Happiness is Not Excitement


The man sitting at the slot machine gets a lot of excitement when the lights and sounds go off but is he filled with joy?

Not likely.

We often mistake happiness for excitement.
Yet happiness is more like joy.

Excitement and joy work on two completely different neurotransmitters in the mind.
Excitement boosts dopamine in the brain while joy boosts serotonin.

Dopamine feels like a rush.
Serotonin feels like you’re content with life.
Dopamine is short lived.
Serotonin is long lived.
Dopamine is taking.
Serotonin is giving.
Dopamine is sought out as a substance.
Serotonin isn’t.
Dopamine is addictive.
Serotonin isn’t.
Dopamine rises in solitude.
Serotonin rises when with others.

The problem with dopamine is that too much of it erodes serotonin.
In other words an overload of excitement (video games, social media, caffeine, porn, gambling) erodes joy and ultimately happiness.

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