I was reading one of my favourite magazines on the weekend, Nexus Magazine, and came across this article on happiness. I love anything to do with the emotional aspects of healing and the mind-body connection in medicine – we know from the work of many amazing people such as Dr Candace Pert, Dr Bruce Lipton, and Dr Joe Dispenza that the thoughts we think produce chemical reactions in the body. These reactions can lead to either positive or negative changes and can cause the release of hormones that either help us become more healthy, or can detrimentally affect our health. We have enormous power to change our thoughts and therefore change the state we are in – but there is more to happiness than people might think…
“Human bodies recognise at the molecular level that not all hpappiness is created equally, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health. This is according to new research led by Dr Barbara L. Fredrickson, Kenan Distringuished Professor in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, the researchers found.
“Philosophers have long distinguished two basic forms of well-being” a(n) ‘hedonic’ form representing an individual’s positive affective experiences, and a deeper ‘eudaimonic’ form that results from striving toward meaning and a noble purpose beyond simple self-gratification,” wrote Dr Fredrickson and her colleagues. It’s the difference, for example, between enjoying a good meal, and feeling connected to a larger community through a service project, she said. Both give us a sense of happiness, but each is experienced very differently in the body’s cells.
The results bolster Dr Fredrickson’s previous work on teh effects of positive emotions, as well as research linking a sense of connectedness with longevity.”
(Source: Science Daily, 29 July 2013, http://ScienceDaily.com)