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Food That Makes you Happy

Who doesn’t love food? Food is a basic need for humans, or any other animal, in order to survive. Over time, we have developed unique ways to consume the food we eat. Unfortunately, we more often choose what pleases our pallets, than we choose what is healthy for our body and brain. If you have been feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, it might be due to the food you’re eating.

What Foods Make You Happy?

We have taken it upon ourselves to make a list of foods that will help brighten your mood. Some of these foods are:

  • Clams

Clams are a great source B12. Vitamin B12 triggers dopamine and serotonin in your brain. Both endorphins are related to boosting moods and battling depression. If you don’t like clams, you can find B12 in trout, salmon, red meat, poultry, dairy, and various cereals.

  • Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great alternative to chips or candy. More specifically, walnuts and flax, which contain high levels of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA is responsible for increasing levels of endorphins that make you happy, like dopamine and serotonin.

  • Coffee

Coffee is a tricky one. While coffee beans have mood boosting components, the main factor may be due to the level of caffeine in coffee. According to a study from Nurses’ Health, participants who drank at least three cups of coffee a day were 15% less likely to become depressed. When they increased the amount of coffee to four cups, they were 20% less likely to become depressed.

  • Radishes

If you’re in the mood for something crunchy, radishes are a great snack. These veggies are known to release endorphins like dopamine and norepinephrine, which have been linked to happiness.

  • Oysters

If you’re feeling anxious, it may be due to a lack of zinc in your body. Eating oysters is a great way to to get some more zinc in your diet.

  • Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a tasty fruit, but its juice is even better. The benefits of consuming pomegranate go beyond happiness, as the fruit is known to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.

  • Mushrooms

The fungi can be a tasty addition to any dish. Mushrooms are known to raise the levels of selenium and magnesium in your body.

  • Chocolate

We saved the most savory option for last. Chocolate, more specifically dark chocolate, is sweet but if consumed in moderation, can come along with many health benefits. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols. This element will calm you down and put a smile on your face!

Food is a basic necessity for survival, but what we consume and the way we consume it can have different effects on our health. Eating healthy goes beyond physical appearance. What you put in your body can have a direct effect on your mood. Eat right, exercise, and take care of your body. The results may shock you.

Are You A Pluviophile?

A pluviophile is more than just someone who loves rain. According to the dictionary, a pluviophile is someone who finds joy as well as peace of mind during rainy days. There’s a difference between the enjoyment you feel staying in and watching Netflix with a bowl of buttery popcorn or reading a book while drinking hot cocoa, and the feeling of being safe and protected. A true pluviophile will find a sense of security in the rain, and that no harm will come to them while it’s raining.

A pluviophile takes pleasure from the rain it interacts with all of their five senses. This is why most pluviophile’s will live their life as normal when it rains. For those who dislike rain will find it an inconvenience and chose not to run errands around town. However, a pluviophile will go out without hesitation.

First and foremost they love the way the rain feels on their skin. They do not mind going out during a monsoon and getting drenched when they run to their car. Not only do they enjoy going outside in the rain, they enjoy driving in the rain and watching the rain hit the windshield. The enjoy watching the drops of water splatters and slide down the window. Even after they return home from their daily routine while it’s raining, they choose to sit by the window to continue watching the rain. A lot of pluviophiles also enjoys the sound that the rain makes as it hits surfaces including puddles, windows, etc. The smell that the rain brings also brings the comfort.

And let’s admit it now, all of us at some point have stuck their tongue out and caught rainwater. A pluviophile will do this as well, however, rainwater is dangerous to drink and contains a lot of bacteria. So for all the pluviophile’s out there, we don’t think you should drink rainwater but please continue to run and play in the rain. We understand the enjoyment you get from it!

Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

There are several things that can affect people’s mood at any particular moment. The environment and the people around you are well-known components that contribute to mood as external stimuli. There is also the chemical balances to consider inside our bodies that can easily sway our mood in one way or another. Many people suffer from clinical depressions due to this sort of cause in the form of chemical imbalances. However, many people also find the opposite effect to be true as well, that certain chemicals can contribute to pleasant or joyful moods. Some people associate these with narcotics or other stimulants while other people find the pleasure in a much simpler (and legal) form: chocolate.

