We are built for bliss.
Evident by how our minds and bodies react to feelings of happiness --- science has proven that our minds and bodies perform best when we are happy.
Happy people are rewarded with not just the feel-good sensation but are also more creative; more productive; more loving and healthier. Conversely, unhappy people are "penalised" with not-so-good feelings and are generally less creative; less productive; less loving and less healthy.
Why do you think Nature rewards feelings of happiness and "penalises" feelings of unhappiness? Although the intention is not to punish one for being unhappy but to have one know that something is off so that one would work towards being happy again.
Our minds and bodies favour feelings of happiness because Nature designed us for happiness.
"Look deep into Nature, and then
you will understand everything better."
- Albert Einstein
Nature wants you to think positive
What you think and how you feel about a situation or thing can potentially rewire your brain by affecting its brain waves and chemistry, and altering its anatomical structure, which together, create your state of mind.
If you are thinking positively and feeling happy, you are training your brain to be happy. But if you are thinking negatively and feeling unhappy, you are training your brain to be unhappy.
And the happy brain is the optimal brain - it is better equipped to function at peak capacity and creates a sense of well-being for the person. A happy person feels less afraid, is more confident and optimistic, and is more likely to maximise his/her potential. Happy people tend to enjoy better physical health, relationships and work, and report feeling fulfilled and rich.
Conversely, an unhappy brain creates a sense of gloom and doom for the person. "Being focused on negative thoughts effectively saps the brain of its positive forcefulness, slows it down, and can go as far as dimming your brain's ability to function, even creating depression." (source)
But it's not just about the thoughts. Even more importantly is what we do on a regular basis.
Nature wants you to do good by rewarding you with happiness
Nature gift us the capability to self-produce neurochemicals that make us feel happy when we overcome struggles and materialise our pursuits and do good to/ for others. Alcohols and drugs are not the answer.
Feelings of happiness is the biological reward that motivates us to keep doing good i.e. what are beneficial for our minds and bodies, and what would contribute to “the good life”.
Here’s what Nature wants you to do and how it rewards you accordingly:
By doing something well; setting goals and achieving them; performing acts of kindness towards others, you receive a pleasurable hit of dopamine in your brain that tells you that you have done well!
This is Nature's way to encourage you to strive for worthy goals; don't be slipshod in your work and life, and to care for and be kind to others.
By connecting with others, building trust, love and close relationships, you are rewarded with oxytocin, a hormone that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling.
Nature is all about interconnections. Therefore, it doesn't want you to isolate yourself - Nature wants you to invest in your relationships - work on it.
By exercising, being exposed to sunlight and having happy thoughts, you are rewarded with serotonin, which is responsible for your good mood.
Serotonin may also be called the "confidence molecule" as it "allows people to put themselves in situations that will bolster self-esteem, increase feelings of worthiness and create a sense of belonging...To increase serotonin, challenge yourself regularly and pursue things that reinforce a sense of purpose, meaning and accomplishment. Being able to say "I did it!" will produce a feedback loop that will reinforce behaviors that build self esteem and make you less insecure and create an upward spiral of more and more serotonin." (source)
Nature encourages us to move our bodies and to spend more time out in nature because we are part of nature afterall. It also encourages us to overcome fear and build our self-esteem and
confidence through meaningful work and challenges.
Endorphin aka Self-produced Morphine
Endorphin is nature’s pain relief and it is stimulated by pain.
For our survival, we need to switch it on and off so that we don't walk on a broken leg, for example. For our wellbeing, Nature wants you to find the right amount to push through pain so you build strength and resilience.
Most of modern life's activities are sedentary and not requiring much manual work, unlike our ancestors' times. We can therefore turn to aerobic and high intensity ‘anaerobic’ cardio and strength training to build strength and resilience. As the body is strengthened, so does the mind, and vice versa.
Our bodies are designed for movement and it works with the mind to keep us functioning to be able to meet Life's demands. So, Nature wants to ensure that you keep your body and mind strong.
For taking risks and doing scary things that force you out of your comfort zone so that you may maximise your human potential, you are rewarded with adrenaline, which makes you feel alive. As such, it helps to kill boredom, malaise and stagnation.
We may infer that Nature doesn't want us to stagnate; it wants us to grow and to strive to fulfil our potential.
All the above said, Nature is all about balance so all the striving, pushing and achieving must be balanced with some stillness/ slowness and calmness to restore balance, more so in today's fast-paced life.
GABA is an inhibitory molecule that slows down the firing of neurons and creates a sense of calmness. You can increase GABA naturally by practicing yoga, meditation.
Science has given us a way to understand how the Universe/ Nature works. Now that we know it, we should do it the way it works.