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Happiness: 3 Great Tips That Work

You gotta look for the humor in life!

I saw a funny caption under Christ's Easter Resurrection photo:

"Been tryin' to tell you for 2000 years: Lockdowns don't work!"

I had to laugh because it reminded me, in spite of all we've been through in 2020, it's always a good thing to look for the humor amid our difficulties. Sometimes it's not easy, especially when we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the light is always close, even if it is hidden behind the clouds, and the sun eventually comes through to shine another day.

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Is God a comedian?

Since we are created in God's image, it makes me think God must have a great sense of humor. He wired our systems to respond to laughter. It triggers those "happy" hormones, the release of endorphins and serotonin that always make us feel a whole lot better after a good, hearty laugh! Endorphins make us happy, in a broad sense, by relieving pain, relaxing us, and eliciting that euphoric response of "runner's high." Serotonin is a mood stabilizer and directly contributes to feelings of well-being and contentment. And, since God is known as the Master Teacher, the Master Physician, the Master Everything, it seems, He must also be the Master Comedian, right? I like to laugh, so I think it must be so :)

Ye are the children of light.

1Thessalonians 5:5, states, "Ye are the children of the light, and the children of the day. We are not of the night, nor of the darkness." So, we can increase our ability to absorb and reflect more light. There are certain foods or activities that stimulate happiness hormones, so by doing these, we can elevate our feelings of cheerfulness, even during stressful or troublesome times.

  • Eat certain foods to increase serotonin. Scientific discoveries reveal that gut bacteria participate in serotonin production, therefore prebiotics and fiber-rich foods support an environment for them to flourish. Whole grains and Mediterranean-style diets, rich in vegetables, olive oil, plant protein (hummus,) fish/lean meat protein, yogurt dips, even pickled and fermented foods, feed the bacteria that produce this hormone.

  • Drink milk; even a little bit of whole milk, especially, contains one of the largest sources of tryptophan. It is an amino acid, which is a precursor to serotonin because the colon can turn tryptophan into serotonin. Some other tryptophan-containing foods are canned tuna, cod/salmon, turkey, chicken, oats, cheese, eggs, and nuts & seeds.

  • And, good old-fashioned exercise releases endorphins that produce euphoria: Running, swimming, cycling, dancing, riding, spinning, and on and on all create a rush of endorphins. When endorphins attach to receptors in the brain, they function is as neurotransmitters to dispatch euphoric signals. When they are released into the bloodstream, they function as hormones to stimulate organs and tissues to respond similarly. Either way, the result is that same familiar surge of exhilaration that "addicts" us to want to return often to those healthy activities for more infusion of joy and elation into our lives.

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Gifts of laughter and happy times:

Dopamine, the feel-good hormone, and oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, also contribute to our general well-being and overall sense of connection. I think we have been gifted with these neurotransmitters and hormones as tools to help boost our enjoyment throughout all stages of life. If we can facilitate a shift to optimistic attitudes during times of uncertainty, we will experience a more rich and accomplished life, no matter our circumstances.

So, remember to lighten up and always enjoy a good laugh. Hope and healing require an open and aware mindset, as we progress along our journey of happiness and success. I believe God wants you to laugh your way to more blessings of fulfillment, satisfaction, and everything else your little heart desires.

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