body are :

  1. Meditation
  2. Running
  3. Walking in nature
  4. Swimming
  5. Cycling
  6. Sunbathing

 

  • Endorphin:- The Painkiller And The Runners Hormone

Your body produces endorphins in response to stress or discomfort. Once released, it binds to opioid receptors (that are the body’s natural morphine). Thus, it inhibits the transmission of pain signals in the central nervous system. So endorphin is your body’s natural pain reliever.

Endorphin induces euphoria. A big rush of endorphin is the cause behind the occurrence of the famous “Runner’s high”. That is the reason why people get hooked on exercise even when it requires physical efforts and causes post-exercise DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).

Any reward-producing activity like eating, working out can increase the level of endorphin. Now endorphin and dopamine are interconnected. When endorphin binds to receptors of the central nervous system, dopamine (the pleasure hormone) is released.

The activities which increase endorphin in the body are.

  1. Laughing
  2. Watching a comedy movie
  3. Eating a dark chocolate
  4. Exercising especially running
  5. Reading or listening to a joke
  6. Enjoying delicious dishes

 

  • Dopamine:- The motivational roleplayer in the brain’s reward system

Dopamine is a “feel-good” hormone and neurotransmitter that makes you happy. It keeps you alive and alert. That’s an important part of your brain’s “reward system” that gives you pleasurable sensations and keeps you coming back for more.

Dopamine is associated with achieving, completing a task, learning, memory, motor system function, and more. Your gut produces more than 50% of your dopamine.

The activities which increase dopamine in the body are:

  1. When you complete a task
  2. Self-care activities
  3. Enjoying a delicious meal
  4. Celebrating little wins
  5. Physical and mental pleasure
  6. Entertaining feel-good thoughts

 

  • Oxytocin:- The love hormone

Oxytocin is a “love/cuddle hormone,” that helps promote trust, empathy, bonding, and trust in relationships. It is highly active during childbirth because it stimulates contractions and is essential for breastfeeding, and strong parent-child bonding.

Physical affection like kissing, cuddling, and an act of lovemaking can increase the level of oxytocin. It’s a neurotransmitter that regulates stress responses and calms the nervous system.  It’s produced in response to touch and the right kind of eye contact.

The activities which increase oxytocin in the body are:

  1. Playing with a baby
  2. Playing with a dog
  3. Holding hands
  4. Cuddling with a loved one
  5. Paying a compliment
  6. Carrying out group activities with friends and family

 

The following are some lifestyle modification ideas that you can add to your schedule to increase the production of happy hormones.

  1. Let The Sun And Vitamin D Be Your True Doctor

Sunbathing is known to increase the production of serotonin in the body. Early morning sunlight in your verandah, nearby park, or gallery can be helpful to you to get enough yet safe sunlight required for your body.

 

  1. Work That Body Out

A regular fitness regimen is important to relieve anxiety, improve mood, and combat depression. Good exercise promotes the secretion of happy hormones in our bodies.

 

  1. Laugh Your Lungs Out

Some comedy series, funny videos, hilarious novels can do wonders to provide you  with your daily dose of the best medicine, i.e, laughter. Laughter removes or reduces sadness and pain.

 

  1. Cook And Cuddle With Your Loved One

The comfort you get from eating something delicious can trigger the release of dopamine and endorphin. Sharing the meal with your loved ones, and bonding over meal preparation help to boost oxytocin levels. Remember those community feasts? Cooking together and eating together!

 

Different types of food can trigger the release of different hormones. For example, spicy foods help with endorphin release. Yogurt, beans, eggs, meats with low-fat content, and almonds are responsible for dopamine release. Foods that are high in tryptophan tend to increase serotonin levels. And lastly, foods containing probiotics, such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, can influence the release of all happy hormones

 

  1. Sup! Supplements

You can support your mental wellbeing by taking care of your gut bacteria and your diet. There’s a second “brain” in our gut; the enteric nervous system that is to be credited for our longevity.

 

A balanced whole-food diet promotes mental as well as physical health. Contrary to that, people who eat an unhealthy diet consisting of refined carbohydrates, fast food, and animal products tend to have less beneficial bacteria.

 

One can add foods containing tryptophan; the essential amino acid the body uses to produce serotonin, to their diet. Chickpeas, wheat, oats, milk, cheese, and potatoes are such a few examples.

Foods with tyrosine are linked to dopamine production. Green tea and green tea extract help in producing dopamine and serotonin.

 

People with certain health conditions should always consult a physician before adding any supplements as they interfere with some medication.

