I recently had a conversation with my masseuse and my husband (not at the same time) and I swear it’s crazy how the world and the stars are so aligned in this world. It seems as though when somebody has an issue or somebody’s going through something that is difficult it’s like the universe brings you to people that are also experiencing the same feelings. And I love it when people come together as a tribe from all different parts of your life. It’s such a beautiful thing that we are all connected. My masseuse and I were talking about things that make us happy today and it made me feel so good to be able to name things that I love and make me happy. The way I see and feel happy is different than the way you might see and feel happy. Happiness is a mindset, a perspective and a feeling. My husband and I were talking this morning about thing that make us happy and it made me sad to know he couldn’t come up with a list. To me, happiness is that butterfly feeling in your stomach, the feeling of no worries and joy, the feeling of being loved and loving something, the feeling of satisfaction and contentment. Those of are my feelings of happiness. When I asked my husband to define happiness, he was hesitant and admitted that he doesn’t know what it means and that he tends to look at things more tangibly. And that’s when I realized that some people in life spend forever trying to find and craving that feeling of happiness. We feel it in bouts, but it comes and goes and that’s the beautiful thing. If we felt happy all the time, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate and feel the feeling to its fullest.
This is why I came up with an “oxytocin list.” It’s so important to find the things that bring you joy and understand that this feeling doesn’t necessarily lasts forever. I think some people go around thinking that this feeling they are supposed to experience 24 seven. This is life and life is meant to feel all of the feelings and it’s OK. But if you don’t know what brings you joy and you don’t know how to experience it and you need to really dig deep in your soul to figure out what that feeling is to you. It’s so important not to miss out on life. When you just go go go and create and search for that feeling but never experienced it you’re not really living life to the fullest. Society tells us that we should be married a certain age and we should have kids and a beautiful house and that things are supposed to make us happy. Materialistic things might bring us happiness but you really have to dig deep within yourself and find happiness within you and realize that things and money aren’t going to actually bring you happiness. It used to be so hard for me to find things that make me happy because I used to feel so guilty all the time and depressed because I couldn’t figure it out. My husband and I used to argue because he would get “angry” that I was doing things like going out with my girls , going to dinner or going to yoga. I used to feel very guilty and selfish for creating my own social life and creating my own Oxytocin List because he didn’t have one. I believe my husband used to think that in order to be able to do the things that you love you have to make money or you have to live up to expectations you make for yourself when in fact you don’t have to do any of that. This is the journey that he and I are on together and it’s magical. It’s not always rainbows, in fact it hardly is, but we communicate so much now and we want to do this journey together and be there for each other in moments where we are trying to find our way. This is the only life we have to create for ourselves so why go around trying to do all these things on a self-created to do” list that society tells us we have to do? Why do we think that in order to be happy, we have to accomplish something? I understand that there are certain things in life and responsibilities and roles that we all have to play but we all deserve to have fun and be happy. I have learned and I am still in the process of learning that if it does not serve you or make you happy then you need to cut it out of your life. You might experience backlash but if it does not serve you or gives you more anxiety, let it the fuck go.
My oxytocin list will look different than yours for sure, but I challenge you to make one so when you have depressed moments or moments that you are seeking clarity, look at it, maybe add or delete a few things and then do them. Take care of you. Don’t give me the excuse that you don’t have time or money. If your life is revolved around time and money, you will be chasing your tail forever. Find the damn time and schedule it no matter what it takes (examples since I know time very damn well- in the bathroom, at work, at night when everyone is sleeping, in your head on the fly, in your notes section of your phone, speech to text in the car. Boom) Work with your significant other to schedule that time because mental health is more important that anything else. Mental health MATTERS and so do YOU.
This is my oxytocin list: (remember happiness and this list is meant to be short lived)
-When Howie proposed to me in Maine on a winter day in December back when the chaos seemed so quiet
-When I found out I was pregnant (I was on cloud nine for months)
-When I first held my baby- Jules
-When I won first place in a 5K and worked my ass off training (PS- the race was 100 degrees)
-Not finding out the gender of our second and then Howie yelling, “It’s a boy!!” Hudsie baby!
-Breastfeeding (love hate at the beginning, then nothing but oxytocin overflow and immediate calmness especially with my babies at night when the world was sleeping)
– Family vacations
-The beach, but it has to be a nice beach
-JAMMING out in the car alone
-Being alone reading a book
-The feeling after a good run, especially after half marathons
-Jacuzzi with candles
-Girls nights, time with friends
-Yoga- I have to feel it (Thanks Sweat Power Yoga)
-Teaching Zumba and HIIT LIVE (Miss my people)
-Date night with Howie, just the 2 of us eating pizza and wine NOT talking about money or time
-Getting a massage
-Going to Target and Panera with just my Jules (She calls it girls day)
-Receiving compliments that wake my soul
-Remembering times with my cousins and grandparents when we were younger. This has been my constant happy place. Memories.
-Getting my hair done
These are just a few of my happy list, but you get the point. Don’t ever let anyone or anything deflate you. Don’t lose your spark.
“Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins are the quartet of chemicals responsible for your happiness. Many situations can trigger these neurotransmitters, but instead of being in the passenger seat, there are ways you can intentionally cause them to flow.” Create that list.