In the 21st century, where information is available at our fingertips, technology has advanced more than ever before. More and more things are available for entertainment. We want results fast than ever before and this is where we fall in the trap of instant gratification in our lives.
We have reached the very depth of the ocean and to the moon. Medical science is able to make impossible things possible. When everything is easy and available, then why it is that we are still looking for happiness in our lives. Actually, the answer lies in this advancement.
What is happiness?
Let me first explain how human feel happiness. Happiness is nothing but a release of certain chemicals such as dopamine and endorphin in our mind. Dopamine particularly is a chemical release in our mind whenever we are excited about any incident.
There are a thousand of things like watching a movie, listening to music, playing video games and so much more which can activate the release of dopamine in our mind. The amount of dopamine released decides the level of happiness one feels at any particular time.
Now that you understand the phenomenon, I want to explain how the same advancement makes our life boring. With the increasing technology, what we have also achieved is instant gratification or instant pleasure which we receive from digital entertainment.
There is nothing real in movies, videos, you tube or games. Internet porn has turned in to extremely violent behavior against women. Song has gone from “hello is it me you’re looking for” by Lionel Richie to “I wanna f**k you” by Akon.
All of these elements help your mind to release more dopamine which makes you feel happier, but there is a very big side effect of that. Once your body becomes habitual of instant pleasure, the real world seems boring to you.
Important tasks such as cleaning the home, tiding up the desk or walking to stores seem like a big challenge. We cannot sit ideal for 10 min alone. For exercising or driving we need loud music. It is all because we got addicted to the high dose of dopamine. The thing which serves us become our enemy.
We are what we repeatedly do. Repetition becomes habits within no time. Have you noticed clicking on your mobile phone or checking your social media feeds even though there is no message notification? It is because of a habit of instant gratification. But the good news is that the same repetition can save us from this boredom. We can create a habit of being happy. So what do we do?
Here is the list of items, you need to remove from your life or at least cut them down significantly. It will take away your mind from a mindset of instant gratification so you can think of success from a long-term perspective.
It includes all the digital form such as TV, action movies & series, video games, porn, you tube, Mobile and social media. Excessive use of any of these will bring unhappiness in life.
It is normal that we all need some entertainment once we come home from the long day at the office, but you can choose to read a book, play the guitar, go for a walk, hit the gym, or just spend time with your family. As we have discussed, you will find pleasure in this activity over time.
To start anything new is hard, but with time it becomes a habit. Keep the focus on the outcome of these activities. You will have greater health, save more money, have less sugar, learn a new skill, or have a better relationship with your family. This outcome will keep you motivated.
Here is an important part. Even educational or motivational videos must be limited by time. You must rely on action instead of just going through TED videos one by one. Be a doer, not a thinker.
Alcohol and Tobacco.
photo by wilstewart3
The only reason you feel better when you drink is that your mind is not at its full capacity to function and that is why you cannot think of a particular situation you are trying to avoid, but it does not mean that the problem is not there. It is still there and you still have to deal with it.
You might find some instant relief from your current situation, but once the effect is gone you will feel worst. The reason an alcoholic person wants to be in this state because he cannot stand the problem so he needs alcohol again. Do you see instant gratification here again?
The same concept goes for Tobacco as well. The instant relief smokers get from smoke is actually from the deep breath they take while smoking. They associate this relief with smoking and that is why smokers feel that it feels better when they. But they can have the same relief – actually better – just by deep breathing outside in the fresh oxygen.
Have the courage to deal with the problem by yourself. You must understand that the alcohol is not a way to deal with the problem or even a way to celebrate an event. Believe in yourself and you will find self-respect and self-confidence in this process.
Music is another thing people find pleasure listening to. Music, especially loud or rock music, is an enemy of your happiness. Studies have proofs that we can be more relaxed by 5 min of being in silence than 5 min of listening to music.
When you seek pleasure in the music, silence becomes boring at best and unbearable at worst. Replace music with the voice of nature. Go to a park and listen to birds, to a beach and listen to the ocean, or just stay at home and feel your being. In time, you will discover that the ultimate pleasure is with you.
Our mind runs on sugar. The mind loves it when it gets the sugar in our body. Actually, sugar makes you lazy and boring. As soon as it enters into our body we feel energetic. To bring the sugar level down, our body release insulin which actually reduces the blood sugar at the low level. And at low blood sugar level, we also feel low.
SO basically, we are on a roller coaster of emotions. In this state of mind, we cannot perform at our best. The best way to live is with stable emotion. Try to cut down every sugar food and the best they. is to eat the things which come from nature not from the factories.
When you try to do all these together, you might turn to something else which is bad for you. 100% is always easier than 98%. There are no such things as a cheat day and I am sure you already have the experience. You will fail for sure, but start over. Consistency is the habit you will build.
Now, you might be thinking that if I do not do any of these, then what do I do. Great question. Here is the answer.
Find your purpose
Purpose of your existence. The purpose is more powerful than objects. The achievement of purpose gives the fulfillment and happiness; not the achievement of objects. The best part is that on your way to achieving your purpose, you will automatically have all the objects you ever wanted. Once you have the purpose, you will have a map to your destination. Now, you just need to go through the journey.
Go, find it and get it.