Way #7 to Finding Joy: Appreciate yourself.
“This causes dopamine to surge and build new dopamine circuits, which produce joy again and again. Self-esteem and self-honoring are crucial for the joy biochemicals to be released. Every brain longs for you to be appreciated, and if you don’t meet that need in healthy ways you will not release joy biochemicals. Your brain will continually long for and look for respect-so give it to yourself. Don’t waste the potential serotonin-dopamine booster by not applauding yourself, or feeling pride in what you did or your qualities. Express pride in yourself and in something you’ve done, once a day. Say to yourself, “Look what I have done.” Look for reasons to acknowledge yourself and pat yourself on the back. It is just a spark, but if you do it every day for 45 days, you will be your own best spark plug. Score at least one small goal or victory each day. Commit to finding it and enjoying it for a few moments. Celebrating small steps triggers more dopamine than saving it all up for one big achievement.” –Hana Matt
In a society that puts a great emphasis on the value of beauty, thinness, fashion, material ownership, and money, it is easy to fall victim to self-depreciation when you do not “fit the mold.” We often look to the opinions of others to define our own self-worth. We want to be loved so that we can love ourselves. We want to force our bodies into unnatural shapes and forms to fit into a size we were never meant to be. Why do we do continually do this and expect to find true happiness at the same time?
Every single person possesses a beauty, a light, and a love that is just waiting to shine through given the opportunity. It is time to break free from the chains of judgment, expectation, and the opinions of others. It is a waste of time to compare one’s self to another because there are no two people who are exactly the same. We are supposed to all be different. It would be boring otherwise. The sooner we accept who we are, the sooner we can learn to embrace and love that person. You must love, appreciate, admire, respect, and honor the person who is you. You are a gift to the world that is waiting to be unwrapped.
Today is the day to bring upon a change of self-perception and learn to appreciate your unique facets and qualities. You might be surprised at the transformation that takes place within you when you start to honor and commend yourself for your daily accomplishments. When you learn to love yourself, you are simultaneously opening your heart to the world. You cannot find happiness or love in others, without finding happiness and love within yourself first.
Similar to the other six proven ways to joy that we have previously discussed (exercise, positive thought transformation, the avoidance of social comparison, meaningful relationships, the practice of compassion, and the cultivation of gratitude), it is in our power to change our habits and behaviors in order to activate and release our joy biochemicals. This is a process of shifting our thoughts and actions. You are responsible for your own happiness. Parker Wellness, with the guidance of Hana Matt’s outline, is here to help show you the way.
Thank you for sharing a smile with us!