By DR BHUSHAN KUMAR UPADHYAYA
Happiness is the ultimate goal of human life. All human efforts whether material or spiritual are directed towards remaining happy. In the Ayurveda, happiness is said to be the central theme of health. Human happiness depends upon several factors which surround our life. All the factors are not always in our control. Hence happiness is marred time and again . Most of the time our happiness is conditional , depending on the outside factors. In the modern age anxiety syndrome and stress have emerged as the biggest problems of mental health, bringing sadness, insomnia and many psychosomatic ailments. Even if individuals are materially well off, they are suffering from stressful situations, creating misery in life. The individual stress is getting expressed in interpersonal relations and social conflicts. With the advancement of medical science, especially neuroscience, experts have found that our glands secret different types of hormones in our bloodstream. These hormones are responsible for happiness as well as anxiety or sadness. The secretion of these hormones depends upon several factors like thoughts, speech, acts, food, natural surroundings, etc. The hormones which uplift the mood and generate happiness are called happy hormones. Endorphins are very important pleasure hormones.
Their secretion uplifts the mood and causes a sense of well-being. Physical activities and exercises lead to the secretion of endorphins. So regular exercises are the best way to remain happy. In the real time anxiety situation also just taking some steps releases endorphins and uplifts the mood. The second important happy hormone is dopamine. This hormone is released in case of a sense of achievement. Doing small new things generates a sense of achievement and with the release of this hormone, one feels better. Serotonin is the happy hormone released when we do something for others. This is mainly related to helping others and doing selfless service. This is the reason that even billionaires donate their wealth and derive great happiness from it. Oxytocin is the happy hormone which gets secreted during mutual bonding like love, friendship, socialising, hugging, etc. So engaging in such activities uplifts the mood and generates a sense of happiness. Melatonine is a hormone which is produced during sleep and darkness. When we meditate, this hormone is produced and the mood is uplifted.
During the course of meditation, eyes are closed and a sleeplike condition is generated and at the same time there is darkness also before the eyes. So this happy hormone is released and causes a great sense of happiness. It is found that spending time in natural surroundings is found to release happy hormones. Forests, mountains, water bodies, breeze, etc, are stressbusters. With a slight moderation in our lifestyle, we can easily generate the secretions of these happy hormones, manage our anxiety and produce neurobiological changes in our body and mind to lead a happy life. Light physical exercises, keeping ourselves busy in some creative activities, extending helping hands to others, cultivating a sense of love and compassion and practising some form of meditation are the best antidotes to stress and conducive for happiness and pleasure. (The writer is DG Police & CG, Homeguards, Maharashtra)