It is human nature to try to keep a balance in life. In our path to achieve this balance, we seek behaviors and activities that bring a sense of pleasure or wellness. Throughout history, humans have always tried to develop quick ways to trick our brains into getting that feeling of “high”.
What causes you to feel high?
Our brains have a mechanism of letting us know if a particular action if good for us or not. This mechanism is called the “reward center” in our brains. This center is controlled by a neurotransmitter called dopamine. As soon as we perform a happy activity, dopamine kicks in. The more we do it, the more dopamine, and the more we crave that activity.
Eating, sex, laughter, chocolate, reading, exercise….whatever floats your boat!
How can I trick my brain without harm?
One of the classic ways we have tricked our brains unto creating more dopamine is, you guessed it, drugs! Multiple drugs, like cocaine and amphetamine derivatives, force our neurons to produce more dopamine. But no good deed goes unpunished!
That kind of uncontrolled reaction can cause damage to your brain cells. What does your brain protect itself? It decreases its response to dopamine. But you want that high again, right? So, you use even more drugs! And that my friends, is what causes addiction.
However, not all hope is lost! There are multiple studies done that show that laughter increases dopamine production, triggering your brain to feel pleasure and happiness. Smiling and laughing also secrete other well-being substances like serotonin and endorphins. But the benefits done end there! It also prevents your body from destroying dopamine. More happiness for you!
In summary, humor and laughter is a beautiful and powerful ally when it comes to our physical and emotional well-being. If something is causing pain and sadness? Get rid of it. Hangout with a friend, dance in the rain, embrace sarcasm and irony, laugh at your mistakes. Be yourself. Because that is all it takes to be happy.