The past few years, I have been contemplating the word joy or happiness, if I may use them interchangeably. What’s best for me, what gives me pleasure and most importantly how do I measure my well-being? Typically, our pursuits, interests, experiences and how we choose to live form part of our value list for our well-being. Hopping from the linguistic meaning of the word to the spectrum of emotions defined by psychology and finally to the philosophical value of joy, I was on a mission to find my answers.
The first lesson was that life can go well or not and influence our state of mind however to feel joy is about orienting heart towards peace. Taking a dip into the real meaning of joy was to remove all the superficial layers of how people tend to portray their personality as a smiling emoji while one could observe their tensions and frustrations.
I learnt that it is fine to explode, and you are not obligated to smile all the time and pretend to be cheery when you are fearful, frustrated or when your inner incredible hulk is about to pop up. All the emotional rollercoaster ride had nothing to do with feeling genuine joy.
Deep down we all can feel happiness! If you have no desire to be part of the pretentious Cheshire cat group on a merry go round, then start the inner-reflection. Hush all the noise of what encapsulates joy characterized by the latest trends in cultural concepts, social belief or editorial images and re-connect to your heart.
Throughout civilization, whether through Eastern or Western philosophies and scientific research, the indication that the heart is the most important organ in the human body is prevalent. From Aristotle or Abu-Nasr al-Farabi, Ninth century Arabic philosopher, to Prof. Paul Pearsall, a clinical neuropsychologist and clinical professor of the University of Hawaii, they all pointed to the power of the heart to store memory, a centre of reason and having the ability to think. Prof. Pearsall research on the heart transplant patients indicated the possibility that a donor’s personality traits transfer to the recipient. The parallels ranged from the same taste in food and music to sexual and job preferences. Moreover, the electrical frequencies of our heart are much stronger than our brain. Importantly, our heart transmits many instructions to the brain on what to do.
Our heart and brain communicate in four ways: 1- Neurologically, via nerve impulses, 2- Energetically, via magnetic fields, 3- Biochemically, via hormones and neurotransmitting chemicals, 4- Biophysically, via blood flow. The energetic interaction of the heart, most specifically the heart’s magnetic field envelops every cell of the body and also extends out in all directions, 6 to 10 feet, into the space around us. Hence, the coherence between the heart and the brain is vital to feel joy. This state of flow is to quiet your mind and to open your heart.
In the midst of chaos, confusion or heartbreak, align your self-healing power with the concept of peace. The harmony and the lack of hostility take the individual to a time in future. If we have the capacity to lower our blood pressure, improve our hormonal balance to recover from heart attacks, then we are able to self-regulate independent of the external conditions. A clear intention to feel joy elevates the electrical charge and serves as a magnet. Knowing that happiness is one of the elevated feelings of the heart, learning about self-regulation and practice, leads to lasting fulfilment.
By improving brain function through the heart, we reach mental clarity and discern a joy greater and deeper than a smile.
The second lesson was to stop judging and getting over the fear of being judged. Being compared, evaluated or to make a judgement are exhausting sentiments. Recognize that the anxiety of disappointment, fear of failure or shame are just a perception. By opening your heart to find harmony and immersing yourself and others into the created space, the judgments become irrelevant and unworthy.
Mastering to use the wisdom of your heart allows you to reach the inner-peace and a fulfilling relationship with your self, which can immensely impact and be the magnet for the pursuit of happiness and life you want to lead.
Featured image by Cyril Rolando