The brain’s feel good chemical is called dopamine, which sends feelings of well-being and pleasure into your body.
Apart from dopamine making you feel good, it helps with weight control, energy levels and it also supports brain and heart health. Without it, we would feel unhappy, tired and perhaps overweight.
The good news is that you can increase dopamine levels just by eating certain foods. The right amount of dopamine could uplift you from mild depression, help you lose weight, and make you feel more alive !
Dopamine is made from tyrosine one of the protein building amino acids, hence eating foods rich in tyrosine will help to boost dopamine production. These foods are:
The best way to a natural happy high would be to exercise, eat tyrosine rich foods and add in a supplement such as ginko biloba. It would also be wise to avoid alcohol and sugary foods as these are mood dampeners ! All in all it can be said that through a healthy, whole foods diet and regular exercise, you can boost your mood and attain overall wellness.
How long has it been since you had a good laugh ? I am hoping that you will be answering all the time ! I laugh as much as possible. After all laughter is the best medicine for the soul. I’m returning to being far more light hearted these days rather than getting caught up in the ego’s madness and the seriousness of life’s drama’s, which I may add there are plenty of, that are capable of stealing my ability to bask in joy. As I learn and grow and constantly remind myself, don’t sweat the small stuff or the little bumps on the side of the road and keep on smiling and laughing !
So what are these magical qualities and traits of happy people ? By compiling this list I’m not suggesting that these are the only keys to happiness, I’m simply shedding light on some common characteristics I’ve come to find.
1. Love Themselves For Who They Are
They are truly comfortable in their own shoes. They accept and embrace themselves physically, they maintain their true character traits regardless of whether or not they receive approval and they work to make the best of the human experience they are living -rather than wallow in what others would define as weaknesses or shortcomings.
2. Healthy View of Relationships
Relationships of all types, whether friendly, familial or romantic, can be a wonderful part of the of the human experience. Nevertheless too many people allow the presence or the absence of them to dictate their overall happiness in life. Genuinely happy people tend to find complete contentment within themselves, and see all relationships as the awesome extension to their self-content. It’s often when we are not looking for others to fill a particular void, or to make us feel a certain way, that most of the truest and most-valuable relationships are formed.
3. Welcome Change
Life is a constant lesson and happy people tend to be well-aware of that. Not only are they always open to change, but they truly listen to suggestions, respect and consider all opinions and take criticism constructively rather than offensively.
4. Don’t Compare Themselves to Others
Your life is unique, so don’t measure your own worth by comparing yourself to those around you. As Gary Allan once said, You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.” We are all capable of accomplishing anything in this life and are the only ones that are going to find the drive within ourselves to do it. Rather than observe and compare to those who have accomplished, the truly happy tend to celebrate it and use it as motivation to accomplish things within their own lives.
5. Never Dwell In Being a Victim and Trust That Everything Happens For a Reason.
Am sure at one point in our lives we have all been the so called ‘victim’. Whether it be an unexpected break-up, getting fired from a job, or even something as serious as the recipient of domestic abuse. Truly happy people tend to be those who choose not to dwell in it. They choose to let the victimization strengthen them, rather than wear it as a badge of weakness or as the thing that makes them consistently worthy of receiving sympathy. They also trust that everything happens for a reason and trust in the process and existence of everything in their life. They know that nothing is ever too big to handle and choose to embrace what life is currently throwing at them rather than cowering at the sight of it.
6. They Live In The Now
It all happens in the present moment and happy people tend to appreciate and realize how precious each moment is and make the most of it.
7. Treat Everyone With Kindness
Kindness is not only contagious, it’s also proven to make you happier. When you’re kind to others, your brain produces feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin and you’re able to build strong relationships with others, fostering positive feelings all around.
8. Regard Your Problems As Challenges
Every time a problem comes up, trust that the perfect solution exists and it will all be over and done with soon enough. It’s just a small bump in the road.
9. Express Gratitude for What You Have
People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health.
10. Dream Big
It’s OK, to allow yourself to dream big. Those that do are more likely to accomplish their goals. When you dream big you’re opening your mind to a more optimistic, positive state where you have the power to achieve virtually anything you desire.
11. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If the issue you’re mad about will be irrelevant in six months, a month, a week, a day or a couple of hours, why let it get to you in a big way ? Happy people know how to let life’s daily irritations roll off their back.
12. Avoid the Gossip and Speak Well of Others
Talking negatively about others is like taking a bath in negative emotions; your body soaks them up. Instead, make it a point to only say positive, nice words about other people, and you’ll help foster more positive thinking in your own life as well.
13. Excuses Don’t Get You Anywhere
It’s easy to blame others for your life’s failures, but doing so means you’re unlikely to rise past them. Happy people take responsibility for their mistakes and missteps, then use the failure as an opportunity to change for the better.
14. Surround Yourself with Positive People
The saying “misery loves company” is entirely true. That’s why you need to choose friends who are optimistic and happy themselves, as you will be surrounded with positive energy.
15. Realize That You Don’t Need Others’ Approval
It’s important to follow your own dreams and desires without letting pessimists stand in your way. It’s fine to seek others’ opinions, but happy people stay true to their own hearts and don’t get bogged down with the need for outside approval.
16. Take Time To Listen
Listening helps you soak in the wisdom of others and allows you to quiet your own mind at the same time. Intense listening can help you feel content while helping you gain different perspectives.
17. They Don’t Let Money Dictate Their Lives
Happy people don’t let money be the ultimate dictator in their life. They still make sensible choices within their means, but they never let money: A) prevent them from pursuing a so-called “risky” passion, B) be the factor that is blamed for why their life is so miserable, C) complain about how little they have. There are creative ways to do everything in this world, and seeing money as only being possible to make in the standard ways is the most crippling thing to that creativity.
18. Look Within For Solutions
One of the most powerful realizations a genuinely happy person will often operate based on is “change starts within.” The empowerment that comes as a result of not only realizing this but even more so in using it as the backbone to everything in life can be quite remarkable.
Meditation helps you keep your mind focused, calms your nerves and supports inner peace. Research shows it can even lead to physical changes in your brain that make you happier.
20. Eat Well
What you eat directly impacts your mood and energy levels in both the short and long term. Whereas eating right can prime your body and brain to be in a focused, happy state, eating processed junk foods will leave you sluggish and prone to chronic disease.
21. De-Clutter, Live Minimally
Clutter has a way of sucking the energy right out of you and replacing it with feelings of chaos. Clutter is an often-unrecognized source of stress that prompts feelings of anxiety, frustration, distraction and even guilt, so give your home and office a clutter makeover, purging it of the excess papers, files, knick knacks and other “stuff” that not only takes up space in your physical environment, but also in your mind.
22. Be Honest
Every time you lie, your stress levels are likely to increase and your self-esteem will crumble just a little bit more. Plus, if others find out you’re a liar it will damage your personal and professional relationships. Telling the truth, on the other hand, boosts your mental health and allows others to build trust in you.
23. Establish Personal Control
Avoid letting other people dictate the way you live. Instead, establish personal control in your life that allows you to fulfill your own goals and dreams, as well as a great sense of personal self-worth.
24. Accept What Cannot Be Changed
Everything in your life is not going to be perfect, and that’s perfectly all right. Happy people learn to accept injustices and setbacks in their life that they cannot change, and instead put their energy on changing what they can control for the better.
Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer – all benefits that occur in the future – try viewing exercise as a daily tool to immediately enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.
The truth is, happiness doesn’t come from wealth, perfect looks or even a perfect relationship. Happiness comes from within. This is why, if you truly want to be happy, you need to work on yourself, first.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !