What do humans imply by happiness? It is a state of jollity, felicity, gaiety. Psychologists qualify happiness into two categories. Firstly, there is hedonic happiness. This is nothing but short-term positive emotions like joy and excitement which are ephemeral in nature. Then there’s eudaimonic happiness, which focuses the human mind with long-ranging outcomes and singular life satisfaction.
It is noteworthy to mention that happiness research has been conducted with startling results in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology, clinical research and happiness economics.
In the field of philosophy, happiness is translated from the Greek concept of eudemonia, which refers to an opulent life (though not in a negative sense of the term), as against a short emotion or pleasure. The latter is merely a flow of electric current in the mind and body and does not really enhance the development of one’s personality.
Hormones which act as a trigger
Researchers have zeroed in on four chemicals which are singular in shaping the happiness quotient among human beings.
Footslogging on the treadmill, long walks, pumping iron, regular yoga, swimming and aerobic exercises where humans burn out adequate number of calories, all lead to the release of endorphins.
Humans relish exercising for a couple of reasons. It assists us in not gaining weight, remaining fit, releasing toxins from the human body and significantly the process of discharge of endorphins makes human joyous by nature. Humans ought to spend a minimum of forty-five minutes exercising every day; a daily dose of reading or watching amusing material every day, these measures help to obtain the daily dose of endorphins.
Achievers are not quitters and get acknowledged for their accomplishments in life, both officially and among their dear ones in family circles. These are positive strokes which assist in the release of dopamine and ensure all-round happiness.
Whenever humans receive positive strokes they feel a sense of deep fulfilment and this releases dopamine. The flip side is lack of positive strokes leads to unhappiness and general dissatisfaction.
This could be the reason why several homemakers remain desultory and unhappy. They rarely get acknowledged or appreciated for their intense contribution in running a household. Do we recall Sridevi’s the sterling performance in the movie English Vinglish? Despite taking care of the family, her efforts were seldom recognised and she was perpetually chastised, constantly receiving barbs.
The third chemical, a natural mood regulator, is released when actions of humans benefit society at large. Humans transcend themselves and make a singular effort to return to society, nature and their fellow beings. This process is indeed spiritually uplifting and releases serotonin. These activities are usually beyond the ambit of our regular sphere of work. For instance an Art of Living teacher conducts courses for people or works among alcoholics and drug addicts to transfigure their lives which paves the way for their recovery towards a life of sobriety and rehabilitation. Such activity is extremely fulfilling and enriches their personality and empowers them to take on bigger challenges; of course it metamorphoses the lives of the afflicted too.
This is the substance which is released when we become close to other human beings. Humans transcend their covetous, mercenary and self-seeking nature when they drop inhibitions and without seeking any favour in return become close to fellow beings. In such a state nature from its womb bestows abundance, which leads to the growth of consciousness and self-fulfilment.
A simple hug, without expecting anything in return establishes a deep connect with our fellow beings. During the process the chemical oxytocin is released. The Jadoo ki Jhappi from Munnabhai indeed conjures magic. This is the secret formula of spiritual Masters. Similarly, when we shake hands or put our arms around someone's shoulders, gargantuan amounts of oxytocin is released.
It is noteworthy to mention that the cerebellum is a significant part of the human brain. It is situated at the backside of the brain. By following regular sadhana of various spiritual practices, pranayama, yoga, meditation and the unique rhythmic breathing technique of Sudarshan Kriya the cerebellum releases efficacious thought process.
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson.