“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy.”Ralph Marston
What is happiness? Why do humans want to be happy? It is an old question for humans.
I wanted to be happy and feel satisfied, but there weren’t many happy memories. There were some. The memory of the day before the picnic in elementary school, falling asleep with the excitement of going to a new place I’ve never been to. And the joy of knowing what I don’t understand through the teacher’s teaching. I think I was happy at that time. When I was a grown-up, I felt inferior to happiness. Others looked happy, so I wanted to be like them. They were happy seemed to be their status, material success, and their fame, economic success.
I tried to follow the standards of society. I got promoted at work, exercised to maintain my youth and beauty, put on makeup, bought nice clothes and accessories, and made myself beautiful—furthermore, a successful husband and kids. I always thought happiness, like most people, was the way others looked at me. So, I was not happy even if I achieved the goal that this would be enough. In a nutshell, I was a foolish person who compared myself to others, even about happiness.
One of my respectful elderlies once told me, “Don’t look for happiness in huge things, but in small but sure happiness in your daily life.”
Back then, I did not fully comprehend the meaning of the words, and it did not speak to my mind much. Because something seemed to be missing in my life, happiness was supposed to overflow to compensate for lacking.
After that, I read an article that interpreted happiness as a neuroscientific approach. It says that happiness is a state in which the happiness hormone secrete. There are four happiness hormones, endorphin, serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. For this happiness hormone to be secreted, a neurotransmitter called anandamide must first come out. Anandamide was discovered in 1992 and has originated from “Ananda,” a Sanskrit word that means pleasure, joy, and happiness. It says that this makes our minds calm and makes us feel happy. There are statistics that the amount of secretion of anandamide varies from person to person, and there are also differences nationally. Nigerian accounts for 45%, Northern European 21%, and Korean 14%. Surprisingly, Koreans have the lowest anandamide secretion in the world. Therefore, it is difficult for Koreans to feel happy naturally and genetically. Paradoxically, it says that Koreans’ diligence is due to the lack of happy substances. Therefore, it says that there is a characteristic of working harder, immersing in something, and feeling pride and happiness through achievement, and stress in the process is enormous. Upon reading this article, I was a little frustrated, but the reason why I wasn’t happy came across as very convincing.
Then, when does anandamide get secreted? They confirmed that it contributes to the natural production of various substances after exercising or meditation. It was natural that my body condition gave me a sense of happiness. So, I try to find joy in my daily life and achieve it.
1. Through meditation, I could let go of all the negative obstacles that hinder me from being happy. I look for joy inside me without comparing myself with others.
2. I do what can be happy now, not the happiness of sacrificing the present for the future. If I sacrifice something for my goal, expectations and disappointment will increase.
3. I don’t underestimate the joy of life but find and practice my small but certain happiness. If I practice happiness, it becomes a happy habit.
We have gone through the COVID-19 era. Freedom of activities has been limited personally and socially. But everything passes anyway. Let’s find my little but certain happiness around us and feel happy. For example, when I plan to do something, I also plan to make myself happy, like eating my favorite ice cream after this job. Or I drink hot chocolate full of anandamide on the bench in the garden. Or I go to the park enjoying the grass smell of the garden on a rainy day. Or I find the quiet place, look back on my mind, and cleanse them away. Emptying the mind is like constantly rising fountains of happiness.
I put a stepping stone of happiness in advance.
By doing so, I increase the moments of happiness.
Happiness must be found within me. We can find it within us.