The professionals have been doing some proper brain research as to what really makes us happier.
And it’s interesting.
I spoke about this at our Healthiest Year Yet event last Saturday and I wanted to share it with you too, I think it’s always good to be reminded of these little feel good pieces.
The full blog post is HERE, but I will summarise it for you.
This research measured which bits of our brains were activated and rewarded with different thoughts, feelings and actions. They measured what makes us feel better, great and the best of all.
Here are the four ways it was shown that activates our brains in a truly positive and uplifting way.
When you are down ask what are you grateful for?
Now I expect you have heard this a lot and probably wanted to skip ahead, but stick with me. When we are grateful we switch on our dopamine and serotonin production. These feel good hormones actively engage when we feel gratitude. And even better – when we are having the lowest of low moments and we can’t find one damn thing to be grateful for, the searching for something to be grateful for activates the same process.
So next time you think that your life is all pants. Go looking for something to be grateful for and you’ll be changing your state and your feel good hormones even if you can’t think of anything.
Name your negative feelings
When we put a name to a feeling be it sad or anxious or grief, we reduce the emotion to it. Research showed the trying to suppress these emotions backfired on people. So name it, reduce the emotion to it and then you can deal with sadness or anxiety of grief because you know what you are dealing with.
Make a decision
When you are overwhelmed with indecision it can make you feel lost and anxious. It’s been shown that making a decision – any decision, will allow your brain to lower anxiety, process the next action and helps you to change your perception of the world. For the perfectionists out there weighing up every variable please note that it doesn’t have to be the perfect decision, you just need to decide. It’s in the decision that the changes can occur.
Experiments have shown that being rejected or missing out on physical contact, like a touch to the arm or an arm around the shoulders has an effect on the brain that represents pain. The brain perceives it similar to a broken bone.
And showing care through electronic means isn’t enough, here’s the last paragraph…
“So spend time with other people and give some hugs. Sorry, texting is not enough. When you put people in a stressful situation and then let them visit loved ones or talk to them on the phone, they felt better. What about when they just texted? Their bodies responded the same as if they had no support at all.”
So as you head into your 2019 looking to lose weight, get fitter, be richer, ask yourself will they make you happier? Really happier? Or would some more of these four things each day help you get there more quickly?
Have a great week!