The Key to Happiness: Science Finds a Neural Happy-Link: If you are a savvy natural-health aficionado, you probably suffer exposure to thousands of wrongs and injustices that are inflicted on the Earth and its inhabitants daily. I daresay that each day can bring a bucket of tears.
As Science discovers Natural Law (e.g. how human health co-evolved with this planet—it’s flora, fauna, and microbes), it can promulgate new angst that humanity is doing everything wrong. Literally everything!
Strolling the abundance of our grocery store aisles can send a health-conscious person into conniptions – pesticides, marketing trickery (all natural), chemicals, processed/denatured foods, neurotoxins, hormone disruptors, antibiotics – seems the very foods of our health depends on can so easily tear it down.
Life Can Feel Like an Uphill Battle
A glance at the computer often sensationalizes the plight of Mother Earth and the dangers of toxic chemicals, electromagnetic frequencies, plastics in the ocean, poisons in the air. Once a person embraces a holistic understanding of interconnected life, it becomes painfully true: there are literally 10,000 things that health-pundits claim can destroy health—tap water, gene-editing, dental fillings. No one alive can escape unscathed.
Even worse, we learn about collisions, subterfuge, payoffs, extortions, lies, and faked studies. We find that businesses use the government to further their selfish agendas. The sinister hand seems to reach much farther than the right.
The Key to Happiness: The Concerns Are Real
It’s not necessarily yellow journalism. The concerns are real. Science reveals new facts, and health-pundits are quick to reveal the meaning and wallow in the woes. Sometimes it seems that everyone loves something to hate.
I don’t doubt the veracity of the myriad topics abounding in Natural Health discussions, but frankly, if you let it get to you, you’ll vomit before getting out of bed.
Mal-Contentment In Natural Health
Has it happened to you? Take a quick inventory. Have you inadvertently become a malcontent? “Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here.”
Of course, we all want to live well. We all want to avoid dread diseases. It seems that today, a genuine move into the natural health camp means a complete revamping of life – what we buy, what we eat, where we live, what we drive – Heracles had it easy, finishing his Herculean tasks, compared to what natural health devotees must do.
Maybe it’s time to say “Woah, Nellie” to all the woes. That won’t make them go away, but maybe we need a reality check to set our priorities.
Do you need another dose of rational thought about the risks of CRISPR gene-editing enhancements, or how leaf blowers put mycotoxins into the air, or how artificial intelligence can enslave humanity?
Or would you like one eentsy-weentsy thing that YOU CAN DO TODAY to make the world a better place?
The Key to Happiness: Where To Start?
I have a proposition—first things first. So before spending all day in the minutia of label-reading to find the perfect toothpaste, free of fluoride, GMOs, carrageenan, Xylitol, tea-tree oil, triclosan, NutraSweet, polymers, plastic balls, and chemicals—let’s first do something MAJOR for our good health and health of our incredible planet. Agreed?
I’ll share how you can do this.
Even before we have to decide if our orthorexia-nervosa breakfast is keto, paleo, vegan, hallelujah, humane, gluten free, dairy free, Pro-Vita! Plan, adrenal supportive, GMO-free, organic, free-range, grass-fed, and OMG!—what about lectins? Even before you voluntarily procrastinate about what to eat and call it Intermittent Fasting . . . here’s a new perspective that pays a huge health dividend.
Far From The Madding Crowd
In the 21st Century, ignorance is no longer bliss. It’s either collusion or exploitation by other people with ersatz power. Avoidance of human conversations about global health and happiness is not the answer. More than ever, we need to be proactive in cultivating health and healing. But not at the cost of our own health.
It’s as if humanity has perverted the adage: Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Today, as we learn the truth, it can crush us, stress us, raise angst, inflame and generate feelings of futility. Truth is not setting us free. It’s reinforcing our self-inflicted incarceration behind barbed wire fences of angst.
The Heart of Humanity
Heart. So, what about the heart of humanity? Where is the message of peace, caring, support and love? Can we allow that message to become irrelevant amidst the cries of a wounded planet and humanity’s oozing mistakes? What about the people who truly don’t care? Or entitled people who blindly trust Institutions to take care of the pressing questions?
Anger creates disease.
Worry raises stress hormones and gut microbiome inflammation.
Angst is a termite in our guts that gnaws at our core happiness. All three emotions inevitably cloud a person’s view of reality.
Just Sayin’. There’s never been a time in history where life on earth has been free of angst. Maybe the art of being human, living in good health, is about how to live in a hostile world and do something today that activates our health-genes, our noble traits—compassion, caring, giving, loving, goodwill.
Today there are huge issues regarding health and our children’s’ futures. Just like ALWAYS, human experience is rife with issues.
The Key to Happiness: We Need to Let Our Voices be Heard
We cannot sit idle while truly evil corporations spew pesticides over our food, or mind-numbing fluoride, antibiotics, and pesticides fill our mouths; but anger and outrage harm our health even more.
But how shall we meet those issues?
With fear and trepidation? Or with wisdom and love? What have we learned from thousands of years of considering, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Or perhaps even better, can you apply three questions to every thought, action, word, and deed, “Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
Each time we do this, we change the world. [Just in case you doubt that, please read Dr. Bruce Lipton’s classic, “Biology of Belief.”]
