If you find yourself hunting for happiness, you may find that that treasure is quite Elusive.
I believe that may be by design… If we head out seeking happiness, like an explorer delving into the uncharted jungle, we are doing so unprepared. (Think Indiana Jones minus his whip, pistol and hat).
All-to-often we seek happiness, and we may find it in unlikely places. More often than not, those unlikely places appear because at that moment, everything was in place for happiness to show its face, but all along we were carrying it in our knapsack.
We don’t “find” happiness, we create joy and happiness follows. Happiness is usually created externally, so if we find the Holy Grail, it may make us feel happy, but the emotions triggered are actually created inside.
So why not work on the inside first? I know, that territory can sometimes seem more daunting and dangerous than battling snakes and gigantic rolling boulders (what an awesome scene that was), but if we can start creating our own joy, happiness will follow in droves.
“How do we create joy then, Dr. Lindeman??”
Simple: Synaptogenic Neuroplasticity!
I know, that’s a couple of big words. Basically synaptogenic is the creation of new synapses in our nervous system, creating more connections for the nerve impulses and etc to travel faster. Neuroplasticity is the changing of nerves and creating more nerve fibers along a path. Think of riding a bike, or brushing your teeth, or etc… At first these tasks took some serious thought power, over time, more synapses are formed, more neurons fire and the tasks become routine, easy and habitual.
You can do that with JOY too :). Gratitude journals, positive thinking, meditation, listening to good music, making yourself smile, being kind to others, accepting praise, saying thank you and you’re welcome, hugging random strangers (do so at your own risk), taking the time to laugh each and every day… all of these things create Joy, and when done so habitually, create more synapses and more nerve connections to allow these things to happen easier and easier. And as a result, the “good” hormones (oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin) become released quicker, easier and in larger numbers.
So instead of putting on that khaki on khaki on khaki gettup and holstering your machete, start by doing things each day that will build up your joy reserves.
You may find that instead of searching for the happiness treasure, you are already wealthy beyond measure (I know that kinda rhymed, and I kinda did it on purpose 😉
Yours in Joy 🙂
Joel Lindeman D.C.