Ahh, “How to be happy”, the age old question.
Who among us doesn’t want to be happier? I know I do!
According to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, happiness comes down to roughly 50% genetics, 40% choices, and 10% circumstances. If this is correct, that means you only really control 40-50% of the factors influencing your happiness…at best.
But the bit you control can be hugely impactful, and to some degree you may be able to affect the genetic component by tweaking your brain chemistry in various ways. Perhaps in the future you’ll even be able to tweak your happiness genes, but I digress.
Along these lines, I think it’s important to point out that “Happy” is simply a balanced brain chemical cocktail: dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin.
“Sad” is an excess of cortisol, glucocorticoids, and a lack of happy chemicals. Sad could also involve an excess of adrenaline or norepinephrine, though in the right situations there’s nothing wrong with those chemicals. Again, it’s all about balance. Continue reading…