I, for example, love to knit, crochet and needlepoint. I did not do these things for many years, because my Fibro pain always starts in my hands. (I have not had pain in six years. You can read more about that here.) It wasn’t until I started up again that I realized how much I had missed these activities. Yes, it was always possible that my hands would get achy. That could happen. But the benefit of doing something that I enjoyed outweighed that risk.
There does seem to be some neuroscience behind this theory. When we engage in activities we enjoy, we stimulate the release of to “happiness hormones” in our brain – serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. You can read more about these chemicals here. These chemicals make us feel calm and happy, and when we experience that feeling, we tend to do more of the things that make us feel that way. Happiness is a type of addiction, but, well, the good kind.
I have a client right now who proved my theory. Shortly after we started working together, she started crocheting blankets for her grandchildren. She estimates it will take her six years to finish this project. In the meantime, she reports that the enjoyment she derives from crocheting is making her feel better. According to my theory, she will become addicted to whatever makes her feel good – in this case, crocheting blankets. To me, this is the ideal outcome.
So, when we examine our lives and find that we are not as happy as we would like to be, let’s take this example and start creating something beautiful. This will make us happier than blaming anyone and anything for our pain and suffering.