I was listening to an audio book a few days ago and something caught my attention enough for me to dig a little deeper. The book was called Sapiens and was full of interesting info on human history (if you’re into that of course, and even if not, it was still a great listen).
Anyway, that one thing was related to feeling happy because of circumstances / possessions / people, but went on to discuss the actual chemicals generated within the body that are responsible for creating sensations we associate with happiness.
Bear with me here, I am no expert or medically trained, but a quick google search brought up similar information – and that was the four chemicals that effect the sensation of happiness are: endorphins; dopamine; serotonin; and oxytocin.
And this is what else I found out:
Eendorphins – released by the central nervous system to help deal with pain, especially after aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
Dopamine – the ‘chemical of reward’, may come from acts of kindness to others, as well as achievement of a goal.
Serotonin – increased through exposure to sunlight and (some studies hint at) from eating tryptophan heavy foods (there is a wide range of food here).
Oxytocin – associated with loving touch and close relationships.
Whilst I am dubious of ‘hacks’ to feeling happy and believe anything good takes effort and consistency, I couldn’t help but think this was quite simple. And I like simple!