You see everyone is talking about happiness, is that a coincidence?
Let’s think, what is the main subject of a society of prisoners?
Obviously freedom, right? Because that’s what they are desperately looking for.
It’s the same reason why people talk about happiness day and night. They are not happy and they have no idea why.
We even made up a new field “positive psychology” to deal with this issue today.
How did we become too stressful?
With the digital age, the stress started to play a huge role in our lives. We must dive deep to see the underlying reasons because the solution lies behind our biology.
As human beings, we are on planet earth for about 300.000 years. When we solely look at the last 100 years, we see a huge civil and technological progress. Everything is changing too fast and that made our lives too complex.
Even though we voluntarily did this, we forgot to take our human nature into account while making these crazy developments. Especially, after the industrialization period, we only started focusing on speed, yield, and profit.
What was the result?
We forgot who we are because we developed a system against our nature.
There is only one option left to reach happiness right now…
We should truly understand our biological and spiritual needs.
If we understand our nature, then we can see why we chase happiness like an oasis in the desert.
What is happiness anyway?
People generally see happiness as “getting everything you want in life”.
That’s completely wrong.
Let’s say you have the whole universe, would that guarantee you will stop asking for more? If you know anything about human nature, the answer is NO.
Even being God will not make you happy in this context.
There is even a movie by Jim Carry covers this subject “Bruce Almighty”. Bruce finds himself in a devastating situation after taking the responsibility of becoming God.
Anyways, a human can’t stop asking for new stuff. Let’s give you the world, you will start looking for other planets. It’s weird because fulfilling your needs is never enough.
First of all, we must live within the range of our biological needs.
Why are we all born completely naked and weak? When you look at other creatures, they don’t need clothes to protect themselves from cold. Unlike them, we are forced to change our environment to survive in the first place.
To make such a change, there must be an instinct within us. Life requires you to progress as soon as you are born. You find yourself in a shitty situation and you must use your mind to get out of it.
- You feel cold, so you produce some clothes to wear.
- The weather sucks at night, so you build a house.
- There are wild animals around threatening you, so you build weapons.
- You need to travel faster, so you build cars.
We become happy when we exceed our limits.
You might experience lots of hardship, stay broke, get hungry, and become sick but you feel happier anyways because you feel like a human-being.
What do we have in the modern world?
A standardized education, jobs, wages and paychecks, vocations…
Just plug yourself into the system and become part of the comfort cycle.
You don’t see happiness become an issue among the people living in rural areas. Happiness is a problem for the city. Only city people face mental disorders because they don’t know themselves.
How can you be mentally healthy if you have 0 knowledge about who you are?
We buy anything from the grocery store and we think we are not connected to mother nature.
This disconnection is the biggest reason for our stress which is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.
If you want to be happy, you must decrease the stress in your life.
How do we decrease stress?
1- Eat Less and Healthy Food
A poor diet can easily lead your life to misery. We are what we eat but also we are how much we eat.
When you eat less food, your stress levels will decrease dramatically. Why? Because every food you put in your mouth is a burden for the body.
The human body is programmed to survive without food. However, that does not mean you should starve yourself to death.
Feeling hunger one time a day will let your body to repair itself. When you fast, the body will have a chance to produce new brain cells while stopping the growth of cancer cells.
If you look at our society objectively, you’ll see we often don’t eat because we are hungry, we eat because we are bored.
Food became our addiction and we turned a blessing into our enemy.
If you eat 3 meals a day, decrease it to 2 meals and your body will thank you for it.
Why is that? We are not designed to eat very frequently.
For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors had a hard time reaching food resources and their bodies searched for a way to survive by consuming less energy.
They programmed their body to turn that hunger into an advantage. It’s a problem because we inherited this body in a world that we can reach all kinds of foods by going to a supermarket.
We can’t deal with it and that’s the reason why more people are dying from overeating than starvation.
– Carbs are a serious threat!
When we eat way too many carbohydrates, they poison us. They numb the brain and decrease your life quality dramatically.
Sugar, bread, pasta, rice, wheat…
If you want to live sane, stay away from them. Not all carbs are bad, just be careful about the dosage you consume.
Eat meat, vegetables, fruits and a fair amount of complex carbs (peas, beans, whole grains, brown rice, lentils, etc). This is just a piece of general advice but remember, people are different.
You should test it out to see what fits the best for you because there is no one correct way to eat. Different groups of ancient peoples ate completely different foods and all ended up surviving. What is important is that what you eat makes you feel good and that you remain healthy following the diet.