 

  1. Music To The Rescue

Listening to instrumental music increase dopamine production in your brain. But listening to any music you enjoy puts you in a good mood. And such a positive change in your mood increases serotonin production.

 

When a musician produces a piece of good music or performs music by dancing, singing, or drumming, he experiences an endorphin release.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23089077/

 

  1. Meditate For The Mind That Matters

Along with the many benefits of meditation, one of the major benefits is that it helps to increase the level of dopamine and endorphin in our brain by creating new neural pathways and releasing the old that doesn’t serve us.

 

  1. Plan A Rosy Evening Filled With Romance

The ‘Love Hormone” oxytocin is released even by simply being attracted to someone. Spending time with someone you care about helps increase oxytocin production. Dancing with your partner releases the endorphine in you. A word of caution: Handle this suggestion with care! 😉

 

  1. Pat Your Pet

Any dog lover can vouch for the happiness he gets when he cuddles or plays with his dog. This bonding increases the oxytocin level in both of them.

 

  1. Sleep Tight so Good can Be Your Night.

7 to 9 hours of sleep each night helps restoring the balance of hormones in your body. Without enough sleep, dompamine levels are disturbed. The majority of the healing including the balance in your hormones happens during sleep. Respect sleep!

 

  1. Stress! Stay Away

This one is a complete no-brainer. Living with regular stress and dealing with highly stressful life events can cause drops in dopamine and serotonin production. Cultivating a hobby is a good way to keep the stress at bay.

 

  1. Keep Your Massage Mode On

A good massage can boost all 4 of your happy hormones. You can choose a licensed therapist for getting a massage.

 

For a healthy body, you need a healthy mind matters. It is indeed the issue of mind over matter! So keep your mind occupied with the activities mentioned above, and have happiness at your fingertips.

Written by
Dr Krushika Shah

Pic of the writer Krushika Shah

 

 

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Boost one's morale

Encouragement matters!

At times things are not as people want them to be. They want something but give up after trying for some time. In such cases, they need a lot of encouragement. You can use expressions such as the ones given below to encourage them and boost their morale.

 

  1. Well done.
  2. Keep it up.
  3. You are a hard worker, don’t give up.
  4. You have always passed with good marks. You’ll do well this time too.
  5. You must stick to your guns / decision.
  6. Look at the bright side of things.
  7. Act responsibly.
  8. You must not be sad.
  9. Be happy.
  10. Make a fresh start daily.
  11. Have confidence in your abilities.
  12. Always do right. You will not fall into trouble.
  13. Not everyone can do as much as you have done.
  14. Keep a win-win spirit.
  15. Believe in yourself.
  16. It’s how you look at things that matters.
  17. Be positive. Be optimistic. Always.
  18. Surround yourself with people who are optimistic.
  19. Remember: change is constant.
  20. Remember to be grateful for what you have.
  21. Look forward to a bright future.
  22. Every problem comes with a solution.
  23. You can play and win easily.
  24. It’s child’s play.
  25. Nobody succeeds without failing a few times.
  26. You are capable of great things.
  27. Count your blessings.
  28. Pray hard for answers to your problems.
  29. Make the most of each day.
  30. Face your problems bravely.
  31. Seek help when needed.
  32. Be your own motivation.
  33. Make a start and don’t stop till you reach your goal.
  34. Always be confident.
  35. Go ahead; you are doing well.
  36. I am with you all the way.
  37. I assure you of my total support.
  38. Don’t stop now. Actually try harder.
  39. We are praying for you.
  40. You have our full / financial / technical support.
  41. You have our moral support.
  42. Our whole family is with you… all the way.
  43. Do please let us know how we can help.
  44. Don’t lose hope.
  45. Don’t hesitate to ask for help of any kind.
  46. You are such a brave boy/girl.
  47. Be strong mentally and physically.
  48. We won’t let you fail / suffer.
  49. Be positive. Things will fall into place in due course of time.
  50. With him / her beside you, you will definitely feel encouraged.
  51. Come on, show your guts.
  52. Come on, show your mettle.
  53. Oh, you sing so nicely. Well done.
  54. Everything is going to be okay.
  55. Let’s have a pep talk.
  56. That was so nice of you.
  57. You have done such things earlier. Why not now?
  58. I encourage you to stand up and take up the challenge.
  59. Keep your head / chin up.
  60. Just be yourself.
  61. Time is a great healer.
  62. Put yourself in my place.
  63. It’s okay to cry. It makes you stronger, actually.
  64. We learn from our mistakes.
  65. It’s a time for change.
  66. Keep on smiling / laughing / trying.
  67. Discuss things frankly. Open your heart to people you trust.
  68. Don’t suffer in silence. Speak up.
  69. Say what you like. Don’t bottle up your feelings.
  70. Rise to the challenge.
  71. Show the world that you can deal with any situation successfully.
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Down the Pandemonic Road

