Happiness is still two kinds of ice cream

Are you happy??

Well first let us define our terms because sometimes we confuse happiness with joy. Joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness and it’s based on a response to a known stimulus. Jesus is Lord of us all. That is a fact to all who believe and as long Jesus maintains his current position as both Lord and Christ, we will remain full of joy despite our current circumstances.

Happiness is similar. It is a feeling or showing of pleasure or contentment toward a situation or circumstance. Both joy and happiness begin in your brain.

Not to get too technical but Endorphins are created in your pituitary gland and hypothalamus, both located in the brain. Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter, or messenger in your body. They attach to your brain’s reward centers (opioid receptors) and carry signals across your nervous system which tells the rest of your body you’re happy. Imaging studies suggest that the happiness response originates partly in the limbic cortex. Another area called the precuneus also plays a role.

Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin along with endorphins are the hormones that are responsible for our happiness. Dopamine is the main contributor as it is stimulated by compliments, good decisions and anything that makes you feel good.

So a song or movie can change your mood or you can just decide to be happy or sad. You can choose to be angry or any of the emotions. Someone can commit an offense against you and instead of being angry, you can choose to be content. You don’t have to respond with anger — that’s just the first choice of your flesh when something happens but like a radio station in the car, you can choose another station when you don’t like the song.

This process is a higher level of self-control which is possible to achieve. You would be teaching your body how to wait on you for the response instead of selecting the reaction for you. It takes practice but you can do it. One exercise I use to help me in this process is to practice the emotions often when there is no stimulus for them. I can be angry when I want to and I can be happy when I chose to as well and I can feel it in my body.

The title of this blog simply means that happiness simply requires a cause to be. I keep a happy cause locked and loaded in my mind for when I need a different response to things — all facts, no fluff.

Give it a try and see if we can make the world a happier place together!!!