• Can happiness be put into a pill?

    I just read an article on BBC Health on why some people never get depressed. It is definitely worth thinking about how some people can remain happy and optimistic regardless of what life throws at them. The article discusses a study being conducted on people who are naturally super happy and optimistic without taking or doing anything special or out of the ordinary. This is just simply the way they are. Even the World Health Organization is trying to figure out how can anybody be this happy? And of course, the study in Manchester is conducting all sorts of tests on the individuals in this study to try and understand where this happiness comes from. Happiness and optimism to this extent is called “resiliency,” because essentially, you are able to resist sadness and depression.

    Towards the end of the article, they discuss the possibility of making a pill that will provide your daily dose of resilience and therefore, make you happy and optimistic and resistant to depression. My first question is, how would this pill be any different then an anti-depression pill? But don’t get me started on anti-depression pills, since one of their side-effects is increased thoughts of suicide…kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

    But in all seriousness, would you want to take a pill that makes you falsely happy? Happiness and optimism comes from deep within yourself. You can always find a temporary and safer way to make yourself happy, such as watching a comedy movie or eating chocolate, but just like a pill, this is only a temporary fix and not a solution.

    Happiness is rooted at your core and there is a way to cultivate it so that no matter what happens, you are grounded and deep within, you know that everything will be just fine. Personally, I know what that state of heightened happiness and optimism feels like and I am there, when I am meditating and doing my yoga daily. It is about having a natural high in life and not through some other medium that can potentially have side effects.

    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi always said, “Water the root to enjoy the fruit.” If you take care of your spirit/soul, then you will always enjoy the moment and have appreciation for what it is. Sadness and some depression is normal, especially with the loss of a job or a loved one and you should appreciate the sadness and not ignore it. But the greater part of sadness is to not dwell on it, but rather move forward. Once you cultivate your inner Being and create stability for yourself from within, then you will also be able to bounce back quickly if and when something in life doesn’t go the way you had planned.

    Some ideas to find that deep happiness within you is to engage in some sort of activity that is therapeutic, such as yoga, meditation, dance, exercise, walking, journaling, singing, crocheting or knitting, or even reading. The first step in cultivating that inner happiness is having an activity that you can do anytime, anywhere to ground yourself, and something that instantly makes you feel happy and reminds you of your essence. For me, that essence and happiness is rooted primarily in yoga, and then meditation. What about you? What is your source of happiness?

    Health and happiness,

    Varsha

     


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