Sometimes some ordinary experiences give birth to astonishing ideas and expressions. Something similar happened with me about a month ago. While walking home in the evening, I saw two feeble dogs lazily chewing on something that looked like a non-juicy bone. The same day in the morning, I had read in the paper all kinds of negativity—deaths, corruption, black marketeering in medicines, political drama, and what not. Luckily, just before I reached our apartment building, I saw something interesting on the roadside—a tiny plant with shiny, dark green leaves on the upper surface and light green underneath. The sight just stopped the world for me for a few moments. Upon returning home, I scribbled a note, as is my wont. I sent it to my Guru Dr Sudhakar Marathe. He suggested a few additions and modifications. In fact that transformed my garbled “note” into a “poem”, something that I can dare share. 😉

Please read my 26-line poem below. I don’t think it will take more than 2 minutes to read it.

Do please write your comments in the comment box. You might like to recite the poem in your own words.

Best wishes,

Dharmendra

Down the Pandemonic Road

Two dogs gnawing
on the same marrowless bone,
not fighting, growlless…
death of their doghood, dignity.

Rotting carcasses scattered about—
human emotions and what matters;
vultures feeding in the muck heaps
on the offal of human corruption.

Chaos reigns supreme in mind
asynchronous, inexplicit, disquieting,
suggesting man’s senile decrepitude.

Is his punishment
beyond the grave?
Will trees bear fruit again?
Will anyone listen to questions again?
Will there ever be answers again?

A little ahead
From within a heap of dead leaves
emerges a new growth
cracking the earth with all its might…
a slap in the face
of widespread apathy.

Faith restored
Sanity returned
Strength regained
Hope renewed.

Dharmendra Sheth June 2021

#poem #coronaliterature #englishpoetry #pandemicpoetry #pandemicliterature #englishpoeminpandemic #englishliterature #poetryofpassion #powerofwords #suratbloggers #suratcity #lifeinSurat #fluentlingua #dharmendraSheth #englishtutor #onlineteaching #wordpower #readingliterature #literatureofpain #englishwriting #recitation #reciteapoem #elocution #poignantpoem #poignantpoetry #wordsfromheart #englishinsurat #englishinGujarat #GujaratiPoets #poetryingujarat

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Sip your tea nice and slow…

Sip your tea nice and slow…

A beautiful poem
by Lee Tzu Pheng of Singapore

Sip your Tea
Nice and Slow
No one Ever knows
when it’s Time to Go,
There’ll be no Time
to enjoy the Glow,
So sip your Tea
Nice and Slow.

Life is too Short but
feels pretty Long,
There’s too Much to do, so much going Wrong,
And Most of the Time You Struggle to be Strong,
Before it’s too Late
and it’s time to Go,
Sip your Tea
Nice and Slow.

Some Friends stay,
others Go away,
Loved ones are Cherished but not all will Stay.
Kids will Grow up
and Fly away.
There’s really no Saying how Things will Go,
So sip your Tea
Nice and Slow.

In the End it’s really
all about understanding Love
For this World
and in the Stars above,
Appreciate and Value who truly Cares,
Smile and Breathe
and let your Worries go,
So Just Sip your Tea
Nice and Slow.

This poem is beyond all relationships
But made for us all.

When I’m dead.
Your tears will flow
But I won’t know
Cry with me now instead.

You will send flowers,
But I won’t see
Send them now instead;

You’ll say words of praise
But I won’t hear.
Praise me now instead

You’ll forget my faults,
But I won’t know…..
Forget them now instead.

You’ll miss me then,
But I won’t feel.
Miss me now, instead.
You’ll wish You could have spent more time with me,
Spend it now instead

When you hear I’m gone, you’ll find your way to my house to pay condolence but we haven’t even spoken in years.

Look for me now.

We are nothing without each other
Live beautifully, leave beautifully.

Enjoy watching this video:

https://youtu.be/7Gar7oZ2eyE

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Communication Mastery

Hi everyone,

Here’s a 20-minute video specially for you. The topic is:

Own Your Behaviours, Master Your Communication, Determine Your Success

Very interesting, indeed. Excellent content, apart from standard English accent. Watch this video a couple of times to get the most out of it.

