What Causes Happiness:
Brain Chemicals And More

This page follows on from Page 1 which discusses Level 1 of what causes happiness - happenings and experiences in one's life. We continue the discussion here at Level 2.

Level 2: Biochemical changes in the physiology

Modern science

According to modern science, happiness is caused by brain chemistry, in particular the chemicals Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins. (Each of these links to Wikipedia opens in separate window.) Taking nicotine and alcohol into the body over time reduces the levels of these as well as other 'happy chemicals'.

From a practical standpoint, the obvious question is: what causes serotonin and dopamine to be present enough, on a sustained basis, to support the ongoing experience of happiness and joy? Perhaps ancient wisdom has the answer?

Ancient wisdom

According to an ancient 'knowledge of life', or 'knowledge of lifespan' - known by its Sanscrit name as 'ayurveda' - there is a subtle substance known as OJAS that is responsible for the experience of joy, exhilaration and happiness in the human mind-body system.

Where does OJAS come from?

Have you ever had a light meal and noticed afterwards how good you feel? Have you ever eaten certain foods and felt happy and exhilarated afterwards, as compared with other foods that make you feel dull and heavy?

CMR – Transcending Meditation When digestion is good and the food has been completely digested - and provided we have not eaten to the point where we feel full and heavy - a very subtle substance is created which activates the experience of inner joy and exhilaration, or 'bliss'. This substance is what is called OJAS.

You could think of OJAS as being an acronym for Original Joy Activating Substance.

OJAS is thus the physical 'origin' or cause of joy. OJAS is the 'stuff' that the body's inner intelligence creates to make 'happy molecules' in our mind-body system. It is what causes happiness at a subtle level.

OJAS is said to improve appetite, strengthen digestion and immunity, promote regular elimination and weight normalization, increase physical strength and stamina, and increase the experience of buoyancy, energy, exhilaration, well-being and joy. In short, OJAS is what causes happiness to be experienced in the mind-body system.

In my e-course, The Self-Health Plan, I go into more detail about OJAS and how we can facilitate the creation of more OJAS in our body to trigger a more sustained experience of happiness and joy.

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