Clap Along: Part II
Friday, May 23, 2014
‘Because I’m Happy! Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof!’
*Swings head and snaps fingers wildly, like Carlton Banks*
The Science of Happiness
Happiness simply comes down to how our bodies respond to certain activities. At the biological level it’s all about chemicals and hormonal response. Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter, helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Along with many other effects of serotonin, research has suggested that serotonin contributes to feelings of happiness resulting in the nickname the ‘happy hormone’. Serotonin increases when we are creative and it decreases when we are stressed.
For example, when we do activities we enjoy, the brain sends signals which secrete ‘happy hormones’, that flow through the blood causing feelings of pleasure- which are similar to the feelings of being deeply in love. Unlike falling in love, however, creative expression one part of our life that we can actually control. More than that, individuals with increased levels of happy hormones, respond to stress and recover from it faster than those with lower levels. People are more hopeful, enthusiastic, focused and inspired which are beneficial for individual health.
It was Time to Take Action
I decided I would create an avenue for myself where I could write my heart out, publish it and no one could stop me. My work didn’t have to live up to the literary guidelines of a Harvard University scholar; it just had to live up to me. It didn’t matter if anyone ever saw it, or even liked it, what mattered was that I got the thoughts out of mind, out of my heart and I was able to express it via some medium.
That year, my partner and I released the first in a series of science based children’s book. While we still had work to do in terms of honing our craft as publishers, we did it! I speak for my partner because I know we both went through the same emotional restoration in that moment. I gave my creative self CPR and was rescued from the brink of a near creative death.
Since then, our publishing company has expanded its scope considerably and now we provide these services for other people. The underlying principle, however, remains the same- it’s an opportunity to create and share. Now, not only do I get share my own work, I have the opportunity to guide other aspiring authors in the process and it really is gratifying.
I am still performing a balancing act with publishing and my day job, but considering the alternative it’s a balancing act that I embrace.
The Moral of This Story
The moral of this story is that you really can create your own happiness. It’s really quite simple, just do something you enjoy and BE HAPPY! Find opportunities to be creative in ways that work for you. Since happiness is hormonal, we don’t need to wait on that dollar and a dream (though it would be nice) nor do we need to wait for skittles to drop out of the sky. There is truth to the statement that we control our own happiness. Even with crazy work schedules and the ups and downs of life, try to figure out a way to do what you love!
Whether it’s creative writing, art, dance, exercise, or song, your happy hormones will ‘feel like a room without a roof’ and your body will thank you in the long run.
This post is modified from Blackgirlnerds.com
Personal Twitter: @2TIF1
Company Twitter: @mbmagroup