It might be reasonable to say that there are likely as many interpretations of the word happiness as there are cells in the body.
While it means something different for everyone, one thing can be universally agreed upon: we are all regularly sprinting toward, in undying search of, or trying to create happiness.
A commonality in each of us is the specific means to do so, and our golden ticket aboard the H-train: the brain. Sounds a little “woo-woo” for you?
If we can practice and train the muscles in the body to challenge them in the remarkable ways they prove their capacity for transformation, why not the brain?
You wouldn’t train your bicep on the squat rack, and you wouldn’t do sit-ups for your hamstrings. Each muscle has its unique function, and therefore must undergo specific training to optimize growth and performance.
The brain is the same. As you know, the brain’s capabilities are endless, many of them untapped. Happiness? You must have felt it before, you know at the very least: what it’s meant to feel like.
Self-Assess—What’s Your Mind On?
What’s on your mind is not always what your mind is on. It turns out. The average person has about 50,000 -70,000 thoughts per day. Even if you sat and contemplated, you’d struggle to recall the vast majority of these, and that’s okay.
Keep a Mood Journal
Some people cringe at the thought of keeping a journal, they would rather escape the problem in the first place before delving into a written opera about their lives. If this is you, begin with a mood journal, where you report your moods.
You can permit yourself to tear the mood open for examination, or you can leave it there on the page. Either way, you will have a way of tracking something more important than your thoughts themselves—how they make you feel.
Share with a Mental Health Professional
If you’re having trouble coming to an understanding of how you feel in the first place, ask for help. Seeing a therapist for some carries a stigma. It can be scary to lay it all out there for a stranger.
A trusted friend or family member are great options for support, but when it comes to combing through the inner-workings of your subconscious, a mental health professional can help you better make sense of what you’re feeling.
Self-Regulation for Salvation
Once you have established a keen awareness of what you’re feeling, to begin with, you can take action that will propel you to a place where you can have more control over how your brain functions emotionally. You have a say, and that say is what you do.
Unlearn: You will likely notice that there are toxic patterns that you wish not to repeat. Once you’re aware of these, show yourself the compassion and resilience to unlearn them. Permit yourself to reset.
Get Moving: Exercise is a great way to release toxins and produce “happy” neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. The more you do, the more you’ll crave, and the more you’ll transmit outward.
Eat for your feelings: You might have heard the term “eat your feelings,” which carries a negative connotation. Instead, eat for your feelings. Proper nutrition high in protein, fiber, and nutrients will help ensure that your brain is always primed for healthy thought patterns.
Rest: Getting an adequate amount of rest will work in tandem with nutrition and exercise to create the best possible platform to work with when trying to train your brain into happiness.
Power of attraction: Attract happiness by working to gravitate toward it in every situation. Even some of the worse of situations have their silver lining. By practicing this, no matter how small, over time, you will find yourself making a habit of finding the happy in hell.
Neurofeedback: This one goes hand in hand with unlearning. It is a complex process that works to rewire the processes in your brain, therefore regulating responses to stimuli, which can ultimately affect how your brain triggers happiness or hinders it.
Remember, finding pure happiness is a long journey. Some days, you might not feel the happiest, or even a tiny bit happy at all, that’s fine too. What matters is that you make a conscious effort to train your brain to become happy even in the darkest times.