What is success? How can we truly achieve happiness?
Well the answer to this all comes down to our definition of success.
Success has more often in todays modern world been associated with external goals such as wealth, new houses cars, promotions in work how we look in terms of weight loss, finding the perfect partner.
However, these are all found in the external world and are external goals.
If we place our self-worth on what we achieve or what we do externally - we will often find ourselves striving for these goals such as Ill be happy when I loose weight… move house.. find a partner.
When we have achieved one of them we feel a rush of excitement which is the dopamine coursing through us. This doesn’t stay around too long before we find ourselves shifting quickly on to the next goal such as that bigger promotion, the next car , the next online purchase and never really feeling as happy as we had expected to.
Often worse is the case if or when we don’t achieve these goals we may experience negative feelings of guilt, worthlessness, dissatisfaction, envy at others. These are all emotions that are linked to anxiety and depression.
Where we are not living in the moment, we are always projecting for the future thinking happiness exists somewhere in the future or we begin ruminating to times in the past - this is not giving us inner peace or contentedness we are seeking.
If we become happy first - everything else will follow....
Create internal goals of calmness, contentedness, or the ability to be resilient and confident in our ability to manage and deal with whatever challenges await us each day.
Because If we become happy first - everything else will follow. We will have more focus and clarity and be able to make better and more creative decisions that will improve our well-being.
These are all states where we have a constant flow of serotonin as opposed to the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenaline staying around longer than they need to in our bodies which can cause inflammation which may lead to chronic pain, illness, negative emotions and behaviors.
When you place your attention inwards and focus on the good the good gets better – the more we focus on the positives in our lives no matter how small, the more positivity we will notice and positive outcomes will begin to flow to us in abundance.
When we are calm, we have the motivation and courage to do the things we love and become our authentic selves.
When we love ourselves, we will attract the right people to us who are like-minded and we will distance ourselves from people and places that create negativity. By loving ourselves and improving our self-worth, we notice our lives will improving and feelings of inner happiness and contentedness emerge which cannot bought or achieved with external goals.
At my ‘Serotonin Solutions’ practice, I work with my clients to help them achieve this state of inner contentedness and happiness where the optimum flow of serotonin is flowing through their bodies. This feeling becomes their default state and they have the ability and confidence to manage whatever comes their way each day.
To find out visit my website to get more detail on these issues and to find out how I can help you become the person you are truly meant to be.
If we become happy first - everything else will follow...
Final thoughts...some tips on ways to be truly happy
Whilst this list is not exhaustive – here are a few tips to try and get you started on some Serotonin boosting activities which may bring you that feeling happiness and of inner contentedness – try picking one to introduce to your weekly routine this week and let me know how you get on ….
Sleep - Try and improve the quality and quantity of our Sleep to get the recommended 7-9 hours for adults. Sleep is the foundation block upon every other aspect of our mental and physical health rests upon. If we are not sleeping well our ability to be happy is significantly impacted. to help with this listed to my guided relaxation before bedtime each evening or at a time that best suits and you will see a difference...
Slow down our breath – we cannot outsmart our anxious minds by more thinking, however slowing down our breath, where our exhales are longer than our inhales will tell our body that we are not in danger and will quieten our Amygdala which triggers our stress response. Try taking 7 deep belly breaths, taking a short pause at the top of our inhale then breathing out for as long as we can - notice our body begin to relax more and more with each breath.
Smile. A smile is as infectious as a yawn thanks to the tiny mirror neurons that we possess in our brains as we are hardwired to connect with one another. Try smiling at other people as we go about our daily lives to see this in action – not only will it have a positive affect on others, it will also trick our mind into making us feel better, lifting our mood and allowing the flow of Serotonin to help us feel happier for longer.
Exercise. Even just a short10 minute walk getting outdoors is an instant Serotonin Booster!
Eat for our Mood - Think of how certain foods make us feel – our gut is connected to our brain as 95% of our Serotonin is made in the gut. So this definitely shows how our food affects our mood – we definitely are what we eat. “Treats” like sugar and alcohol may make us feel happy in the short-term but the feeling quickly disappears and we feel worse afterwards. Have a think about what foods give us more energy when we eat them.
Do you skip breakfast or rush meals? Perhaps getting up 15 minutes earlier to take some time to start the day with a good healthy breakfast might be an idea. Alternatively, introducing some fresh fruit or vegetables into our mealtimes or switching to some low sugar snack alternative? Small changes can have a big impact on our long term happiness.
Be grateful - starting or ending our day thinking about 3 things we are happy about no matter how small will instantly shift our mood as our brain cannot focus on both negative and positive at the same time – so the more we think positively the more our mind will notice and look for the good things in our surroundings.
Call a family member or a friend or make arrangements to meet up for a coffee – we are hardwired to connect with each other and yes another fantastic serotonin booster.
Volunteering or doing something nice for a friend or family member. Carrying out selfless acts significantly impacts out moods and increases the flow of Serotonin in our bodies - this nearly can be considered as selfish as we often feel that in giving we are more greatly rewarded than the person receiving as we are naturally rewarded with the feel good hormones when we act in the service of others around us.
On the days you hear a negative voice, perhaps that "imposter syndrome" has raised its head again and you hear your mind saying things like - "I'm not good enough", "I'll never make it"
you know - the usual record that gets played over in your mind just remember -
“Everyone is just trying their best. And so are you".
As Dr David Hamilton reminds us:
“Help each other. See the best in people. Be the best version of yourself that you can be. And cut yourself some slack when you don't manage this. We're all just trying our best.”
"Just as stress creates stress hormones, kindness creates kindness hormones.
Flood your body with the good stuff”
To find out how I can help - click here