Just be happy! A common phrase we hear frequently. We know we feel better when we are happy, but why is this so? The answer lies in brain chemistry. When we process positive emotions our brain releases the “feel good” neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals improve our ability to organize and recall information, and solve problems more creatively and efficiently. When we are happy our brains actually function better!
Luckily there are things we CAN DO to increase positive emotions. Meditation is a powerful practice that increases positive emotions and over time even increases immune function. There are many approaches to meditation. One is to focus the attention on the breath. While lying down or sitting, close your eyes, and just bring your attention to your breath. If your mind wanders just bring your attention back to your breath without judgement. You can observe how your chest, ribs and shoulders move. Perhaps set a timer for 2-3 minutes and increase the number of minutes over time or practice meditation for a couple of minutes a few times per day. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways, so just play around and see what works for you… Stay tune for more information and suggestions on increasing happiness!