– Sleep with an empty stomach!
Your stomach affects your brain. People who sleep with an empty stomach start the day more energetic.
Your body should not be bothered with digestion while repairing itself during your sleep. If there is food in your stomach, some of the energy will be used in digestion instead of repairing process.
Don’t eat crap for the sake of mouth pleasure for god’s sake.
2- Move More
Our body is designed to move. We have never reached to luxury to sit for 10+ hours a day.
For about 160.00 years ago, our ancestors spread all over the world through migration. In thousands of years, they covered more than 10.000 km.
Our ancestors were hyperactive children of today.
Today, we force kids to take pills if they don’t sit 40 minutes in a classroom. Kids must be sick if they were sitting 40 minutes in a class, we should check them out to make them move again.
We know that exercising regularly increases our life-span. A gym membership is not a must. Just walking, running, jumping around or moving your body in a sense is enough to trigger it.
Why do we need to move?
Because there were no grocery stores and we had to move back then. We had to move around to hunt, gather, produce something to survive.
Today, we created an amazing civilization that stuck us in a cage. Everything is designed to keep us static and unmoving.
We have everything and that’s the problem. We have never thought that having everything was going to ruin us.
3- Meaningful Relationships
You probably did not make the clothes you wear, somebody else made them for you. You cannot live without them, too.
We need others both emotionally and technically.
When we fulfill our emotional needs, it boosts the reward mechanism of our brain and we clearly see that we are programmed like that.
It starts from our birth, life asks us to live with other human beings. We want other people to see our existence. We crave those other people consider us someone who they care on an emotional level.
4- Learn to Manage Your Stress
We did not have stress issues when we used to live in nature.
Why did we need the stress at at the first place? It was beneficial if you were running from a tiger. You feel the stress, so you can run away.
Back then, the stress was over when you successfully ran away from a tiger. (or when you were eaten)
Now, it is not like that. We are often not conscious of what’s actually triggering stress. Even if there is no life or death issue, we still release the same hormones.
There was also no stress issue when we were kids just like in ancient eras. You live like that when there were no pays and bill issues.
Today, the stress mechanism is triggered every day when you open your wardrobe. Especially for women, “what am I going to wear today?”.
Of course, there are thousands of options. Under these circumstances, the battery dies right away.
When the brain senses the stress pattern, it releases a hormone that is called “ACHT”. Later, it visits your adrenal glands and says “hit it!” and you release extra cortisol. Cortisol increases your blood sugar levels to awaken your muscles to run faster.
It is beneficial in small dosages but it corrupts your system when this became habitual. As a result, your brain gets smaller day by day. Your immune system gets weakened and you leave yourself wide open to all kinds of diseases.
In brief, you suck.
To be able to manage stress is the best ability you can attain in today’s world. The best way to do it is proving your brain that everything is alright.
Look, there is no bear we need to wrestle or a tiger we need to run away from. How do you do that?
My two personal favorites: heavy bag workouts and sprints.
You trigger this system intentionally before your body does. What do I mean?
When you finish a heavy bag session and throw a lot of punch by sweating like hell, you suddenly feel relieved afterward. After you completed some sets of sprints, you also feel great.
The world seems like a beautiful place as you have no problems at all. That’s because your brain see that everything is fine, “Look, no tiger is chasing us! These problems are easy peasy, we won’t die.”
Once you realize that, that will give you the edge to have control over your actions and you’ll be much more successful to eliminate stress from your life.
5- Exceed Your Limits
We simply cannot be happy if we don’t break the shell we are in.
Do you need some proof of that?
Tell a bunch of kid “You can’t do something” and watch their faces after they have done that. Think about all the inventions and the improvements from the history of time. How could those people find the motivation to work on them?
They did not deal with finding at all because it was already in us. Otherwise, we would not be at the top of the food pyramid.
The biggest reason for depression is the feeling of being stuck.
When you can’t get out of the vicious cycle, you seek the solution in medicine. However, anytime we do something that’s challenging and pushing us out of our comfort zone, it feels great.
We activate the reward mechanism in our brain and we start feeling happy again.
Here’s the ultimate advice that’ll guarantee you’ll never experience depression in your life.
Comfort is not in your DNA and you cannot change it no matter how much you crave it.
Do you want to feel depressed? Cool, don’t do anything new.
If you don’t learn something new every day, go somewhere new, meet new people, make something new, anxiety will tell you that you are wasting your time.
