Sunday, March 22, 2009

Secrets to Happiness - Part 3

Secrets to Happiness Part 3
By now, you would know that Happiness is a way of life and that we can be Happy always!  And Bo has shared his 7 Tools of Happiness.  In this part, he shares to us why so many people are unhappy.

Your Body is Hardwired To Be Afraid
by: Bo Sanchez

The enemy of happiness isn't sadness.
The enemy of happiness isn't problems.
The enemy of happiness isn't loneliness.
The enemy of happiness is FEAR.

Our lives are so fueled by it.  We run our lives by fear.

In Dan Baker's excellent book, What Happy People Know, he explains how our body circuitry is wired to fear.

Our brains have three parts.  The brain stem, the amygdala, and the neocortex.  The more primitive parts of our brains, the brain stem ( also called the reptilian brain, because reptiles have these for brains) and the amygdala are programmed for fear.

Why? Our ancestors needed fear for their physical survival.  Imagine yourself living in the wilderness with lions, wolves, and cobras around you.  Danger lurks behind every tree and shadow.

Once their brains register fear, the endocrine glands produce our fear hormones adrenaline and cortisol.  it gave them super strength to fight or flight.  And in fighting or fleeing, they exhaust the adrenaline and cortisol in their bodies.  Well and good.  But what about us who usually sit behind desks and work on computers?

We still have the same fear mechanism.  But this time, we're no longer afraid of lions or cobras behind every tree.  We are afraid of our rising credit card bills.  We're afraid of our boss.  We're afraid of losing our jobs.  We're afraid for our children - what will happen to their future?  We're afraid that at 35, we won't get married anymore.  We're afraid we'll grow lonely.  We're afraid we'll run out of money.  We're afraid of social rejection.  We're afraid of social shame and losing face.  We're afraid of disease. 

And these fears are so real, our endocrine glands produce adrenaline and cortisol as well.  And because we're seated behind our desks, pounding on our computers, we really don't use up any of it.  Adrenaline and cortisol become poison in our bodies, destroying our health bit by bit.

Thus, very few people are happy.

Conclusion: If you want to be happy, we need to overcome our fears.

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