Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Happy Brain

So I was watching 20/20 last night titled, The Pursuit of Happiness. I've thought about how to blog about it because it was totally amazing to watch. Do I talk about how I've been stressed and how it was CRAZY that we just happened to click it on right after it had started and IT WAS SO WHAT I NEEDED? Do I talk about the Science of Happiness and how cool it is to see the brain respond while wearing a skull cap containing 128 sensors and discovering how your parents and your childhood have SO MUCH to do with your happiness physiologically as an adult? Talk about Antidepressants and how they don't make you happier, but just decrease negative emotion? OR, do I talk about "Intentional Happiness"? Well, I think you know what I'm choosing to write about! LOL

What caught my attention the most was a phrase that "People can indeed force themselves to be truly happier" Scientists have studies and said that "50 percent of our happiness -- or unhappiness -- can be traced to our genes. Adding the 40 percent that we can control with our daily thoughts and actions still leaves about 10 percent unaccounted for. This remaining 10 percent is related to our life circumstances, such as where we live, how much money we have, our marital status, and how we look. " It amazed me to watch the stories of people who won the lottery, got extreme makeovers and STILL went back into the same mode they were in before those fortunate circumstances.

As I watched this episode, all I could think about was our Church and our group of friends. I've realized that what I was watching, I am also living! Happiness IS intentional, you DO have to think it to BE it. You have to be intentional with your thoughts and your actions. But MOST importantly, you need COMMUNITY, you need people who are like you, people you can share life with and relate to, people who make you feel like it's okay to be you and you will still be loved. If you give the love, you will receive it. If you exude happiness, you will receive happiness. It's contagious, especially happiness and love . . . we all want it, we all crave it and it feels so good to receive it that you can't help but feel compelled to give it! Now saying all of this and reading the Bible, I can't help but to see ALL THE PARALLELS to Christ's message! I never would have been able to connect those dots a year ago but now it's almost reinforcing for me and makes me believe it more. It's easy to be depressed, it's easy to sit back and feel sorry for yourself, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by financial struggle, family struggles, lost friendships, broken hearts and hurt feelings. Sure that's all easy and I think that is when Satan attacks. I don't like to think like that and I hear people refer to the enemy all the time and although I don't necessarily talk like that or use the same lingo, I had a conversation with Chris asking if he believes that is true. Does he believe that Satan can sway your mind and your decision making and for some reason he made me feel okay with believing that. I don't like to think about something that I cannot see having control over anything I do or think. I feel like I should be responsible for all of my thoughts and actions and I do believe that I am. But, I do also believe that when you aren't intentionally trying to be strong, positive and happy then you are vulnerable to the attack on your spirit, express it anyway you'd like, you still feel like you're losing and you're weak. I know now that God doesn't make you feel weak, when you are walking in the Spirit, feeling positive, loving and happy, there is NO ROOM for negativity.

After watching last night's episode, I am determined to focus more on that and appreciate the friends I have that always put a smile on their faces, even if it's forced at times, because those smiles are contagious and I know I NEED them so I'm sure those around me need them from me too. I know I'm a strong person, loving and friendly and when I feel like this, THIS IS FULFILLMENT!

Thanks 20/20 for putting a scientific spin on happiness, put that together with spiritual happiness, now that is one heck of a life to live! :)

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