Richard Layard Stated That “Happiness Comes from Outside and Within” Explain This Statement?

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To feel happy is something that seems to be a universal desire. However defining the feeling of happiness is not an easy thing to do. It can be described as a range of positive emotions ranging from contentment to joy (Spoors et al 2011). There are many factors that influence happiness both from within as well as outside a person. Inside influences would involve the brain and the biology of the individual. Outside factors would include relationships and social identity. Research has shown that mood can be regulated as a result of chemicals found in food. The brain and other cells need a steady supply of sugar throughout the day. Blood sugar levels fluctuate during the day, directly after eating levels go up and as energy is used the levels come back down. When blood sugar is low the chemicals are not being produced, resulting in feelings of irritability and lethargy however when there are optimal levels a good feeling is produced. Carbohydrates are the most efficient source of sugar as they are the easiest thing for the body to convert, in particular complex carbohydrates which release energy slowly. A connection has been made between low carbohydrate diets and feelings of anger and depression. Judith Wurtman (1996) as cited in Spoors et al 2011 discovered that a diet low in carbohydrates was connected with low serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which regulates sleep, appetite and mood. The production of serotonin can also be stimulated by eating food such as meat, beans, cheese and chocolate which all contain tryptophan. These foods not only increase serotonin but also increase the body’s endorphins which create a “natural high” feeling. Endorphins are also released during exercise and when someone is in love. Studies done by Richard Davidson et al (2000) as cited in Spoors et al 2011 show that brain activity is different in happy and unhappy people. Using an EEG to measure brain activity he showed that people who report feelings of happiness...
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