So, what is it exactly that makes chocolate such a mood-booster? Apart from being sweet and somewhat addicting in its own right, chocolate also contains a variety of chemicals in it that activate certain neurotransmitters. For example, one chemical commonly found in chocolate is tryptophan – the same chemical often associated with Thanksgiving Day turkeys and the reason that we generally feel like a good nap after that Thanksgiving Day dinner. The reason being that tryptophan, when introduced into the body, triggers the production and release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter strongly associated with mood balance and reduction in anxiety. This combination of effects is what may give many people such a calming, relaxed feeling after eating turkey – or chocolate, as the topic pertains, should they eat enough of it.

Another contributor within chocolate is a fat compound called anadamide. Anadamide is responsible for the release of dopamine into the human body, which is responsible for  feelings of positive well-being and even a feeling of being “high” similar to the effects of THC in marijuana, although much less intense. This is because anadamide triggers the same neural receptors as marijuana’s THC. Dopamine is also said to be strongly associated with addiction and addictive tendencies through its association with the concepts of reward and reinforcement – possibly one of the many reasons people claim chocolate to be so addicting.

Chocolate also triggers the release of endorphins, which is a body’s natural happiness inducer. Endorphins, like dopamine and serotonin, also contribute to mood balance on top of reducing stress and temporarily decreasing our sensitivity to pain.

Last but not least, chocolate also encourages the release of a neurotransmitter called phenylethylamine, a long word that has also gone by “the love drug.” This is because phenylethylamine is often associated with inducing feelings of happiness and excitement as well as generating a quickened pulse rate: feelings and sensations that are often linked to someone who finds him or herself in love.

Finally, for anyone who has been keeping track, two of these chemicals – serotonin and dopamine – are not only ever-present when consuming chocolate. These two neurotransmitters are but a slew of chemicals also released in heavy doses into the brain immediately after sexual climax. Which might explain why so many people are usually inclined to compare sex with chocolate – anecdotally, at least.

5 Legendary Live Music Performances

A recent study conducted by the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index involving 1000 participants concluded that live music events are associated with higher levels of subjective wellbeing. The telephone survey pointed specifically to the communal element of these musical engagements, such as concerts and festivals, and that the feeling of unity and shared experience contributes to a more positive disposition.

It can be argued that hearing music in a live setting is essential to the human experience, as music has historically been a part of human life for over 36,000 years. The performance aspect of live music ensures a certain amount of vulnerability your LP can’t quite capture. It can be a momentous, “I was there” event that can be one of the happiest memories of your life. As a society, certain moments in music history live in the minds and hearts of all, and are as legendary as the artists themselves.

1. The first time Michael Jackson did the moonwalk.
The 1983 TV special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever is immortalized as the first time Michael Jackson did the moonwalk to his smash hit “Billie Jean” in front of an audience. The history of the moonwalk hardly starts with the King of Pop, and It’s also worth noting that since Jackson wanted to depart from the motown theme of the night, he lip synched the performance as opposed to letting the live motown band do a rendition that he felt wouldn’t capture the groove of the song. Yet, Michael Jackson still made the performance his own, captivating the audience and the world for a brief, extraterrestrial moment.

2. The Beatles’ American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The year was 1964. A four-piece band from Liverpool had exploded onto the scene, creating a mass hysteria akin to the hype around Elvis a decade ago. They caught the attention of America’s most popular variety show host Ed Sullivan, and booked the band for what would be one of the most monumental music events in history. 73 million people tuned in to watch, and from that point on, Beatlemania had arrived stateside.

3. Elvis Presley’s Performance of Hound Dog on The Milton Berle Show.
Rock and roll took America by storm in the ‘50s, shocking conservative parents and igniting rebellious teenage angst like never before. This particular performance on the Milton Berle Show was the country’s first glimpse of Elvis’ pelvis after being hidden away by his acoustic guitar on previous performances. For the times, it was raunchy and incendiary, but nonetheless a turning point for American pop culture.

4. Prince’s Super Bowl XLI Halftime performance
Anyone familiar with Prince’s overall presence and entity know that he is somewhat of a superhuman figure. His performance of Purple Rain at the 2007 Super Bowl was nothing less than a cosmic event, as the show occurred during a quintessential Florida downpour. It goes down as a performance where nature, music, and man became one for a brief moment.

5. Janis Joplin’s debut performance at Monterey Pop.
Janis Joplin goes down as one of the most legendary female rock figures of the last century. Her passion and exceptional musical ability was always present in her performances, and she exploded onto the famed Summer of Love music scene with her set at Monterey Pop ‘67, two months before Woodstock ‘67. Her performance of Ball and Chain, a bluesy song brimming with melancholy, left many in the crowd open-mouthed knowing they had witnessed the birth of an icon.

