If I asked you “How do you feel?” how would you answer. Understanding that if your immediate answer is “fine” you aren’t trying hard enough. Take another stab at it. “How do you feel?”
It takes a bit of soul searching and being honest with yourself. Do you feel complete? Are you happy with your life decisions and are you working on self-development?
Looking in the mirror and recognizing the truths behind how we feel and why is a key step in self-improvement. I’ve practiced the concept for years and recognize I rarely blame others for my unhappiness or displeasure. Actively I work on understanding cause and effect and what triggers emotions I find unsettling.
Understanding Our Emotions
- Anger- a strong feeling of annoyance
- Sadness-a feeling of loss or disparity
- Anxiety-a feeling of nervousness
- Hurt-a feeling of physical or mental pain
- Embarrassment-a feeling of shame or awkwardness
- Happiness-the feeling of happiness
Relationships amongst people are the way in which we connect and behave towards each other. Our relationships can be with family, friends, acquaintances and romantic. If we work on our relationships with others by paying attention to how the other person feels we can improve our connections.
The Emotional Spectrum
If we look from one emotion to another we can understand why we should try to regulate ourselves by balancing on one emotion while we try to minimize others.
More importantly than just having a positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that comprises living a good life, with a sense of meaning and purpose. For most of us, it’s happiness that we are trying to obtain and maintain.
For most of us, we try to go about our daily lives in a positive mood while feeling happiness. We will attempt to surround ourselves with happy positive people as we maintain our happiness.
Our homes will be decorated with items that make us happy. We dress and entertain ourselves in an attempt to keep ourselves on the path to happiness. When we make connections with positive and happy people the feeling can be contagious.
Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins, and Oxytocin are the quartet known as the happiness chemicals. As we find ourselves in many situations these neurotransmitters are triggered that create our happiness. When we learn to recognize what makes ourselves as well as others happy we can regulate happiness.
Dopamine will help motivate us to reach our goals while we realize the feeling of pleasure. Completing small achievable goals releases small yet frequent releases of dopamine that will maintain our happiness. By continuing to establish new goals and working towards accomplishing them we can live in a state of euphoria.
Serotonin will be released when we feel important and noteworthy. Our feeling of connection with others will release serotonin. We can help the release of serotonin by reflecting on past achievements and pleasurable experiences.
Endorphins are released to elevate pain and as a response to stress. They can be released during a time when an athlete needs a second wind or while laughing.
Oxytocin is the glue that holds together happy and healthy relationships. It creates intimacy and trust and is also released during orgasm. The simplest way to help release oxytocin is a simple as giving someone a hug.
When we recognize what conditions help ourselves and others release these happiness chemicals we can focus our efforts on maintaining heightened levels.
Nirvana is the perfect place of peace and happiness. When we find nirvana in our lives, relationships and experiences, we continue to release the four happiness chemicals. When we get into a perfect rhythm of flow, our connections to people, places, and situations keeps us naturally happy.
Emotional intelligence is to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle relationships with empathy.
By spending time learning what triggers our partner’s happiness and our connection to them we can help keep our relationships in nirvana. When we lack emotional intelligence we may miss the subtle cues that will help us recognize how others feel.
Honesty and trust are established in meaningful relationships. When we share with others whom we trust, we make an unwritten bond that helps build the foundation for a lasting relationship. Letting those we trust know when we feel angry, anxious or sadness they can help lift us out of our slump by helping them focus on the joys and happiness they have known in their lives.
Listen to the people with whom you have a relationship and find their sources of happiness. Be warm, kind and nurturing as you listen and learn how they feel and how you can help them maintain their level of nirvana. And most important all, ask people “how do you feel”?