Happiness can be an elusive state. All of us want it; not enough of us have it. The things that we think bring us happiness are often temporary and unsatisfying in the end. We’re not entirely clear what causes happiness, how to define it or what sustains it.
But this isn’t to say we’re incapable of continued happiness. There are happiness hacks that can bring us closer to a blissful state, and this can adjust our outlook on life to a more positive one.
We give you five happiness hacks that you can incorporate into your life—and of course, one of those hacks includes consuming cannabis. It’s not just that the plant can give you the giggles for a few hours, but studies show the plant works with our bodies on a chemical level to help us feel happier and more optimistic.
Besides the roles that genetics, circumstances and character play in bringing happiness, there are the hundreds of neurochemicals our body produces, some of them directly connected to our sense of well-being. For example, an article in Psychology Today highlights many of them, including:
Here are five ways you can boost some of these feel-good chemicals in your body and brain to feel more content and positive.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana shares a similar chemical structure to anandamide and works on the same CB1 receptor, creating feelings of joy, euphoria and happiness. It also serves to boost the body's internally produced anandamide.
Cannabidiol (CBD) can also play a role, helping block the breakdown of the natural anandamide in our bodies, to keep the happy feelings going for longer.
Generally, sativa cannabis strains are what folks recommend to elevate mood. Though for some, too much of an energizing sativa strain can lead to feeling jittery and even paranoid. In this case, a hybrid strain or even an indica with effects that aren’t too sedative could be your best bet. Some cannabis strains to try are:
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sussex confirmed that “being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.”
Staying active: Exercising daily can release proteins and endorphins that make you feel good. A wide variety of studies show that people who stay on the move have a much lower risk of anxiety and depression.
Eating a well-balanced diet: A healthy diet can help boost your mood. For example, health website Healthline points out: “Adding protein to your meals can help slow the absorption of carbohydrates in your blood and increase the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which may improve your mood and energy for several hours after eating.”
Also, reports Healthline, foods such as complex carbohydrates, “contain soluble fiber that can slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and increase serotonin, the feel-good chemical, both of which decrease mood swings.”
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