Choose to be Happy

Rajan Sachdev
Happiness is a state of mind that comes from within or in other words, it is a state that is produced by thoughts in our minds through our experience with external objects, events and circumstances. Not the objects, events or circumstances themselves but our thoughts, our response, the way we feel about these or what our mind thinks about them, is the cause of our state of mind and this could be happiness or unhappiness/ sadness.
Let me take the help of a simple example to clarify this point. Imagine an arena filled with thousands of people watching a cricket match (may be an emotionally surcharged match between India and Pakistan). When the game is over, some people are happy and some are sad, depending on whether the team each person favored won or lost. Being happy or sad about the result of an event like a cricket match is an inner response to an outer event. What we need to understand is that neither happiness nor sadness is within the event.
This is because each viewer might hold either loyalty to a team or allegiance to the country that the team represents, pride in one of the players, or might have some financial interest in the result of the match. Those attitudes produce the response to the event and to the outcome, and not the event itself. If the essence of the event were happiness or sadness, everyone would feel the same way about the event. So, what determines each person’s state of happiness or sadness is not the event itself, but what the event meant to that person.
All the events in our life work like that. It is how we look at things and the way we relate to them that determines our state of happiness or sadness, not the things themselves.
Now since happiness and sadness are states of our mind based on what we choose to see or our interpretation of events, can we change the state of our mind by supplying our mind with new or fresh information? Logically it seems possible, and if it can, this could be very interesting and rewarding as well.
Can we feed ourselves new information by choosing new ways of looking at and interpreting the events of your life? If we can we do this, we will not only be able to survive even the most difficult times, but we will also come through them with a smile on your face. To do that, we need to know the entire gambit or configuration of our response system to what we experience in our life.
Candace Pert, PhD, Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC, and author of Molecules of Emotion said that we humans are not “brain centric” at all and that a state of mind is in actuality a state of consciousness in the body as well. Her pioneering research has demonstrated how our internal body chemicals (Peptides) are responsible for manifesting themselves as our emotions, beliefs and expectations, and profoundly influence how we respond to and experience events in our lives.
Peptides are produced by our brain and that the type of peptide produced is primarily determined by what we feel and think. These peptides communicate across systems in our body and duplicate every emotion we experience like happiness or unhappiness. If the cell received peptides produced by emotions of unhappiness, the new cell will have more receptors for unhappiness and fewer receptors to receive feel-good peptides. The more we engage ourselves in any type of behavior or emotion, the greater our desire for that behavior or emotion will become.
And this is true for all kinds to emotions we engage ourselves in life like anger, happiness or sadness. And over a period of time we become addicted to it like anger, for instance, because its effect on our body produces adrenaline, a powerful stimulant. We actually become dependent on the emotion of anger for the stimulation it gives us, and unknowingly we start to fight with our friends, our colleagues, our spouses and anyone else we can engage in a conflict that would produce anger.
It doesn’t matter whether our craving is for emotions and feelings like anger, depression, excitement, joy, or whether it is for the feelings we get from using alcohol; the bottom line is that what we crave is a result of your body-brain demanding and wanting it.
The impact of this information about how our thoughts and feelings create and condition our cells and how our cells communicate is amazing. Think about it. What did your cells’ receptors communicate to the rest of your body all day today?
So where do we go from here. May be we should acknowledge and claim all the feelings because they are the entrance point into our system. Educating ourselves about these processes and becoming aware of how our body-mind operates can help us to maintain wellness.
Awareness of the past experiences and conditioning that are stored in the receptors on our cells, can help us use it to release them at an emotional level. The process could be gradual and can include regular meditation, yoga, guided visualization and prayer among others.
You may also use bodywork or movement therapy to heal stuck emotions. Take a walk, run, have a massage or spinal adjustment, get a few hugs (jadu ki Japphi) and see how you feel. Eat wisely and avoid substance abuse.
If we can learn to communicate with our body-minds, we can tap into our body’s own language to better understand and facilitate healing. Emotions are the key to coordinating all the parts of us into a harmonious and healthy whole.
You can use your emotions and thoughts to create a body that’s more receptive to feel-good states. And there’s only one way to do that – by feeling good. The way to create a body that’s more susceptible to happiness and less susceptible to sadness is to be happy.
The importance of holding the right belief is also based on the fact that a part of your brain can’t tell the difference between an imagined experience and an actual one.
In other words our brain can’t tell the difference between real and imaginary! Surprising recent advances in neuroscience, particularly in the field of brain scanning, have supported that our imagination and sense of reality are closely intertwined.
Using scans, researchers have found that the same cells in the brain light up whether we perform an action ourselves or watch someone else do it – which might explain why some of us find action movies so exciting. But these “mirror neurons” aren’t activated just by the things we see. The effect occurs when we imagine ourselves performing the action.
Researchers from Harvard University also tested subjects using a brain scanner, they found that seeing a picture of a tree and imagining a tree, activated the same parts of the brain. In the same way, when we imagine that a condition we are experiencing can be cured, everything in us would respond with an energy impelling motion that says yes to a cure. Our minds are so powerful.
You may have heard the saying “That which you can conceive, you can achieve.” So whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right!”