Why Pursuing Happiness Is Making Us Miserable

If we consternation if you’re trustworthy to your phone, here’s a three-minute use that’ll give we a answer.

Set it down, afterwards travel opposite a room. Now meditate, breathe deeply, or speak to a crony for a few mins — whatever will keep we present. Now solemnly travel behind to your desk. What happens?

When we attempted this exercise, my heartbeat quickened as a expectation and fad grew. we couldn’t wait to reason my changed smartphone in hand, check for new texts and emails, and corkscrew by my updated Instagram and Facebook feeds.

Dr. Robert H. Lustig would expected systematise my smartphone swooning as obsession or, in systematic terms, too many dopamine and not adequate serotonin.

Lustig, emeritus highbrow of pediatrics during University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and an consultant on childhood obesity, wrote a recently published book “The Hacking of a American Mind.”

In it, Lustig explores how Americans have come to upset a ideas of pleasure and happiness, and how eventually a office of what we consider will make us happy is creation us miserable.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post final week that a association is changing a news feed algorithm to arrangement some-more updates from friends and reduction code calm in an try to enthuse “more suggestive amicable interactions.”

Several studies have shown that increasing use of Facebook is compared with basin and low self-esteem.

The news feed change isn’t expected to make a poignant impact on happiness.

Users are removing doses of dopamine from some-more than usually one member of a amicable media platform.

Sean Parker, Facebook’s initial president, recently certified on a record that a association set out to emanate an addictive product.

“The suspicion routine that went into building these applications… was all about: ‘How do we devour as many of your time and unwavering courtesy as possible?’” Parker said.

“That means that we need to arrange of give we a small dopamine strike each once in a while, since someone favourite or commented on a print or a post or whatever,” he acknowledged. “And that’s going to get we to minister some-more content.”

“God usually knows what it’s doing to a children’s brains,” Parker said.

Lustig believes that Facebook is usually one instance of how companies are willfully treacherous a line between pleasure and happiness, as good as contracting neurologists, to emanate addictive products.

Pleasure and complacency are not equal

Understanding a disproportion between pleasure, or reward, and happiness, or contentment, is a initial step in being means to indeed pursue loyal happiness.

“Pleasure is a feeling of, ‘This feels good, we wish more.’ Happiness is a feeling of, ‘This feels good, we don’t wish or need any more,’” explained Lustig.

It competence seem like there’s a center ground, like joining with people on amicable media or mindfully enjoying a Coke. However, scientifically, there’s no gray area.

Pleasure and complacency are caused by dual opposite neurotransmitters and activate opposite areas of a brain. Dopamine causes pleasure. Serotonin causes happiness.

According to Lustig, there are 6 additional differences between pleasure and happiness:

  • Pleasure is short-lived, durability usually about an hour after we finish that cut of chocolate cake. Happiness lasts longer, from weeks to years.
  • Pleasure is sparkling and activates your fight-or-flight system, ramping adult your heart rate. Happiness indeed causes your heart rate to delayed down.
  • Pleasure can be achieved with opposite substances, such as sugar, heroin, alcohol, and caffeine. Happiness can’t.
  • Pleasure is “yours and yours alone… Conversely, your contentment, or miss of it, mostly impacts other people directly and can impact multitude during large,” Lustig writes.
  • Pleasure is compared with a act of taking, like winning income during a casino or selling for clothes. In contrast, complacency is many times generated by giving, either it’s time or donating income to a charity.
  • Pleasure in a impassioned can lead to addiction. Yet there’s no such thing as being too happy.

What too many dopamine looks like

“Dopamine is excitatory. When it’s released, it stimulates… and gives we a feeling of prerogative and proclivity to find more. In and of itself it’s not bad, however, neurons that excite in ongoing extreme dosing lead to neuron dungeon death,” Lustig told Healthline.

Once a mind dungeon dies, it’s left forever.

“Neurons are fragile. They like to be tickled, not bludgeoned,” Lustig said.

In sequence to strengthen itself from being strike too hard, your mind employs a process called “downregulation.”

You get a hit, afterwards a rush of dopamine. Your receptors go down to strengthen themselves, so we need a bigger strike and so on to get a same rush, until finally we get a outrageous strike to get nothing, Lustig explained.

“That is famous as tolerance. When neurons start to die, it’s called addiction. That since it’s so tough to treat. Those cells have already died,” Lustig said.

“Every singular thing that leads to dopamine can becomes an addiction,” he forked out.

An gratification of serotonin, a complacency chemical, doesn’t kill cells, so it doesn’t need to downregulate.

In fact, there’s usually one thing that downregulates serotonin: dopamine.

The some-more pleasure we seek, a unhappier we get.

Happiness is creation us sad

How to find tangible contentment

“In sequence to adult serotonin, we have to moderate dopamine,” Lustig forked out. “That means infrequently disconnecting, that people have a really tough time doing.”

Lustig came adult with a 4 C’s to assistance people find loyal happiness, or contentment.

Connect. Connection boost serotonin. This has to be interpersonal, face-to-face tie with eye contact. Anything brief of that isn’t successful, Lustig said. The use works since humans have counterpart neurons in a behind of a heads that review in genuine time. “So, when we speak to someone face-to-face, you’re adopting some of their emotion. That’s called empathy. Empathy drives serotonin,” Lustig said.

Contribute. Lustig simplified that a grant has to impact someone other than yourself. Philanthropy, charity, and proffer work will boost your happiness.

Cope. This use is privately to use your prefrontal cortex (PFC) and moderate your cortisol, according to Lustig. “Exercise your mind by practicing mindfulness,” he recommended. “During meditation, a PFC lights adult like a Christmas tree, that is good. You’re knocking down some of a (dopamine) highs, though it positively helps we equivocate a lowest lows.”

Cook. “You can’t make serotonin though it’s predecessor amino acid, tryptophan,” he forked out. Eat dishes high in a amino acid, such as eggs and poultry. Lustig records that tryptophan is typically taken in processed food.

“Processed food creates people unfortunate eventually. It’s a boost of pleasure for sure, though detracts from happiness.”

Lustig’s many critical pivotal to happiness? “Cook genuine food for yourself and your family,” he said.