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An easy way to be happy

To improve the quality of your life, you do not need to rely on unreliable and short-lived and external rewards — money, status, material benefits. We are able to be happy regardless of circumstances. How to do it, says game designer, a specialist in gaming Jane Mcgonigal in her book “Reality in question”.

In search of happiness

In positive psychology there are many competing theories, but in one psychologists are almost unanimous: no object, event, result or life situation is not able to provide us with true happiness. We must become its creators ourselves.

In trying to find happiness outside ourselves, we focus on what psychologists call external rewards: money, wealth, status, or praise. When we get what we want, we feel good. But, unfortunately, satisfaction does not last long. We get used to the things we love and start wanting more.

In positive psychology there are many competing theories, but in one psychologists are almost unanimous: no object, event, result or life situation is not able to provide us with true happiness. We must become its creators ourselves.

The more we consume, acquire and raise our status, the harder it is for us to stay happy.

Scientists agree that the search for remuneration from the outside is the right way to reduce the level of satisfaction with life. Psychologists call this process of hedonic adaptation.

Meanwhile, we can be happier if we focus on the activities that give us inner reward: positive emotions, a sense of active involvement in the world around us, social connections and the opportunity to develop skills that are important to us.

No need to look for praise or compensation — the fact that you do something and get pleasure from it, is enough. We do it because it involves us completely, which is the most pleasant emotional state we can experience.

Numerous studies show that people who focus on occupations that bring internal rewards are much happier than others, regardless of life circumstances such as wages or social status.

Numerous studies show that people who focus on occupations that bring internal rewards are much happier than others, regardless of life circumstances such as wages or social status.

The happiness gained through inner reward is incredibly stable.

When we do autotelism activities, is the opposite of hedonic adaptation. If you devote time and energy to your favorite business, take on complex tasks, achieve results and realize that you are able to repeat success, only this feeling of possibility and responsibility makes you happier.

How to manage hormones

When we begin a complex task, for example, by intending to complete it in a shorter time, we can cause a surge of adrenaline in the body — a hormone that gives us confidence, energy and motivation.

When we achieve something with great effort, such as solving a puzzle or finishing a race, the brain produces a powerful cocktail of norepinephrine, adrenaline and dopamine. Under the influence of these neurochemical substances we experience satisfaction, pride and strong excitement.

When we begin a complex task, for example, by intending to complete it in a shorter time, we can cause a surge of adrenaline in the body — a hormone that gives us confidence, energy and motivation.

Advice: Set yourself difficult goals.

When we make someone laugh or smile, the brain produces dopamine — a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.

At the moment of coordination or synchronization of movements of our body with the movements of other people, for example in dance or sports, oxytocin enters the blood — a neurochemical substance, under the influence of which we experience bliss and ecstasy.

At the moment of coordination or synchronization of movements of our body with the movements of other people, for example in dance or sports, oxytocin enters the blood — a neurochemical substance, under the influence of which we experience bliss and ecstasy.

Be positive, interacting with other people.

When we look for in the media or live performance of what can be called a strongly acting, exciting stories, we actually run into the work of your vagus nerve, resulting in feel the emotional “lump” in the chest and throat, after which we are covered with a pleasant chills and the feeling that the body run goose bumps.

When we experience curiosity, the body produces biochemical substances of interest called “internal opiates.” These include endorphins, which give us the strength and ability to control the situation, as well as beta-endorphin — a neurotransmitter of well-being, which is 80 times more powerful than morphine.

Just two steps can change everything:

  1. Follow your curiosity.
  2. Follow your wishes.

Few of us are deliberately trying to activate these systems. We do not think that happiness requires strategic intervention in the biochemistry of the nervous system. We just know that it raises our mood, gives meaning and brings pleasure — this is the kind of activity we do out of love for him.

As long as we focus on the inner reward rather than the outer reward, we will not run out of raw materials to create happiness. The body has all the necessary neurochemical systems. We just have to work hard to put them into action and fully immerse ourselves in exciting activities that give us pleasure, for their own sake.

The four secrets of creating happiness

What kinds of inner rewards are most important for our happiness? There is no exact list, but a number of key ideas and examples appear again and again in the scientific literature.

Analysis of the most significant findings of positive psychology over the past decade reveals four main categories of internal remuneration.

First, we feel an acute need in the daily execution of satisfaction of work, the nature of which for every person is different. However, for all, without exception, this means immersion in clear, complex activities that allow you to see the immediate result of the efforts.

Secondly, we are in dire need of success, or at least hope for it. We want to feel strong and show others what we can do. It is important for us to be optimistic about our chances of winning, to strive for something and feel that over time we become better.

Thirdly, we urgently need social contacts. We want to share our experiences and build relationships by doing something important together.

And finally, fourthly, we crave meaning. We want to feel curiosity, awe and awe at what can grow to an incredible scale. We need to contribute to something more meaningful than our own lives.

Using four types of inner reward is the best way to make yourself happy. This is the most powerful motivation factors, which affect the human being, in addition to the basic necessities of life such as food, security and sex.

What about games?

If anything, the game is the most striking example automatically activities.

Games serve several goals:

  • They do not increase the desire for external reward: do not bring money, do not contribute to career growth and do not help to acquire luxurious things.
  • They enrich us with internal rewards, providing challenges and actively engaging in work that brings satisfaction.
  • They give us a chance to succeed (complete the game mission).
  • They provide an opportunity to establish relationships with interesting people.

If we play long enough, within a wide network of players, we will feel part of an important story, project or global community.

Good games help get the four things we strive for the most — and do it in a safe, cheap, and reliable way.

Praise yourself for small victories

You make some progress every day. Try to see them, even if they seem to you quite insignificant. Tell yourself, “I did it!” In response, your brain will begin to produce dopamine, one of the “hormones of happiness.”

Just look: You make some progress every day.

Hormone of happiness

The ability to enjoy small achievements is a very valuable skill, because big things consist of many tiny steps. Do not associate your happiness only with the achievement of great success. Learn to find pleasure in moving toward the goal.

So, what did you do today? Did you go to an interesting lecture? Have you published a blog post? Did you study English? Ran 2 kilometers? Have you written an introduction to your thesis? Or maybe you finally decided on an important conversation, which was postponed for a long time? Pat yourself on the back for it.

Enjoy a moment of triumph and move forward. Just a spark. But if you generate such sparks every day, you will become the best spark plug for yourself.

Find a reason to laugh

When you laugh, another “happiness hormone” — endorphin-is actively produced. Sincere laughter is one of the best ways to instantly cheer yourself up and relieve emotional stress. It helps to cope with negative experiences, calms the nerves and improves health.

When you laugh, another “happiness hormone” — endorphin is actively produced.

Remember what you usually laugh at, and today find a reason to laugh heartily. You can read the stories of your favorite satirist, spend time in a fun company, watch a humorous show, Comedy or funny movie with cats on YouTube — you choose.

Go in for sports

Regular physical activity not only strengthens health, but also makes us happier, as it provides a steady flow of endorphin into the body.

This is another serious reason to go in for sports. For the best effect, try to diversify the workout: alternate stretching, aerobics and strength exercises.

This is another serious reason to go in for sports.

Combine physical activity with activities that you like — and you will get even more pleasure from the process. Visit the dance class, play basketball, go to the pool, arrange a walk to new places, do yoga. Turn routine into entertainment!

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