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I watched this TED talk and enjoyed the overall message about happiness. Many times it seems that people are told to “be happy or else”, or told that feeling unhappy is bad or wrong. Instead, the message about happiness as a regular state of mind gets lost in a sea of blaming, threatening and finding yet one more way to encourage people to feel badly about themselves. This is not helpful. The person who gave this TED talk, Shawn Achor, goes over some simple experiences and talks about what makes happiness easy for some people, and difficult for others to experience on a daily basis.
For the people I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a doctor over the years, and in my own experience, feelings of happiness depend on how we view the world, our own experiences, and what meaning we give to what happens to us and what we do in our lives. This TED talk is humorous and plain spoken, talking about happiness and things related to happiness in a way that is easy to understand.
Wellness includes emotional health and wellbeing. Wellness may be hard to reach for some people because they lack a belief system that helps create happiness, or they have a personal biochemical imbalance that interferes with the simple ability to feel happy. Shawn Achor mentions that feelings of happiness create increased dopamine; and increased dopamine can result in increased feelings of happiness.
For years I’ve offered my patients specialized lab testing that assesses the amount and relationship of their neurotransmitters like dopamine to other mood-influencing chemicals like hormones that also influence moods and feelings of wellness. Sometimes as part of treatment, there are a few things that need to be treated with natural medicines that may make all the difference in restoring feelings of happiness again.
Sometimes further testing is needed to assess the health of the digestive system, as it is a big player in mental health and wellness, including feelings of happiness. When the digestive tract is unhealthy and not working well, it can affect the mind and mental health. An unhealthy gut is a direct cause of depression, anxiety and some mood disorders. Hidden factors like digestive heatlh can really interfere with or destroy the ability to fully benefit from other ways of addressing mood and mental health problems.
Since the digestive tract is so often overlooked when treating mood problems, it deserves a closer look as a possible cause of mood problems, a lack of happiness, depression and eanxiety.