In a world that is increasingly becoming dangerously polarized, these moments of harmony among people of all color and credence are all the more precious.

Make Lists: Think Happy To Be Happy

If you’re in a slump or angry and can’t control the way you feel, you might try to train yourself to shut it off. While that may not be the ideal way to deal with actual problems head-on, some of us simply have seasonal or random bouts of depression that crop up for no discernable reason. When that’s the case, the best way to get back on track is to think about the things that make you feel at your best. That’s why you can make lists in order to think happy.

Lots of different things might make you happy, and it’s up to you to think about what they are. The most obvious choice is music. Science has proven that music can enhance your mood and even help you learn, and that’s why you should keep a list of your favorite songs for future reference. Sure, keep the best of the best on your phone or computer, but be sure to have a backup copy so you don’t miss out on any of your favorites down the line.

If you meet someone you don’t like, then you aren’t alone. It happens to everyone. That’s why it makes sense to counteract the bad experience with a good one. Create a list of the people who mean the most to you. When you can’t make a quick visit or call, just take a look at the list to know that you have people in your life who can make you feel on top of the world. There is another benefit to keeping these people around: according to Harvard researchers, those of us with the strongest relationships are more likely to stay healthier longer and increase our longevity.

If you have the travel bug, then it can be helpful to keep a journal of your favorite destinations. If you have a good experience while on vacation, then write it down in order to recall it more easily later. If the winter weather or rainy day has you down, then keep your mind on where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you might do again. Psychologists have found that traveling can enhance our creativity, make us more amenable to others, relieve stress, and boost overall happiness. Believe it or not, you can get these benefits just by walking down the street. It’s the change of scenery that benefits us the most, not the exotic locations.

3 Keys to Happiness That You Might Overlook

Have you ever noticed the boost you get after a bout of exercise? There are a number of reasons. Exercise equalizes the amounts of glucose, leptin, and insulin in your body, helps keep you alert, increases sexual function, improves the health of your skin, elevates mood, helps you sleep, creates the conditions necessary for your nerve cells to replicate–thereby helping keep your brain at peak performance–and the list goes on and on.

We all know the benefits of exercise, but not all of us know that spreading it out during the course of a week can help even more than if you stuff a hardcore workout here or there. In other words, you won’t get the same beneficial effects of exercise if you do it one day and then sit around to play video games the next. Exercise needs to be consistent, and that’s what you’re likely doing wrong.

Exercise can also help you get outside. That’s a good thing, because another key ingredient to happiness is a lot of vitamin D. Because of genome sequencing, we now know that vitamin D plays a part in perhaps 2,000 genes. You can consume the vitamin through food or supplements, but the best means of consumption is via the sun. Vitamin D plays a role in keeping our immune system healthy, and also helps us absorb other vitamins and nutrients such as calcium and phosphorous.

Even if all you do is take a long walk in the sun, you’ll still notice elevated amounts of energy over the next few days. That’s because vitamin D regulates mood in order to combat depression, helps you lose weight, and combats disease–so keep at it!

The third key to happiness is one of the most important, and can influence anything else you do to keep yourself upbeat: get enough sleep! Believe it or not, the way your brain works changes when you don’t sleep. Scientists at Western University in Ontario found that brains are much less active with less sleep, and can lead to a number of psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, etc.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to do everything we need to do, but these are three of the most important. Exercise regularly, get outside for some good old-fashioned vitamin D and get enough sleep.

The Odd Little Things That Make Life Worth Living

Commercialism and pop culture will tell you that you need unlimited financial resources to break the smallest smile, but that’s a load of hogwash. The fact is and has always been the same: the things that really make life a joy are absolutely free.

If you want some endless sources of smiles that come from the oddest places this following list of strange pleasures is sure to put a smile on your face and remind you of what a privileged individual you truly are.

1. The clean feeling after a shower

The day was long and tiring, the demands were high and the AC was out of order, but all that is gone with the flick of some magical chrome knobs. The miracle of indoor plumbing is a source of pleasure few take for granted. The feeling of the day’s battles, filth, and distress washed away and the evening of hallowed relaxation awaiting is a priceless joy.

2. Doing something for others

Society and civilization teach us to look after for No. 1 and it can get lonely and cynical in your own little world. But, try a little stretching of the soul and what a great feeling comes over you. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.