One small voice can resonate across the entire life experience of humanity. That voice is yours and mine.
The Earth Sucks. Gravity is busy pulling people down. It warps the space-time continuum as well. So, let’s each do one, proactive, uplifting (anti-gravity) thing today. This simple credo is: Do a good deed every day. You don’t have to become a bleeding heart—it’s actually good for YOUR health.
See if you agree. We must: 1) first have peace in our hearts, before 2) we can have peace in people, before 3) we have peace in the streets and the cyber world? That’s an intangible, philosophical thought. Now for some factual science …
The Key to Happiness: Science Discovers Your Neural Happy-Link.
Science now proves a religious truth, “It’s better to give than to receive.” Most people can readily agree that it’s certainly better to give than it is to take by force, coercion, extortion, lies, spin, or trickery. And we all know how great it is to receive. Here’s some encouragement to embrace the art and act of giving as being best.
Science has identified a neural link – a pathway in our brains – that directly connects our generosity to our happiness.1 Seems there’s another way, a superior way, for the human brain to activate pleasure receptors other than using opium, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, or antidepressant/antianxiety drugs.
The Key to Happiness: The Giving Spirit
What if you were given $25 each week that could only be used in helping other people. How would that impact your personal happiness? You could surprise another person with a small gift, you could give an organic apple to a hungry person, you could get shoes on a child’s feet, you could help ease the way for someone.
Science conducted brain scans of people doing just that.
And get this, the study found that simply sharing a mere modicum, a widow’s mite, a tiny portion, a seemingly insignificant thing with another person, enlivened the giver’s brain toward happiness. ☺
Giving doesn’t have to be about money. Sharing time is a gift. Petting a dog, cat or pet squid; sharing a recipe—any act of giving IMPROVES YOUR BRAIN, and allows happy-hormones to impact your cellular metabolic processes. Johnny Appleseed simply planted apple seeds after he enjoyed eating the apple while roaming around the wilderness.
Science Finds Volunteering Improves Health.
Science says that volunteering your time to help others can lower hypertension2 (help normalize blood pressure.) Seems that we human beings are literally ‘hardwired’ to feel good about ourselves when we give.
Science Says Praise Is A Game-Changer.
Something as simple as a few kind words, not only reduces stress in the workplace, it tangibly improves the physical and mental health of both the receiver and the giver.3 Many workplaces are naturally stressful environments. People’s proclivities can quickly turn to grouse and complaining which reinforces a negative environment. Setting a new standard to express appreciation at work can set a new standard for health, happiness, and greater productivity.
Most Important Key to Happiness?
Would you rather live your life today from a position of first feeling happy – happy to be alive; happy to find beauty; happy to share the road of life with other souls; happy to consciously contribute to the planet and to humanity?
We can all do this, we can all find a moment’s peace in our hearts BEFORE we tackle the challenges facing humanity; BEFORE we support the causes so important to the future of our species. Before we bridle errant corporations and short-sighted political practices.
If our natural health perspective is to be truly healthy we must first be happy. If the truth is to set us free, then let’s first revel in that freedom.
Science-Secret For Longevity.
So, if you really want to live longer, Science says, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” Happy people live longer. We, each of us, are responsible for our personal happiness. It’s a choice we first make within ourselves.
For health, longevity, peace, and happiness, take action today and do something – anything—to help another life form (human, flora, fauna, microbe, even a politician). It can be as simple as giving a stick of sugar-free; Xylitol-free; no-high-fructose, GMO/glyphosate-corn-syrup chewing gum to a child, or beaming your incredible smile to a passerby.
Everyone has something to give and by doing so, may your heartfelt gift of goodwill (love) come back to you seven-fold.
- Park, S. Q.; et al. “A neural link between generosity and happiness.” Nature Communications. 11 Jul 2017.
- Sneed, R. S. and Cohen, S. “Negative social interactions and incident hypertension among older adults.” Health Psychology. June 2014.
- Diener, E., Chan, M. Y. “Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity.” Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. 27 Jan 2011.”
In Zen Buddhism generosity is the first paramita (virtuous vehicle towards enlightenment). I found your suggestion of a weekly gift a helpful idea – but there is a caution that comes along when we decide to practice a paramita such as generosity (virtuous vehicle) — we find out from our own experience how stingy, tight-wadded, cheap we are – thankfully. Thankfully, I say, because the other side of the coin of generosity is stinginess – so we learn to understand firsthand what makes us a tightwad, which contributes to our unhappiness.
Good, good luck with your new endeavor.
Howdy Liz: Thanks so much. Sure appreciate your insight.
I appreciate your large perspective regarding attitude. It is easy to think daily lived problems and contemporary struggles constitute the worst time in history. This is a good call to remember the ongoingness of life and choose what we will serve with our time and attention. You certainly embody this attitude in your work with others and your commitment to further natural health. Thank you for that and for being here as a quality alternative. Colleen
Thanks so much, Colleen. So appreciate your insights. I’ll soon post more on this subject as it particularly “does my heart good” to share the high road of life’s view as we all must engage and learn from the struggles we create and encounter. More soon!