The Dalai Lama said, “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” And this, from Abraham Lincoln “We’re only as happy as we make up our minds to be.”
Being happy is a mindset–not a destination or reward. There’s no finish line you cross to discover or achieve it. It’s the way you perceive and engage in your daily universe. Thriving toward feeling good, feeling happy, feeling balanced is a direct result of our thoughts, choices and experiences.
Shocks, traumas, tragedies, along with the everyday stressors that pile up are part of life – along with the resultant sadness, madness, anxiety and more. We mustn’t avoid these types of emotions. Rather, we must shape our mindsets to accept them, and then let them pass. Because they are going to happen. Recognize these feelings and then let them go. Meditate. Breathe. Repeat.
Some stress is a normal part of life. But living with unrelenting stress can cause drops in dopamine and serotonin production. This can negatively affect your mood, making it harder to deal with stress. Over time this can severely impact your health.
The American Psychological Association recommends these actions to reduce stress.
- Take a break from the source of stress to breathe and relax
- Make time for fun and laughter
- Engage in 20 minutes of physical activity/movement
- Social support and interaction
Any of these may help relieve stress while also boosting serotonin, dopamine, and even endorphins.
If you would like to take a deeper dive into this topic, we recommend Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin Levels by Loretta Graziano Breuning
Also consider joining my friends at dose.daybreaker.com. From micro-doses to heroic doses, their “Joy Practices” are engineered to release the four neurochemicals that make you happy.
MARY BETH JANSSEN, CAyur, RYT, CMT, is president of the Janssen Source, wellness director for a large Chicagoland Health Care Organization, and certified Ayurvedic and mind-body health specialist for the Chopra Center for Wellbeing