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Three Sources Of Happiness You Can (and should) Draw From
Having active projects in each can provide lasting happiness
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Hello Friends! 👋
This week I would like to take a step back and talk about the three fundamental dimensions through which we engage with life and can find joy in it; our Self, Relationships, and Passion.
🧠 PHYSIOLOGY DRIVES PSYCHOLOGY
While we are all aware of the fact that happiness is a state of mind, we seldom realize that the mind lives in the body.
We are a product of our biochemistry; what we do and how we feel is a result of complex biological and chemical systems that happen within our bodies.
Through the biology, we experience sensations, and the chemistry is used for communication through different mechanisms that mainly involve neurotransmitters and hormones.
Neurotransmitters: chemical “messengers” used by our nervous system to communicate with our body. There are 7 main neurotransmitters responsible for most of the communication. Usually with immediate effect (think dopamine hit)
Hormone: chemical “messengers” used by our body to activate organs and other complex processes like metabolism, growth, and reproduction. Usually with longer-term effect (think chronic stress).
Our emotional and mental states are a result of these systems operating in specific manners.
As we know, cortisol is responsible for our experience of stress, serotonin for happiness, oxytocin for love, and dopamine for drive.
We need a healthy body for healthy biochemistry; this is where understanding and caring for ourselves become an essential part of our recipe for happiness.
Our level of energy is dependent on the quality of our movement, sleep, and food.
🤸♂️ Movement: World Health Organization recommends 150 min of physical activity per week; this can be working out, dancing, walking, etc.
💤 Sleep: We need 8 hours of sleep to function optimally, while some people can survive on 4 hours due to specific genetic condition, the chance of you having this condition is lower than that of you being hit by lightning 😊⚡️
🥗 Food: The quality of our food directly impacts the balance of our biochemistry and the work our body has to put in order to get nourished.
Prioritizing our body directly impacts our ability to experience states of well-being.
♥️ WE ARE SOCIAL BEINGS
Without our bodies, we do not exist, and without others, it is not worth existing.
Positive relationships play a vital role in our experience of happiness; in fact, as I researched the different well-being theories that have existed over the past 70 years, all of them involved a domain focused on positive relationships.
Barbara Fredrickson, one of the pioneers in researching human emotions, tells us that “love” is the most important of positive human emotions that affect our health and happiness as well as our ability to grow resilience (!)
Her fascinating research tells us we can experience love through simple micro-moments of positive resonance and connection beyond our intimate connections; like complimenting someone for something we notice, or greeting a waiter by their name and asking about their day.
Cultivating positive relationships has a lot more to do with us than others.
🎨 OUR CREATIVE LIVES (PURPOSE / PASSION / PLAY)
I shared in this post the importance of using our strengths to create a meaningful life.
We engage with and express our uniqueness in life through the work we create.
While for the majority of people work is not a source of happiness, it is possible for us to alchemize that if we focus on what’s within our control and find what we truly want to do.
We spend the majority of our awake time engaged in some sort of work; whether it is our professional work, our hobbies and interests, or our work at home raising children.
Each of these venues offers us an opportunity to bring our unique abilities and experiences to create the life we envision.
As we discussed earlier, a sense of purpose is one of the three main pillars of creating meaning in life.
So, here you go; dedicating intentional energy (don’t try to think in terms of time) in all three domains is necessary for experiencing lasting happiness.
They each support one another. Yet, in their own right, they require dedicated attention.
Community questions (leave a comment)
What other pillars do you believe are necessary beyond (and maybe even more important than) these three?
How do you balance your energy between your energy, your relationships, and your work?
Do you believe a balance in absolute time (vs thinking in terms of energy) between them is necessary?
How are you doing in each of those today? Do you need to do anything to improve any of them?
Till next week!
Have a Super Sunday! 💪