- Science finds the happiness cells…
- Why the EXPECTATION of winning a prize can improve your wellbeing
- The brain exercise that staves off cognitive decline
What makes you happy?
If the answer is something like “holiday”, “new car”, promotion”, “free stuff”, or something like that, then you’re wrong.
Technically, I mean,
Because the correct answer is that what makes you happy is…
A cluster of cells in your brain.
They were discovered by three British neuroscientists in 2017, who won a prize of one million Euros for their research into the human brain’s “feel good” system.
Here’s how it works…
When we carry out an action that gets a rewarding result, we get a big fat dose of dopamine.
This is the good stuff that we crave.
Dopamine triggers a specific set of brain cells (found by our award-winning scientists), making you feel pleasure and desire for more pleasure.
In turn, this drives you to seek out more reward…
Even just the IDEA of getting a future reward can get that same feelgood reaction.
In other words, happiness can be the expectation of something as much as the thing itself.
Professor Wolfram Schulz from the University of Cambridge said that this “makes us go for more reward and individuals that have more reward have a higher chance of survival.”
In other words, dopamine can not only make you happier, it’s a survival mechanism that can help you live longer.
Now just imagine this…
That your dopamine system was stimulated every week by holidays, new cars, fancy meals, computer consoles and other things that make you happy… for free.
Take a woman named Christine Williams.
She was just a regular person who decided that in her spare time she’d put her brain to a bit of good use and enter some prize giveaways.
You might not realise, but £12million worth of the products are given away by the UK’s biggest companies every year.
You can see why here: UK giveaways revealed
Only about 2% of the population get involved in these crazy giveaways, but as a result they can get their kitchens and bathrooms renovated… win money prizes… VIP trips and get their debts cleared as a result.
For instance, Christine Williams has won 33 free holidays thanks to filling in teasers and puzzles. This included three weeks honeymoon in the Caribbean.
“A five-day all expenses paid trip to New York, complete with five-star accommodation… a VIP trip to San Francisco for five nights… a cruise on the Carnival Legend’s maiden voyage… breaks in Oslo, Dublin, Edinburgh, Bruges, London, Devon… half a dozen health breaks at luxurious spas, and more.”
Take a look at this and you’ll see the full list: prizes you could win
Obviously, those luxury items can improve the quality of your lifestyle.
But there’s more to it.
If you make a habit of entering competitions that you have a high chance of winning, then you can get that wonderful dopamine boost from the expectation of a reward.
Christine has averaged two to three prizes every week… but this is because she uses a prize finding service that is much more systematic and easy for a busy person to do.
By carrying out little actions that lead toward a reward, like a free city break, tickets to a show, dinner for two or a big wedge of money to pay the bills, you can keep that dopamine buzz going in a safe way (rather than gambling or alcohol!).
There’s also a third benefit….
The brain exercise that staves off cognitive decline
There’s an old adage “use it or lose it”.
This applies as much to the brain as anything else in life. As we age, we lose muscle mass in the brain. Synaptic connections begin to fizzle out if we don’t keep those connections alive with regular mental activities.
Examples include puzzles, memory tests, games, playing musical instruments or learning new skills.
The more you keep it active on a daily basis, the fitter your brain will be, the ‘younger’ you will feel.
Back in in 2016, a study at the Massachusetts General Hospital looked at why some people in their 60s and 70s had the same memory power and concentration as people in their 20s.
It showed shows that physical strength and fitness was only part of it…
Those ‘super agers’ were people who had a more active, engaged ‘life of the mind’.
So it goes without saying that doing daily puzzles, teasers and other activities to win prizes could fit into that category.
You could also take up an instrument, study for an exam, write your life story, join a chess or mah-jong club, learn poems or songs off by heart…
Quite often, one activity will lead to another, as you meet new friends and get introduced to new things.
My elderly parents took up mah-jong a few years ago, which lead to them creating a walking and pub lunch club that my mum became secretary of, and now they’re as active socially (and mentally) as they’ve ever been.
Knocks years off them!
But no matter what your age, it’s important to keep yourself mentally active and try new things. And if you want to add a safe dopamine hit to keep your feelgood brain cells buzzing, then check this out: Simply Prizes.
Until next time, stay healthy and brain fit!