One of my main ‘secrets’ of generating joy and happiness in life is remaining curious… When you look at life as an open field of surprises and adopt an attitude of excitement about whatever life throws at you, this opens a whole range of possibilities. Curiosity is proven to calm down the fight and flight response in the amygdala and helping in coping with daily life stresses. It also helps you look outside the box and increase dopamine and serotonin release in your brain which lifts your mood and makes you more passionately engaged and motivated.
It is the never-ending story of who came first the chicken or the egg… Do we need motivation to start engaging in life or does our engagement generate motivation? I believe it is a never ending circle… but it starts with our actual engagement… it starts with you taking action and stepping forward claiming your life and your happiness.
When you proactively engage in everyday life, when you keep moving forward and taking steps towards you dreams and your passions, the world around you start to shift in a magical way.
Ellen Langer and Judith Rodin tested this assumption in a nursing home. They divided the elderly residents in two groups. Group 1 was totally taken care of by the staff, while group 2 was involved in taking decision and assigned some responsibilities around the residency.
At the end of the experiment, it was clear that group 2 who was engaged in their life decision and initiatives felt much happier, healthier and passionate than the passive group.