8 Tips From Neuroscientists On Becoming Perfectly Happy
Neuroscience has been evolving at an impressive rate, and neuroscientists are recognizing behaviors and activities that make us happy not just in how we feel but on an actual chemical level. With that in mind, here are eight behaviors neuroscientists believe will make everyone happier.
Say Thank You
Thanking someone may seem like a simple act, but it actually focuses you on the positive. This leads to pleasant memories that actually increase serotonin levels in the body, which is why such a basic act is often used in the treatment of depression.
Solve Problems Sequentially
Problem-solving requires substantial energy. Unresolved problems can make us anxious and irritated. We can make better use of our energy by identifying the most significant problem facing us and solving it. Solving that one problem rewards us with neurotransmitters that relax the limbic system and actually help us to think more clearly. That makes solving the next problem easier.
Don’t Bottle Your Feelings
Scientists have discovered that internal dialogue actually uses another part of the brain than speaking with another person. When speaking to another person, negative thoughts have less of an effect on your well-being, but with internal dialogue, the impact is greater. So, the old advice about talking through your problems is actually very sound advice from the perspective of neuroscience.
Physical interaction is very important for humans and embraces actually create positive activity in the brain. In fact, numerous studies have shown that physical affection can actually speed up recoveries from illness. If you’re already the touchy-feely kind, then this will come easily to you. If, on the other hand, you are not, then it may be something to work on in order to trigger brain activities that can improve your mood and actually suppress depression and the like.
Challenge Your Mind
Continuing to challenge yourself is very important. It forces your mind to adapt to an environment that is changing. The development of the brain has physical and chemical benefits, which include the creation of dopamine. Dopamine makes us happy, and many of studies show that people who continually challenge themselves are happier than those who do not.
Engage in Physical Activities
Exercise is good for your mind as well as your body! Who knew? Such activities relieve stress, which cause a release of endorphins. Endorphins have a morphine-like effect in that they elevate mood and even reduce pain. Even something as simple as walk can improve your well-being as well as creative processes. You can also participate in sports or group exercise, and this can involve your mind in other ways as well as expose it to new experiences.
A good night’s sleep has a positive affect on the mind. Studies have shown that the night aspect is important. At night, our body secretes melatonin, but when light is present, a stress hormone is released instead. Try to get six to eight hours of sleep every night, and if you are someone that has to sleep during the day or is just exposed to excess light at night, then a sleep mask is a wonderful investment that will actually trick your body into producing melatonin.
Pleasant expectations have a profound affect on our state of mind in a chemical sense. If you have a date set for Friday, allowing yourself to be excited about it and think about it is not unlike salivating when food is ready. Your brain actually experiences pleasure simply by anticipating it. You should always have such a goal in place, which is why it’s a great idea to treat yourself on a regular basis.
Neuroscientists assert that if you integrate these behaviors into your lifestyle, you’ll feel happier as well as less stressed and depressed. What do you think? Have you tried? Do you know of other techniques? Broaden the discussion by posting your knowledge, experiences and opinions!