Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.
Do you like surprises? Do you know someone who does? Sometimes, a surprise is a really nice thing! When you surprise your mom or dad… your grandmom or favorite uncle… When you put away the dishes without asking or when you bring someone home their favorite ice cream, you are acting in an unexpected manner and pleasantly surprising another.
These kind of surprises promote happiness for a number of reasons.
- Surprise activates the pleasure center of our brain. The experience of being surprised produces a burst of dopamine in our brain, allowing us to feel good then and there. Each time we recall the intensity of the surprise, a little more dopamine is pushed into our system until it fades away. The more meaningful the surprise – the longer the effect lasts.
- Surprise pulls us into the moment. When we feel surprised, our attention is on the here and now versus some other point. Staying focused on the present eliminates frustration from the past or anxiety of the future – at least temporarily.
- Surprise breaks up monotony. We sometimes fall too easily into routines that become boring. Whether it’s our daily schedule or the way we engage in our relationships, too much certainty becomes boring. When the pattern is broken or at least, interrupted by little surprises, it allows us to reset and relax; producing feelings of pleasure.
- Surprise can motivate learning. When we are surprised, our brains rush to discover ‘why?’ or ‘how?’. We wonder, “how did I miss that?” or “why did that happen?”. Learning always strengthens our brain capacity and again, pulls us into the present by forcing us to pay attention. Our curiosity is activated and confidence may increase – producing more ‘happy’ chemicals in our brain.
These are the things that happen we someone GETS surprised – I am suggesting that you BE the one to offer a surprise; be a giver of good things.
When we give – we often receive. In this case, you’ll be pulled into the present moment as well. You’ll be focused on something (someone) other than yourself. You’ll be creating feelings of pleasure and happiness for another human being. You’ll more than likely be the receiver of appreciation – activating pleasure centers in your own brain. It’s a win -win situation when you pleasantly…
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