That’s Mental! – Pursuit of Happiness

If money could buy happiness, would you budget for it? I wonder sometime, if I can’t take the time to invest in my happiness, would I find it worth the money? I guess I can’t really answer that question.

Today has not been a good mental health day and I figured it was time to break the blogging silence. It’s been quite some time since I followed through with my schedule and I feel horrible about it. Not being able to live up to my own standards is probably the worst type of disappointment. So here is my valiant attempt to turn things around.

As I eluded to in the opening question, we will be discussing happiness. Where do I even start with this topic? If you look up the word happiness in the dictionary, you would find that it is the state of being happy. So then when you look up the word happy, it is defined as feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. What does that even mean?

It’s commonly talked about the happy chemical in your brain being Dopamine but there are actually four different ones that elicit different responses and feelings of happiness.

  1. Dopamine – this is connected to striving to succeed. The “anticipation” high.
  2. Oxytocin – Relational happiness. The “cuddle hormone.” This come with closeness to another person, whether that is physical or mental.
  3. Serotonin – the overall happy feel. Turns out that a lot of this is in the gut and can be affected by how hungry we are. #HangryHangryHippo
  4. Endorphins – this is what is released when we work out. It’s the cause of the runner’s high.

Happiness and what causes it are different for every person, but what happens when your brain doesn’t want to do its part? I guess the obvious answer is that you just aren’t happy. I’m certain that there has to be another way. I can’t just be doomed to a life of chasing a happiness I will never reach.

After a significant amount of slacking off at work research, I’ve compiled the internet’s best tips on creating your own happiness when your brain is, for lack of a better word, SHIT.

  • Listen to feel good music. This one is my go to tip. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it but I bring it up in every That’s Mental.
  • Stop checking in with negativity. I know that it’s good to stay in tune with your emotions. Not this time. If you’re looking for negative emotions, you’re going to find them. Sometimes it’s best to just be blissfully unaware. 
  • Exercise. Go for a walk. Do some jumping jacks. Your brain will start producing endorphins and you’ll be on your merry way to happy town USA. (Even if it’s short lived)
  • Tell someone why you love them. Not all happiness is about looking within ourself. Doing something nice for others while expecting nothing in return is a glorious feeling. 
  • Cry it out. Sometimes you need an outlet for unhappy emotions and that’s okay. Let the tears flow. Happiness is right around the bend. Probably
  • Meditate. However you do it. Process your feelings and thoughts. Go sit by the river for an hour or two. Grab yourself a coloring book and get creative. 

There you have it. A fairly incomplete list I’ve compiled of mood boosters. I hope that you found this somewhat helpful. 

Before I go, I want to leave you with these two videos regarding the pursuit of happiness (the action not the film). They will remind you that happiness cannot be chased. It comes to us in the little moments when we’re least expecting it.

Happy by Hazel Hayes


Dear Happy by dodie



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