The Science of Happiness

In psychology, there is some interesting differentiation between happiness and joy. For instance, it's been studied that happiness activates the sympathetic nervous system (which stimulates the "flight or fight" response), whereas joy stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (controlling "rest and digest" functions). So, even if you are at times feeling unhappy with where you are right now, it doesn't necessarily exclude the ability to find joy and be continuing to fuel your relaxation alongside temporary unhappiness.

Psychologist Dan Gilbert also states "What good is a compass if it's always stuck on north? It must be able to fluctuate. You're supposed to be moving through emotional states." However, in the fertility process, one is often encouraged to just focus on happiness and positive visualization. Sometimes this can feel difficult to authentically generate when you're in the throws of the many emotions of your fertility journey. This 20-minute lecture by Dan Gilbert focuses on how feeling stuck can actually be more conducive to feeling happy and touches on some our misconceptions about happiness...hopefully this will help you be easier on yourself when you're not at your happiest and perhaps even help you feel happier!

Stay tuned for some mindfulness techniques in the upcoming weeks to help you continue to facilitate ease moving through the many, normal emotions that can arise throughout the fertility process.