Of all our eight Moods, the most recently talked about and sought after is happiness. The pursuit of happiness is simple to understand – everything we do or think, everything we eat or drink, at everything we look and to whoever we smile – the primary purpose of all of these everyday activities is to find and enjoy happiness. The warm feeling inside us is an amazing human emotion that drives & propels us forward to do great things in our lives.
We are lead away from happiness with the escape from the now, or being present, through alcoholism, compulsive gambling or shopping, dependency on illicit or licit drugs, eating disorders, sexual addictions, and/or workaholism (to name but a few). Research suggests being in the here and now has the greatest potential to impact positive change, and one of the easiest ways to get present is by engaging the senses. (Stern, 2004). When we are happy and engaged, dopamine in the brain is increased and our brains work better. We are then more likely to collaborate, be productive and creative, help others, solve problems, and engage in physical activities. (Diamond, 2009)
So how do we get present, engaged, and ultimately to happiness? Here are some ideas from some different experts on how to get engaged in Happiness, and how to incorporate it into your life:
- Leatrice Eiseman, Color Expert and Director of the Pantone Institute, suggests in Colors for Your Every Mood to dress your room in yellow. Being the color of the sunshine, it produces cheerfulness, warming effect, stimulates mental activity and even generates muscle energy. However, like many things in life, if the color is overused it may lead to contrary effects. We suggest everything, including yellow, in moderation. When used with a touch of sense, yellow color can dramatically influence your ability to be and stay happy. Try giving a sunflower to your special one and you’ll see both of you light up with happiness.
- Sue Phillips, fragrance expert and CEO of Scenterprises, talks in Self Magazine about the benefits of scents on emotions and mood. She suggests using lively citrus notes to put a smile on your face, smells that are associated with happiness. Phillips also discusses on her Scenterprises site how aromas enter our limbic system and stimulate chemicals in the brains that impact moods. She suggests getting familiar with scents, so you can understand how they can do different things like distress, calm, uplift, invigorate and add to happiness.
- Deepak Chopra, spiritual teacher and author of several best-selling books on Happiness talks to Oprah in this video specifically addressing Happiness. He calls it the ‘ultimate goals of all goals’, and clarifies that you do not become happy when you reach a goal. Instead, you must first become happy and then you get to your goals. Having happiness, which he calls an internal state of euphoria, increases dopamine, serotonin, opiates, and oxytocin. In order to achieve this, you must be in touch with your soul. He has a meditation program he developed with Oprah called Expanding Your Happiness that helps you on this journey.
- Tal Ben-Shahar, Harvard Professor and author of “Happier, Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment”, makes the point in his book that Happiness is similar to being in the state of flow. He states that ‘Flow experiences lead to higher levels of happiness by transforming the formula of “no pain, no gain” to “present gain, future gain”. He further suggests that our task difficulties need to match our skill level, and when they are do and we are in this state of flow, we are achieving happiness. Tal also talks about giving to others, and the importance of enjoying the journey of achieving goals as opposed to being happy when we reach the goal. He speaks of his shift from being in the rat race to the pursuer of happiness not about working less or with less energy, but about working as hard or harder at the right activities, ones that have both a present and future benefit.
- Brilliant sage Mahatma Gandhi states that “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
The Mood Factory Happiness Definition: The state of being happy; a state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience; an internal sense of joy in the here and now; being totally and completely present and at ease.
What do you think? What brings you #Happiness? Share with us, so we can continue spreading Happiness around the world.
#improvingmoods #coloringlives #happiness