"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Juice

The other day I was speaking with my daughter about how my brain is wired. I told her I have happiness going on all the time inside my head. She gave me a funny look ... then I explained that I just can't shut off my optimism. I can feel certain areas just overflowing with joy. Sometimes I think something might be wrong. Other times I am thankful to have a joyous outlook. What's a mom to do? I started doing a little research about brain chemicals and found out what I've suspected for quite some time. Our brains are capable of producing certain drugs that can reduce stress. Endorphins, gama gobulins, and interferons are such chemicals our brains produce to help fight stress, pain, disease, and boost our immune systems. With natural drugs floating around in my head like these, who would ever want to shut them off? (Big happy smile.)

Perhaps this 'happy brain' effect started when I was thrown into the world of being the mother of a special needs child. The stress placed on me years ago could have started the ball rolling. I have learned to shut out stressors ... and believe me there are plenty being Nathan's mom ... the wife of a law officer ... mother of a soldier .... etc. Now don't go thinking that I'm an ostrich and have my head stuck in the sand. The world around me may still be falling down, but I'm not going to stand falling down with it. Not on my watch. If I turned these 'happy brain drugs' off, and started getting depressed, I would not survive one day with what is on my plate. So if you think I'm a little too over the top savoring the beauty of winter, the smell of skunks, the delight of getting up a million times at night to help a little boy that needs his mom ... now you know why such things just don't drag me down. If you are not fortunate enough to have this 'happy brain juice' ... I'll be glad to give you a little bit of life off my plate to sample ... maybe then you could get your own 'happy brain juice' flowing.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
It is amazing to think about.
Your workmanship is marvelous
... and how well I know it.

Psalm 139:14 TLB

To maintain a less stressful life, here are some suggestions: Laugh, find humor in situations, plant flowers and garden, seek out friendships, volunteer your time, eat chocolate (that's my favorite one).


Jim said...

Hey M&M, I had snippets of Psalm 139 on my post for today. Nothing but the snippets. I was the Sunday school teacher this morning and our lesson was Sanctity of Human Life.

Deb said...

Chocolate.... Did you know that eating chocolate actually causes the brain to produce more endorphins? Especially Dark Chocolate. I carry it with me AT ALL TIMES. I'm not kidding. There is always a tin of dark chocolate truffles in my purse and if I feel majorly stressed- I pop one in my mouth!

By the way, I enjoy your ability to live life without allowing things to stress you out - I need to follow your example!

Constance said...

I'm like you, I am an optimist. I believe that there is good in everyone, (until they do something to someone I love and then I can hold a grudge like no one else!)My husband laughs at me, he is a realist (his words). I think part of that comes from his background as a former copper but he also has the spiritual gift of discernment so we have all learned to give his appraisals, serious weight. When Jessica brought her (now) husband Steven over to meet us for the first time, she called me the next day and asked,
"What does Dad think of him?"

Life is too messy to walk around negative and overwhelmed. At times it tends to build up but at my core, I have happy juices as well!


Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,

I thank our heavenly Father evey day that he gave me such a beautiful and happy daughter. I am also amazed at a lady in our church who just turned 100 on January 8. I have never heard her complain about anything....When asked how she is doing on Sundays, her reply is alway "just great!" What a role model you both are to all the gloomy gus's in the world. I, also, try and stay positive about things and I'm learning more and more as the years go by. Things that used to bother me I just entrust to the Lord and He helps me find something positive in them. Being a Christian certainly helps to keep a body happy......You go girl!!!!

Your ever thankful and loving

Trish said...

I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy. Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay!

Remember that old song we sang as children?

Pat said...

Leapin' Lizard's ...such a cutie!
The joy started flowing early and carries you through. No wonder Mom/Tiffy loves her girl so much!

Amrita said...

Nrs Mac you are a jewel.
Love that happy photo of yours.

Oh Yes I too have lots of stressors in my life andneed lots of happy juice. Wish I could eat lots of endorphin inducing chocs, but i can 't.

But the joy of the Lord is my srength.

Hugs to you

Margie said...

Great post! Now I am singing that JOY JOY JOY song!

Anonymous said...

That is the cutest picture of you at 3, you ought to see my picture at 3, I was stubborn. But I think that same stubborness keeps me going now. I refuse to let life get me down. Of course I have the peace which God gave me which takes care of it all. When the storms of life come our way, what does one do without God.
I'd sooner savor the smell of skunks, than the smell of a bomb just landing next to my house. O, we have so much to be thankful for.
And humor is the spice that makes you able to face the everyday bumps of life. I'm thankful, too, for a husband that laughs with me instead of at me when I say stange stuff. So far I haven't found an interpreter for my language. lol
It's getting to be a game, when I say a sentence, to see who in the room is the first one to guess what I said. Interesting enough it's usually the grandchildren. I enjoy the look of triumph on their faces when they get it right.
You guessed it, it's gramma again.

Jada's Gigi said...

What a cute photo! I wish I was more the "happy" type...things do pretty much roll off me..but then again..I don't think that's optimism as much as me not paying attention...:)

Crown of Beauty said...

What a lovely pic, and what an encouraging post!

Anonymous said...