The best way to create happy triggers is to start by understanding what a happy trigger is.
What are happy triggers?
Happy triggers are sights, smells, sounds, tastes, or textures that activate a specific behavior within a specific person.
Triggers can bring about a different response in different people depending on their habitual response to a given trigger.
For example, the taste of dark chocolate ice cream may cause one person to feel a sense of peace and accomplishment while another may feel guilt and shame for consuming sugar.
Triggers cause a reaction in your central nervous system and the release of happy hormones can boost your immune system.
In this article, you’ll learn some very simple ways to feel better, feel more motivated, and feel happier using the power of setting triggers and a better understanding of the habit loop.
You’ll quickly realize joy and happiness isn’t far away and isn’t as hard to find as you may think.
Your mental health is in your hands and within your control.
The 5 Best Ways to Set Happy Triggers
1. Choose a happy image trigger
Find an image or photo that reminds you of a happy memory for a happy thought.
Place it in a spot that’s easy to see.
2. Think of a smell that brings you joy
Maybe it’s the smell of coffee that reminds you a new day is ahead and elicits feelings of excitement.
At night, choose a lavender-scented bath soap that relaxes and calms your mind after a hard day’s work.
3. What’s a sound that has a positive effect on you?
Is it the sound of birds chirping in the morning that makes you feel happy and excited for your day?
Perhaps it’s the sound of one of your favorite 80s or 90s tunes that makes you want to dance and brings back powerful happy memories.
4. Choose a taste or flavor to trigger joy
What’s something you could drink every morning to kick off your day just right?
Choose a flavor you could use as a reward when you feel accomplished.
5. Find a texture that you love
Perhaps it’s time to treat yourself to some silk sheets or pajamas?
By a comfortable blanket to use while watching your favorite evening show.
Change Your Response to Unhappy Triggers
To this point, we’ve talked about how to set happy triggers to get a powerful second action to take is to change the way you respond to triggers the cause of unhappiness.
Use the same flow above and think about each of the five senses and what triggers a negative response.
Typically your response is fed by the meaning you place on the trigger yet this meaning was chosen by you in the past.
You can go back and change the meaning you gave those events and therefore change the effect of that trigger.
For example, let’s say the smell of gas irritates you and you walk by a gas station 5 days a week.
“That’s five times a week that you are triggered in a negative way.”
Make a conscious effort to think of all the people who are fueling up that have cars that run and imagine them heading to work to feed their families.
The Brain Chemicals of Happiness
There are four main chemicals within your brain that trigger the feelings we define or label as joy, peace, and happiness.
They are endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin.
One of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to activate pleasurable endorphins within your body is to give.
The scientific evidence behind giving states that we are hardwired to give and when we give we experience what is often referred to as “the helpers high.”
When we give to someone whether it’s words of kindness or letting down a helping hand our body releases chemicals that have an effect on our brain.
Our oxygen levels rise would be our love normal and for those of you that have been looking for the fountain of youth, it’s our body’s natural anti-aging remedy.
Endorphins cause our stress hormone, cortisol levels to drop.
After a workout, you’ll often feel stress released and endorphins released.
This is the love hormone.
When we fall in love or lust for someone this chemical is quickly released into the brain.
Don’t blame it for any bad decisions you made in the past however as it was following your heart at the time.
It’s released during sex, hugging, breastfeeding, and an important part of a mother nourishing and taking care of her child.
This is the motivation and reward neurotransmitter.
It’s what’s fired off with a dog who’s given a treat for sitting or rolling over.
Acts of achievement or accomplishment fire off this chemical in the brain.
This reward helps make whatever you did be more likely to happen again.
This hormone helps close the habit loop.
This is often referred to as the happiness hormone.
It’s what makes us feel pleasure, joy, and happiness.
This is a common neurotransmitter used in the creation of antidepressants.
The Best Examples of Positive Triggers You Can Set
- Place a book in an obvious spot to read.
- Place your days’ workout outfit in front of the bathroom mirror.
- Make a drink with a flavor that represents the start of your day.
- Play a song that makes you feel alive every time.
- Buy yourself something special to reward yourself for being you.
- Disconnect and go for a walk to chat with and honor nature.
- Listen to ocean sounds while meditating.
- Do something kind for someone without expecting anything in return.
- Write or journal about anything you choose.
- Open the door in the morning and identify 3 enjoyable sounds.
- Watch a video that motivates or inspires you.
- Do something you’ve never done before.
- Explore an area you’ve never explored.
- Stop into a store you’ve driven by hundreds of times.
- Teach someone something you know that they don’t.
- Look for joy in the small things in your immediate area.
- Be grateful for simple things like food, warmth, and family.
Happy Triggers Release Happy Chemicals in the Brain
When we are triggered this initiates a learned response or action to that particular trigger.
This activates a signal sent through the brain causing a cascade of chemical reactions.
The release of specific happy hormones is the result.
“We each have the power to focus on and set off this trigger which is why each of us is responsible for our own happiness.”
What’s a happy trigger you can set for today?
Put these tips into action and you will change your life.
The only thing holding you back is being a passive participant in life as opposed to an active participant in it.
Become aware of both your positive and negative triggers and you’ll become more in control of your life.
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