Our wants, desires, dreams have one common goal which is "Happiness". We wants to be successful in every area of our life and expect long term happiness as a result.
The fact is, the happiness is a state of mind which need no external inputs, it is, in fact, an input to everything we do. The world was happier when the things we desire were not even invented. The another issue is the happiness start to reduces soon after getting what we want, like new home, new car, new relationship, travel, vacation etc. etc.
To maintain happiness the worst thing we do is to start confusing "happiness" with "pleasure". Let me be clear here, pleasure helps in supporting happiness if used in the right sequence, quantity and timing, but we are doing it "all wrong". Let's try to understand the facts and find long lasting happiness together.
What is pleasure? Pleasure is most wanted in today’s world as it has high intensity and visibility. The problem is, it has a shorter retention period. We have to repeat the pleasurable actions more often to keep experiencing them. This excessive craving and repetition of pleasure are called addiction, and most of the time, it has negative consequences. What is happiness? On the other hand, happiness is all about the feeling of life satisfaction and fulfilment. Happiness is when your thoughts and actions align with your values to generate positive emotions in every situation.
Why are we unhappy? As per Dr. Robert Lustig, pleasure is Dopamine, and happiness is Serotonin. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It plays an essential role in the brain‘s pleasure and reward system. Serotonin is the crucial hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. The increase of Dopamine reduces the level of Serotonin. So more we experience pleasure more unhappy we become. Where is the issue? Happiness is a basic need of human beings, but we are being pushed farther and farther from true happiness due to confusion between pleasure and happiness. How to create happiness? By now, we have understood that the whole world is selling us all types of pleasures, but nobody cares about our happiness. So, it means we have to create our own happiness and well-being and continue doing it.
How to be Happy?
The following happiness-circle shows the daily activities you can do to create long-term happiness and feel fulfilled on good days and also on bad days (Yes, on bad days too). What you have to do is, simply act on at least one activity from the outer circle every day. Keep shuffling the categories between Give, Care, Explore and Aim to feed a variety of emotional diets to your brain. Our brain will start getting rewired to a higher level of awareness where we see things very clearly and respond clearly. It will start craving for these activities as they bring intangible reward of fulfillment to us.
The happiness circle These activities may or may not bring instant pleasure, but long-term happiness and fulfilment are guaranteed!