In this article I will reveal the secret to finding happiness and keeping it forever. The trick is to get happy on oxytocin rather than on dopamine. Read on if you want to find out how to do that. It’s easy and extremely cost-effective.
Is it possible to stay happy forever?
Yes, theoretically it is absolutely possible to be always happy. Feeling happy (or any other feeling for that matter) is a result of chemicals produced by your body. There are two chemicals that can make you happy: dopamine and oxytocin. If you get happy on dopamine, it is only temporary. If you get happy on oxytocin, there is no limit to how long you can sustain it. Moreover, oxytocin-induced happiness turns on healthy genes, affects the microbiome in a positive way and helps cellular regeneration, among other things. Dopamine-induced happiness doesn’t do any of that. So the goal is to make your body produce oxytocin rather than dopamine in order to sustain happiness.
Firstly, here is how you produce dopamine: You plan a shopping frenzy and start to get excited (dopamine starts to rise). You are at the mall, looking at wonderful shoes (dopamine raises even more). You try on the shoes and pick the ones you like (dopamine climaxes / you feel super happy). You swipe your credit card (dopamine starts to decrease / you start to look for the next stimulant to make you happy). I am not making this up. Studies have been documented on dopamine levels during shoe shopping expeditions and that’s exactly the pattern of “high” and “low” that was observed.
For guys it looks like that: You plan your new car purchase (dopamine rises / the excitement starts building up). You are test driving your prospective new acquisition (dopamine rises more). You decide on the car you are going to buy (wow, dopamine levels are over the sky / you feel super happy). You sign the lease and there it goes again – the dopamine starts to wear off and with that your happiness starts to disappear too.
On a daily bases, we get our dopamine/happiness fix from coffee, chocolate, complements and approval from other people and other such stimulants. It feels good for a second and the next second we are looking for the next fix because the previous one just wasn’t enough. What’s more, the next dose of dopamine stimulation needs to be higher or else we won’t feel its effect. Sounds familiar? Sounds exhausting? It is definitely not sustainable because you are always looking for an external stimulus (coffee, your parents’ approval, your partner’s love, your kids’ accomplishments, your own accomplishments, more accomplishments, more coffee, more chocolate… wow, that is exhausting!)
Now, how about we make oxytocin and get happy on it instead? You make oxytocin by being in gratitude, by loving people (while expecting nothing in return), by sharing with loved ones, by caring and genuinely giving to others (again, expecting nothing in return!), by practicing forgiveness, by feeling compassion. The more you do that, the more it comes back, and the more oxytocin you make. There is no limit to how much oxytocin your body can produce; therefore there is no limit to your happiness. And the best part: it is entirely internally sourced and costs nothing! You feel sad – decide to give, and to love, and to forgive. You feel angry – turn to gratitude. You feel tired – spend time with loved ones, share with people you care for. You can also meditate. Or say a mantra for a minute or two (here is my favorite one: “I love you. Please forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you.”) The point is, you can be sad, angry, tired or unhappy and be happy with all of it and grateful for all of it. This way, you are happy when you are happy, and you are also happy when you are unhappy.