Best wishes,
Dharmendra

https://youtu.be/4BZuWrdC-9Q

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Mimetic Desire

Hi

I have received the following message Mimetic Desire via WhatsApp from a friend Dr Yogesh Kashikar (Maharashtra, India). I found it interesting and so I am sharing it here. I don’t know the original writer, though.

Mimetic Desire

Have you ever seen children at a party playing with balloons. One child suddenly grabs a red balloon and yells: “This balloon is mine!”
Inadvertently, all the children drop their balloons and fight over this red balloon. A very dumbed down example of what René Girard calls “mimetic desire.”

A lot of our desires don’t emerge from within, but from ‘outside’. We import our most powerful desires from imitating the desires of other people.

In fact, the entire advertising industry is founded on the exploitation of borrowed desire. Human desire is not a linear process, where a person autonomously desires an inherently desirable object. Rather, we desire according to the desires of others. If we are not aware of this, others will influence us on what to desire.
And this is amplified on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram which are excellent conduits of mimetic desire.

French thinker Montesquieu, explained it beautifully “If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think they are happier than they actually are.”

Getting clear about what really matters to you is incredibly important, and not as simple as it appears.
Don’t follow the desires of others.Understand that what makes them feel rich and fulfilled is not the same for you.
Look for your own happiness & stay blessed forever.

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Life is complex

Life is complex, isn’t it.

Life is complex, whether you like it or not. It makes you dance and laugh, but, at the same time, it makes you run and cry. Accept life in totality. Make the most of every happy moment and forget the one that caused trouble.

Life is complex.

#life #quote #englishquotes #fluentlingua #dharmendrasheth #englishinsurat #iamsurat #surties #challengeinlife #lifejourney #artoflife #lifeinsurat #quotationsforlife #quote4life #simpleliving #happinessbooster #livelifefull #goodthoughtsmatter #lifeinpal #englishtutor #funinlilfe #lifefun

For more such quotes, visit
www.fluentlingua.com
@dharmendra_sheth_surat
@fluentlingua

Happy Learning, Happy Living!

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Never miss a chance to…

Hello everyone,

This morning my friend Hemal Ved (Mumbai) shared a wonderful message with me via WhatsApp.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.
— Will Rogers

Now, here are my thoughts based on the above. Please add yours if you like and share them with your loved ones.

1. Never miss a chance to help someone.
2. Never miss a chance to learn.
3. Never miss a chance to praise someone.
4. Never miss a chance to appreciate someone’s help or concern.
5. Never miss a chance to bring a smile on someone’s face.
6. Never miss a chance to spread love.
7. Never miss a chance to lighten someone’s burden.
8. Never miss a chance to make someone happy.
9. Never miss a chance to apologise if you have made a mistake.
10. Never miss a chance to thank someone.

And, finally, never miss a chance to share such a wonderful message with your loved ones.
???

Best wishes,
Dharmendra Sheth

Spoken English Surat

After reading this message of mine, many friends contributed profusely to the list. Two major additions are copied below.

Isha Chaliawala

1. Never miss a chance to listen to others.
2. Never miss a chance to listen to your own instinct.
3. Never miss a chance to celebrate and rejoice.
4. Never miss a chance to upgrade yourself.
5. Never miss a chance to console someone.
6. Never miss a chance to welcome and comfort guests.
7. Never miss a chance to uplift someone’s spirit.
8. Never miss a chance to whisper infinity into someone’s ears.
9. Never miss a chance to be with nature.
10. Never miss a chance to follow your passion.

Thank you Isha for the above list.

Now another list from a dear friend Gaurav Duggal.

1. Never miss a chance to pay it forward
2. Never miss a chance to express gratitude
3. Never miss a chance to show love & care in actions
3. Never miss a chance to be humble (show humility)
4. Never miss a chance to count your blessings
5. Never miss a chance to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud
6. Never miss a chance to do Seva without showing it off
7. Never miss a chance to help the less privileged in deeds & actions
8. Never miss a chance to offer food to needy & poor
9. Never miss a chance to buy from vendors minus hustling
10. Never miss a chance to Lead by Example

Now, here are some more.
11. Never miss a chance to be Humane
12. Never miss a chance to be content
13. Never miss a chance to show off integrity, character, faith, ethics
14. Never miss a chance to be a self directed learner
15. Never miss a chance to be a quality producer –
16. Never miss a chance to be an effective communicator
17. Never miss a chance to be a ethical user of technology
18. Never miss a chance to be a complex thinker
19. Never miss a chance to be a community contributor
20. Never miss a chance to empower, enable, encourage & uplift others.

Thank you Gaurav for the above contribution.

 

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