What makes you happy?
Antonio Nez staff writer
Today, there are lots of people with lots of feelings. The most sought-after feeling in the world is happiness. An article published by CNBC.com included a study conducted by Harvard University in which 724 people were studied for 79 years. They analyzed the medical records of the participants, drew their blood, scanned their brains and even interviewed them in their homes.
After collecting the data, the researchers split the interviewees into two groups: one group consisted of Harvard sophomores that graduated from the university and the second group was made up of boys from Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. The study revealed a few of the things that made the participants experience happiness, including the fact that social connections promote good emotional health, the quality of friendships are more important than the quantity, and pos- itive relationships protect the brain from distress. Social connections with family members and friends result in better physical health and a longer life. These connections depend more upon the quality of the relationship and the bene ts that are associated with it. Even memory retention is affected by social connections. When positive relationships are formed, the brain is protected and receives increased stimulation from experiencing happiness.
The things that made the participants of the study happy were found to have special meaning to them. These objects held memories and caused the release of a chemical called oxytocin, which was triggered by the interviewees’ five senses: hearing, smelling, feeling (touch), tasting and seeing. Happiness from memories can also be triggered by remembering a time your mother made a favorite childhood dish or listening to the music of Soldier Boi, J.Lo., Missy Elliot, or Ciara (which I personally find nostalgic). These memories can create a sense of relief or an escape from the world. The human brain is an amazing organ. It may have come as a surprise to read the headline, but it is an often overlooked part of the human existence.
It feels good to tell people something funny, weird or strange. It creates a connection as information is shared, which is often how friendships are formed. Humans are social creatures, and happy moments are the glue that keeps them together. So, I ask again, what makes you happy? Happiness involves the release of the “cuddle hormone,” and it usually feels so good that people don’t want it to stop. For this reason, people are drawn to the friendships that make them happy. After realizing who keeps you ready to cuddle, make sure to make time for them. Don’t forget the things that make you smile. this will lead to a longer, healthier life.