You won’t be enjoying music nor movies until you finally feel that you deserve it. Think about people spend all their life in a cubicle.
So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.
What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Wow, that’s messed up.
Office Space (1999)
That’s what all 9 to 5 workers feel but cannot admit. If you hate your job, you live the worst day of your life every single day.
6- Don’t Be Greedy
People have a compulsive drive to consume.
Craving was a good strategy to keep us alive when we think of early human animals. It is understandable because they lived in very harsh conditions.
However, today this creates a disconnection.
These emotions make you a puppet whose strings are being pulled by evolutionary algorithms. You lose control over your actions and become addicted to the stuff.
We believe we won’t be complete until we get X, Y or Z. We desperately crave satisfaction and connection.
Greed is the source of all misery.
Have you ever experienced that you wanted something and you bought it but your ego was still not satisfied? Nothing you buy can bring you the content that you got from being grateful for everything you already have.
“You’re rich if you’re satisfied with what you have.”
– Lao Tzu
7- Avoid Negativity
Some people choose to be unhappy. You walk on the street traveling to work and you see grumpy people around you.
They probably wake up in the morning with a swollen face ‘Oh no! I have to go to work’ while knowing very well that there are millions out there who are jobless.
Unhappiness is like a default emotion for them. They are in a constant complaining negativity trap. It is like a useless art they have mastered.
Those people love to see others unhappy too. You can tell their jealousy when they see happiness in your eyes.
Even everything is going right, these people will create some drama and make life miserable for them.
This is also called “negativity bias” which means something very positive might have less impact on a person’s psychology than an equally emotional but negative event.
That is a result of remaining in a constant alert mode which is the first reason for stress. If you watch the news all the time, you get into thinking that nothing is going right in this world.
However, if you just go outside and talk to normal people; you clearly see that everything on TV nothing but black magic. News producers love negativity because that’s what draws the attention.
People like to watch some disaster, accident or some bad incident happening somewhere. If you stop watching TV, the strange worry that you constantly feel disappears all of a sudden.
Your brain turns back to its normal neutral state.
If you feed your brain with such negativity through media, internet, and toxic people; you create a lifestyle where unhappiness is the mood of the season.
You can change your state immediately into positive when you spend time with kids because they are closer to the source than we are.
They are not either in the past or the future, they are 100% present.
The thing is that our minds are too busy and distracted by the complexity and uncertainty of our world. Well, at the end of the day, it is our responsibility to make everything clear.
The first obstacle that is preventing us to see everything crystal clear is…
8- Quit Your Addictions
We must cut out all the addictions to gain our mental clarity back because all addictions are creating trauma in you.
Why would anyone be addicted to stuff? It’s because you struggle with the reality you live in.
Addictions are comfortable, they are a way of escaping from reality. They give you what you crave and make you feel happy for a short amount of time.
They deliver virtual happiness that you normally should not get by those neurochemical reactions.
What are we addicted to? Too many things, let me try to count them.
- Social media
- TV shows
- Video games
- Social relationships (trivial ones)
The world is full of slaves who think they are free.
If you don’t want to be one of them, just have control over your emotions and stop being addicted to stuff.
So, let’s have a recap.
1- Eat less food: Decrease the amount of food you eat by eating fewer meals. Cut down your carb consumption as much as possible. Eat nutritionally dense food rather than garbage.
2- Move more: Exercise regularly. It does not have to be intense, just a casual walk can make great benefits in your health.
3- Build meaningful relationships: We are social creatures and we can’t live without others. Find the best people you can and build deep relationships with them.
4- Learn to manage your stress: We trigger our stress mechanism without being aware of it. Remember, it is not a life or death issue, there is no tiger is chasing you.
5- Exceed your limits: Always aim to break your shell and overpass your expectations. The progress will always be the key component of your happiness.
6- Don’t be greedy: Realize that your ego will never ask for more and your happiness is not about having anything but appreciating what you have.
7- Avoid negativity at all costs: Do not expose yourself to negativity. Get away from negative people and content of TV and social media.
8- Cut all the addictions: Do not escape from reality by numbing your brain through addictions. Do your best to cut them out and gain your mental clarity back.
Well, as a general rule of life I can say, “Whatever you chase will run away from you”.
So, do not be obsessed with becoming happy.
My articles are written for increasing your awareness..
Observe them, question them, and see what you can get from them and apply in your life.
Happiness is nothing but a by-product of a good lifestyle.
That is my goal, to make sure you live a better life.