3. Good Company on a Soft Sofa

It can be difficult to make a good connection with another soul i this techno-paradise. But curling up on a warm couch with a beloved friend, lover or even house pet is a prize to be valued. There is something in the shared warmth of human life that strengthens bonds and makes the lonely trip life is less solitary.

4. Laughing so hard it hurts

Do you remember the last time you laughed so hard you felt your sides would split? Science has proven that those who reach this point or exertion from sheer gaiety are likely to live longer and less likely to suffer from a degenerative disease. If you need a good subject to unleash the bellows of joviality just look at your own life and situation, you got to admit it, you’re pretty funny.

5. Finding lucky money in unexpected places

Have you ever been making your way through your day; your mind a pleasant blank or a ball of confusion when a lucky stack of cash that seems to be completely forgotten by the world suddenly introduces themselves? Whatta feelin’! Finding money in unexpected places like old clothes books, drawers and car seats is like a gift that keeps on giving.

For more ways to be happy, you can visit website.

The Science Behind People’s Obsession With Pumpkin Spice

The Pumpkin Spice, which is a drink Starbucks has greatly advertised as a fall favorite has obviously become an obsession for many people. After being away for quite some time, Starbucks is expected to get it back on their menu in a week’s time, with the anticipation being as big as ever. Unlike other Starbucks beverages, this one has its own Twitter account, Instagram page, hashtag and many enthusiastic devotees who cannot help but express their longing for it on all these platforms. In fact, some enthusiasts are so hitched on it that they are demanding it while others have successfully placed orders in stores even before the beverage is officially launched.

Starbucks actually calls this beverage their most popular seasonal beverage. The Pumpkin Spice seems to trigger lots of questions with one of the most common one being whether there is some science behind people’s obsession with this beverage. The truth is that there could be some science and we are here to break it down for you.

1. You Are Biologically Wired To Love The Beverage

Any combination of sugar and fat is a big attraction to many. When the fat and sugar interact in your taste buds, they boost your flavor and make you crave for more of the same. Besides the sugar and fat, Pumpkin spice also has some salt, which besides boosting the beverage’s overall taste acts as a food enhancer to the taste buds and to the brain as well. Obviously, people love tasty things and that is the reason why Pumpkin spice has been an obsession for many.

2. The Brain Associates It With Happy Times

Just think of all the fun rituals associated with autumn. You obviously have some happy thoughts about autumn and all the memories it produces; carving pumpkins, dressing up for the Halloween, picking apples, jumping into leaf piles and coming together for Thanksgiving. The spices associated with the fall season (cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon) help trigger all the happy memories and thoughts to the mind and sipping the Pumpkin Lattice is one way to enjoy these spices. This beverage connotes happy memories.

3. There is a Caffeine Hit

Caffeine is arguably the most commonly used mood-altering substance in the world. Coffee lovers can confirm that caffeine stimulates the nervous system to boost your energy and make you more alert. It can also cause you crave for more of caffeinated drinks, like Pumpkin Spice.

What is Happy According to Psychology

There are arguments to be made about what happiness is. Is it a state of being? Is it our perception and reaction to various events throughout our lives? Is it avoiding that which we might find displeasing? Some would argue that happiness is something that we must work toward as humans, some may even argue that we cannot attain real happiness in this life – that what we experience now in our mortal life is only a build-up to true happiness in the afterlife. Others believe that happiness is simply just a matter of how we see and engage the world around us.

There are several concepts within the field of psychology alone that suggest different means and different matters regarding how to attain happiness. One of the more prominent fields over the last several years is a study called positive psychology. The study entails examining ‘what makes living worth living,’ according to Psychology Today. What it aims in doing is validating the good in one’s life: that focusing on the good events that happen is as essential as using what is regarded as healing psychology to counteract the bad. Some have misconstrued the purpose of positive psychology over the years, but those who studied it and developed it suggest that positive psychology is meant to complement healing psychology, not to supersede it or suggest that positive psychology is more critical to one’s life than using healing psychology to sort through traumatic events. What positive psychology hopes to establish is that focusing on and acknowledging positive, beneficial experiences is just as necessary to one’s mental health as attempting to correct or mitigate the effects of negative, detrimental experiences. In short, it’s not just about avoiding or correcting painful things that happen in our lives; it’s also about giving weight to the good, pleasurable things that happen in it as well.

