Opening Your Happiness Valve
Harnessing your mind/body chemistry factory
Posted Jul 23, 2012
Your mind/body manufactures some powerful drugs. Most people have heard of endorphins, the brain chemical that along with another brain signal, dopamine, helps to create the feelings of wellbeing, pleasure, even euphoria. Sometimes called a ‘runner’s high’ because certain forms of exertion can prompt the making and releasing of those brain factors. Yet, too much of a good thing can be as troublesome as too little.
Shortcuts to happiness have pitfalls.
The shortcuts some people try for achieving happiness include ingesting drugs like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, narcotic pain medicines, to name just a few; have the consequence of generating imbalances that can lead to addiction, unwanted moods like anxiety and depression, and worse. The shortcuts to happiness are often attempts to resolve stress, worry, hurtful relationships, low energy, loss of confidence, and a broad range of other problems, but the shortcut can lead to those unintended consequences. Better to rely on one's own body chemistry factory instead of shortcuts. It’s scientific truth that our bodies are extraordinary chemical manufacturing plants.
In much the same way that the powerful pain medicine morphine blocks how your brain perceives pain, your brain has naturally occurring chemicals that do the same thing and more, regulating your emotions, your sleep, your energy, your ability to interact with others and as a result, your happiness.
The state of happiness is natural.
We all basically seek happiness. I’ve not had a person ever come to my office with the problem, “I’m just too darned happy,” and seeking to be ‘bummed out’ a bit.
So, how does a person direct their inner chemistry set to whip up some dopamine or endorphins, or add a dash of serotonin for that matter? Of course, there’s not just one way, there are many. Meditation, love, helping others, long-distance running are some. But when a person has tried and not succeeded, there is a reliable process that helps to dissolve the blocks to allowing the flow of happiness to develop.
Blocks to happiness have little to do with the outside world.
A considerable body of research shows that happiness is not a product of money or wealth, except at the extreme ends of poverty, money, even lottery style wealth doesn’t lead to lasting happiness. People are able to experience states of happiness almost regardless of life circumstances. Yet, even people who are blessed with the most idyllic set of life circumstances can discover that happiness eludes them.
In writing Code To Joy: The Four-Step Solution to Unlocking Your Natural State of Happiness, we found there is a process to melt away the blocks to joy and happiness. The four steps constitute a reliable method for reversing the blocking beliefs that hide happiness from view and are adaptable to a wide range of individual life experiences that created those blocking beliefs. Those four steps are: Identify the belief; clear the interference; Repattern the beliefs; and lastly; Anchor the new belief for lasting effect.
In prior posts I explained about microtraumas and their impact on our perceptions of ourselves, the world around us, and our future. Recognizing microtraumas can be an important part of Step One; Identifying the blocking life belief. The Personal Belief Assessment is a tool the book provides to help with that step.
Clearing the interference.
In this post I’d like to focus on Step Two; Clearing the interference. Let’s begin by understanding our concept of interference. Suppose you are listening to your car radio’s AM station and you pass under a set of high power lines. What you are likely to experience is static on your radio because the electromagnetic (EM) field around those high power lines generates an interference with the AM frequency band. Whatever you’d intended to hear on the radio has become distorted, unclear, perhaps even annoying.
Now imagine that sort of interference occurring in our mind, not just for the few moments, but for weeks, months, years at a time. That’s the ‘fog of distress’ that in one form or another has brought people to our offices or the offices of psychologists throughout the developed world. Most people recognize that the human mind/body, in addition to being a chemical plant, is also an electrical generator.
The impact of polarity.
We generate electrical activity in our brain (EEG reads those signals). The contraction of muscles generates another form of electrical field, with the heart being a frequent focus of that energy (EKG reads the electrical activity of the heart muscles). In fact, the mind/body of all of us is quite electrically active, and one feature of all electrical energy is polarity. Notice how your AA batteries, like all batteries and all electrical sources, have a positive and negative pole.
What’s been known for decades is that our body has positive and negative polarities in a variety of ways, but only recently has it been understood how significant that polarity, or lack thereof, can be on our mind/body functions. In Code To Joy we describe in greater detail the impact of proper or improper polarity on mental, physical, and emotional processes in our lives. For right now, I’ll get to the nub of the issue.
If our mind/body polarity is not properly organized then we may be blocked from accessing our full resources. Like the AM radio, we’re unable to get a clear signal. The effect is a distortion of our perceptions, an inability to access an accurate belief about ourselves and our world. This distortion allows microtraumas, major traumas, and even ordinary events of life to be misinterpreted and misunderstood in a way that blocks access to the feelings of happiness and joy.
Step Two of the Four-Step process.
Step Two is a process to clear that interference and provide a properly polarized mind/body field of energy so that Step Three of Repatterning our beliefs can take place most effectively. The mind/body chemical plant must be organized to produce the optimal balance of those brain chemicals of dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and others to be created and sustained from within rather than attempting to adjust them in those stress-related and problematic ways mentioned earlier.
What’s involved in Step Two and Clearing? One is a unique and structured breathing process for a few minutes, second is a process of grounding the mind/body in a manner like grounding an electrical circuit or appliance, or how a lightning rod can ground a bolt of energy. This part of Step Two is done by incorporating the power of mental imagery to assist in the clearing process. Grounding is intended to clear excess energy and to ensure a person feeling connected to a solid footing - the Earth.
When complete, a person is ready for Step Three: Repatterning. That will be the subject of a follow-up post soon. Importantly, I want to emphasize that creating the chemicals involved in the feelings of happiness and joy are best and safest when made from within rather than sought from outside.