How Happiness Affects Weight Loss
By Dr. Claude Matar
Happiness is key to healthfulness, which is central to wellness, fitness, and slimness.
Happiness is produced and maintained by recognizing one’s real, big-picture goal in life and the one or more paths through which he chooses to reach that goal, such as a particular profession, contribution, line of work, etc.
When one pursues his path(s) in life, he is happy. The more effective one is at staying on path, the happier he is.
Unlike pleasure, which is mediated by dopamine, happiness is mediated by serotonin.
Activities leading to true happiness, as acknowledged by the production of serotonin, usually cost nothing, as they are in the general category of contributing to the happiness of self, loved ones, groups one cares about, humanity at large, animals, plants and mother earth. Dopamine production, on the other hand, usually, is costly, short-lived, and, more often than not, addictive and harmful. (examples include excessive consumption of sugar, social media, etc.)
Happiness coaching, which is what every coach and client must engage in on an ongoing basis, is designed to help the client realize that the need for a dopamine fix, which is how/why most get off schedule and plan, is usually indicative of lack of serotonin (happiness) and vice versa, high serotonin reduces the need for dopamine.
Therefore, through happiness coaching, one should focus primarily on activities that generate serotonin and not be preoccupied with inventing means to suppress the need for a dopamine fix. The central principle at work here is that happiness trumps out of existence the need for short-lived bursts of pleasure, AKA willpower. Happiness helps one be more on the plan, more consistently, until a significant level of success is achieved (major targets are obtained and maintained), at which point, one is sufficiently out of the “pleasure trap” and can be trusted to control his urges for a dopamine fix at will.
Once one’s goal is clear, and paths are identified, one can set his priorities straight and then apply his abilities and resources to forward his priorities and achieve his goals and chosen paths and to that end be happier and more free from the dopamine trap.
When one lacks clarity on the subjects of goal, paths, and priorities and how he can apply his abilities and resources to create an effective 7-day schedule, confusion sets in.
What is confusion?
Confusion is a set of circumstances that, lacking alignment, don’t seem to have an immediate solution. If your priorities are not set in a stable fashion that forwards your goals and purposes, your life may seem chaotic with no immediate solutions offered to events of day-to-day living.
Now, when happiness is not your number one priority, as one indeed enjoys no physical possessions or accomplishments without true happiness, life goes on and on in random motion, with no real, stable progress made. This opens the door for dopamine to rule your life, pulling you in any number of directions all at the same time, every day, and possibly every hour or even every minute, in a failed attempt to achieve happiness when only fleeting pleasures (eating, smoking, alcohol, etc.) are possible.
When one is leading a life of that kind; when he starts the program here at our center, no real, steady or stable focus can be suddenly expected to be placed on happiness and its resultant wellness, slimness, and fitness. Just because one signed up for a health program, doesn’t suddenly address the many other aspects of life that seem to be ill-functioning.
When one lacks clearly defined priorities, one fails to make progress and starts to feel stupid!
When you are surrounded by un-patterned, disorganized flows, where no daily schedule seems even remotely possible, realistic or doable; all items or people around you seem to be pulling you in every which direction, colliding with one another with no real progress occurring on any endeavor, let alone this wellness weight loss plan you have signed up for; you may feel that you are merely adding to your burdensome confusion and indeed less happy.
Your viewpoint about your happiness, health and your quality of life is always senior (more important) to any other viewpoint. What you consider to be true is true, to you.
Your priorities are entirely up to you. No one can decide that for you. Even if your spouse wanted to decide it for you, or your employer tried to decide it for you, or I wanted to determine it for you; nobody can. It is entirely your own choice; how you live your life, your pursuit of happiness, what you do about your wellness, fitness, and slimness, where you’re headed; all that is yours to decide.
What most patients ask themselves at this stage is, “What is my goal here? What is my overall goal in life? What paths do I choose to arrive at my goal? Is it time for me to change my priorities, so they are more aligned with my goal and purposes and with that my happiness?
Such questions may not seem to have an immediate answer. The way out of this situation is for you to exert control over the randomness that you have been allowing to rule your life and those in your life who have been pulling you in many directions away from your personal goals and purposes of your life.