Often throughout the year, I like to take the time to really appreciate family and friends, and better connect with the things in my life that bring me joy, happiness and well-being.
For me, working at Eterneva has brought so much joy and purpose that I just didn’t have before, including all those feel-good hormones associated with happy people. Being the science nerd I am, however, I want to point out that there are no such things as happiness hormones.
Instead, your happiness is based on your dopamine levels, serotonin levels, endorphin levels, and oxytocin levels. All of these are chemicals – the happiness chemicals that aid in mental health, reducing stress hormones, alleviating mood swings – are chock full of health benefits.
As we know it, human happiness is really caused by 4 basic chemicals:
Here is what each one of these chemicals does for your brain, body, and mental state.
Why You Take Risks
Endorphins are one of the most important, and also easiest, chemical to get.
When you go to the gym, on a run (runner's high!), to a yoga class, or any other form of exercise: guess what’s giving you that sense of enjoyment despite the physical punishment? Endorphins!
When you go on a rollercoaster or drive a fast car, once again… Endorphins.
Adrenaline is one of the best known endorphins, why else would jumping out of planes make people happy?
It’s why we take risks –– we are seeking the high of endorphins.
But you’ll find that the rush and enjoyment with endorphins is often short lived.
Why Wealth Motivates You
Next up is dopamine. This is the one we get on Christmas morning as we open our presents. It’s what drives people to make more money so that they can have the car they want, that nice watch, or a beautiful painting on the wall.
On your journey to become rich, you probably complete many tasks and goals.
You’ll buy all the things you’ve ever wanted. Nice cars, beautiful clothes, and a perfect home.
This releases dopamine in your brain.
It’s released when you achieve your goals and buy these things, which once again contributes to your happiness… temporarily.
Why You Help Others
Serotonin is released when we give back. We feel it when we act in a way that benefits others and when we give to a cause that’s beyond our own benefit.
Helping an old lady cross the street, for example, brings literally no benefit or gain to you, and yet it can make you feel good and give you a sense of pride for the whole day or even the whole week. It fills your heart in a way that you cannot get from dopamine or endorphins.
Serotonin is released when we connect with people on a deep, human level.
When was the last time getting a shiny new watch or going on a run brought you legitimate happiness and pride for more than a few hours?
It’s why we often see billionaires become philanthropists later in their lives.
When they have already used up so much Dopamine from all the material things they could have and all the accomplishments they’ve achieved, they turn to serotonin to feel happiness.
Why You Love
Oxytocin is the easiest of all and yet I feel we often take it for granted.
This is the chemical that is released when we have physical contact with a cherished person or pet.
Its released with a hug, a handshake, when your dog jumps all over you the minute you get home. It’s released with something as personal as a kiss or something as benign as a comforting hand on your shoulder.
The Secret to Happiness: You Need All Four Chemicals
What so many people don’t have in their lives –– what makes people feel incomplete –– is the lack of all four chemicals being constantly being released. This is what we need in order to feel truly happy.
Without all four, the sensation dulls as we focus too much on deriving our happiness from only one source.
So what does all of this have to do with us here at Eterneva?
Well, what’s been the most special about working at Eterneva has been hearing the stories of light being brought to people who are in darkness.
How to increase dopamine.
The moment they send their loved one’s ashes in, they begin to feel it. There’s dopamine released simply by the accomplishment of making a choice for how they will celebrate their loved one.
They feel it again when they get their bright, shiny, beautiful diamond.
How to increase serotonin.
Through the sharing of the journey, sending pictures and updates, and passing around stories of their loved ones, both our team and our customers find increased joy in the process.
This is serotonin being released from the human connection made on a deep level with our customers and our team.
How to increase endorphins.
As we get near the end of the diamond growth process, anticipation of the delivery begins to build and as adrenaline rises, endorphins are also released.
How to increase oxytocin.
Most importantly when our customers receive a diamond, a physical embodiment that they can anchor all of their memories too, they are able to remember every hug and every kiss they have experienced with their loved one.
By anchoring these memories to a physical reminder of their experiences, they are able to release oxytocin.
If even for a brief moment, I hope they can replicate the feeling of direct contact with their loved one and experience that comfort again.
The Pursuit of Happiness is Rooted in Sharing
Working in this environment has brought such a tremendous appreciation for the things in my life that bring me joy. It has also allowed me to recognize why something makes me feel happy, to really examine the root cause. It’s been the best way to discover how to cultivate happiness in my daily life.
My advice –– learned from the loss and light of our customers –– is this: share your wealth with your friends and family to create amazing experiences.
Our money, our homes, our knowledge, and our material things should never be the goal, but rather all used as tools to enrich the lives of those around us.
I promise that giving back will bring you happiness in return ten fold. When we give to others, we receive peace of mind and happiness both spiritually and chemically in our brains.
And that’s where this science geek signs off.