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Your brain contains some powerful drugs. That’s according to Joseph McClendon III, author of Get Happy Now: Get Happy in 10 Minutes, Feel Happy in 10 Days, Be Happy for Life (SUCCESS Books, May 2012). These chemicals in your brain can create feelings of happiness and euphoria, like dopamine or endorphins, while others can contribute to feelings of anxiety or depression. Sometimes people modify their body chemistry with drugs, alcohol or other chemicals in an attempt to get happy. Maybe you know someone who solves stress that way, or maybe that’s been you. The scientific truth is the body manufactures chemicals that mimic the way drugs like opium or valium affect your mood.
Just like morphine is a powerful pain medication that alters the way your brain perceives pain, your brain has naturally occurring chemicals that do the same thing and more, modulating your energy, emotions, ability to interact with others and ultimately, your happiness.
Inside your brain, you have a powerful drug that’s available free of charge, with no prescription and accessible any time day or night—it’s called happiness.
“Everyone wants to be happy,” McClendon says. “They seek it, buy it, chase it, medicate it and do everything possible to get it. I’ve spoken in more than 50 countries around the world and met all kinds of people in various cultures. I’ve seen people with every reason to be happy who are not, and I’ve met people with every conceivable reason to be miserable who are happy and content.”
In Get Happy Now, McClendon states these eight discoveries about happiness:
Happiness can be learned.
Happiness speeds up success.
Happiness will increase your energy.
Happiness will increase your longevity.
Happiness attracts you to what you want and what you want to you.
Happiness increases your health and wellness.
Happiness is contagious.
You can condition yourself to be habitually happy.
But, he emphasizes, happiness isn’t complex. “It’s not distorted, a 12-step plan, or years of agony in counseling with some self-help guru. Happiness is the feeling of joy and excitement you get when you have hope, and move with positive expectation toward that positive dream, expectation, or goal.”
McClendon says, “Happiness is just an emotion.”