Considering the obvious subjectivity of happiness, as many different things have a wide-ranging emotional impact on many different people, psychology is also well-known for having developed several different scales used to determine one’s own measure of contentment or satisfaction with regard to their lives. The Subjective Happiness Scale, a 4-item questionnaire, is one such test, developed by Sonja Lyubomirsky and Heidi Lepper. While not necessarily greatly detailed or in-depth, the test itself is said to measure a perceived quality of life by the individual rather than a perceived quality found by outside sources, that being other people or psychologists themselves.

Many things influence our perception of happiness according to psychology, and there are a few prominent theories regarding the hierarchy or structure of these needs. Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of “needs” that all humans should observe in an attempt to attain happiness.

  • Physiological – the basic needs in order for a human to survive at all, including food, water, air, clothing, and shelter. These needs should be satisfied first and foremost, as all other needs are pointless without survival.
  • Safety – security against stress or potential dangers. Some of these safety measures come in the form of personal protection, financial stability, and avoidance of injury or illness.
  • Social belonging – the satisfaction of interpersonal relationships. These can come in the form of friendships, family, and romantically inclined relationships.
  • Esteem – the need for respect or acknowledgment from peers or those involved in one’s life. A lack of attention to this part of the hierarchy can lead to cases of inferiority complex or depression and can have a great impact on higher levels within the hierarchy.
  • Self-actualization – acknowledging one’s own potential and taking steps to realize it and accomplish as much as one can or feels he/she should within his power. Realizing this need within the hierarchy requires significant understanding and accomplishment within the baser levels.
  • Self-transcendence – relating one’s self-actualization to higher needs and goals no longer pertaining strictly to the self, “refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness.”

Suggesting that one may be happy or unhappy in one’s life appears to base itself greatly within internal understanding as a result of a lot of external sources – how we interpret and react to the world around us, and how we can apparently adapt ourselves in living: not only to avoid the negative experiences as often as possible, like having a car that’s a lemon but to embrace, acknowledge and understand the positive ones as well.

What is Happy According to Religion

For many people in this world, the idea of happiness is a rather simple concept in theory. Most of the time, it involves doing things or being in positions that make us feel good. Some of us associate happiness with having a good job that allows us to provide for a family. Some of us think about traveling the world and experiencing exotic cultures. Some of us are happy just being able to bring others to that state through means such as community service and volunteering. And while these are all viable options of achieving happiness, it doesn’t really answer the question of what happiness exactly is. Is it as simple as just being in a state of well-being that is the polar opposite of being in an undesirable state? Can it be characterized or quantified? Is it even real, or is the entire effect just a placebo to stave off something else?

From a religious standpoint, the idea of achieving happiness seems to have deep roots in ethical concerns and, as St. Thomas Aquinas states, “an operation of the speculative intellect.” More simply, a contemplation of what are considered divine matters. Many religions believe that true happiness does not necessarily occur for the self, but rather through the self in acts of outward kindness and the betterment of circumstances for those around him or her. This is why ethics seems to play a crucial role in religions and spiritual beliefs such as Confucianism.

In many religions, happiness – true happiness – is not something to be attained be in the mortal world. Rather, there are those who might say that the struggle for happiness is a life-long endeavor, because true happiness is only attainable in the afterlife – Heaven, as many religions call it, particularly Christianity, Judaism and Islam. All of these religions offer specific aims in life, ways for those faithful to them to live and to treat others. The ideal for all of these is the effort of appealing to God, receiving judgment at the time of our deaths and to be found worthy of entering Heaven.

For other religions such as Buddhism, happiness is a matter of “settling karmic debt.” Buddhism encourages following a code of guidelines known as the Noble Eightfold Path – some may this is similar to the structure of something like the Ten Commandments in Christianity. However, Buddhism also places emphasis on the concept of rebirth, a concept that usually leaves many people confused as some differentiate it from reincarnation. The general goal of rebirth in Buddhism is to attain a state known as Nirvana – complete freedom from desire, jealousy and ignorance. It is described as a state of pure contentment and understanding.

The common thread in many of these religions is that, while being happy does exist in the realm of mortal lives and while many may interpret happiness as a state of mind, true happiness as far as many religions seem to define it or its ability to be attained is with service, compassion and understanding toward a divine power and outwardly to others. In some cases, such as Buddhism specifically, this sort of attained happiness – or peace or bliss – can take several lifetimes to achieve. When this state is finally reached, the necessity of death and rebirth no longer exists, and one knows true happiness as an end state.