Subject Mar-2019, [No.238] The Way to Be Happy

When people are asked how to get to Seoul, They can easily answer to the question. However, when they are asked the reason why they live, they hardly can answer to the question. When they are asked how they can achieve happiness for their life purpose, they would look more puzzled. Most people are reminded of the conditions of happiness, such as being healthy, having a harmonious family, making a lot of money, getting married to the bashert or having their children go to a well-known university but they do not see the what the nature of happiness is. We may mistake happiness for the pleasure of the moment, and perhaps feeling the special feeling called happiness may be misunderstood as the story of the people from a faraway land. We may think that we can be happy when we give up the success that comes from fierce competition, that happiness is a product of genetic personality or that being happy is the matter of life style so we cannot achieve it no matter how hard we try. We may be anxious to say I am not happy. , although we are amused, comfortable at home, feeling rewarded and fulfilled at work, spending weekend having a good time with friends and enjoying quietness while taking a walk time to time.  

Just as we have to learn skills and techniques to do what we need to do, we need to learn some skills of happy life in order to be on the way of happiness. Comparing the lifestyles of happy and unhappy people, it is possible that they may live in the same life in different ways, but it is very likely that they live in different lifestyles from the beginning. The former refers to the technology of the mind that people can experience happiness under any circumstance as the skill of the psychologist. The latter means the technology of the environmentalist to make the situation where it is easy to experience happiness even if there is no special technique of mind. Working in the field where we are interested in, having well-flavored dishes, spending time with loving people, not getting greedy for what other people have or carrying out good deeds would be the good examples. Creating an environment or situation where happiness can be easily experienced means Sohwakhaeng which stands for Small but Certain happiness in Korean. That was selected as the consumption trend of Korea in 2018. Rather than chasing large but uncertain happiness such as buying a house, getting a job, getting married and having children, people are looking for happiness in different way. They pursue something small and easy to achieve in their daily life.

Depending on who we care about the most in our live, we can change the high or low levels of happiness and enter the crossroads of happiness or unhappiness. There was a Christian God at the center medieval European thought, but through the Renaissance each person valued their own unique value and moved forward from neo-centered thinking to judging and acting by internal standards, not by fear of judgment. However, in a Confucian society such as Korea, it is likely to be said that Korean put what others think of me first because they have been taught to put reputation first over God or themselves. Northern Europeans say that the central axis of life is themselves. They define themselves as a righteous and virtuous being, whoever does what is, they struggle not to be ashamed of themselves. They insist that these are the ways to be happy

I believe that Koreans should also shift the center of their lives to themselves, not others. When other peoples eyes are the largest part of our lives, we would end up being soaked into Formalism where appearance takes precedence over content, or Consequentialism Which focuses only on visible performance and outcome over process or journey. Therefore, we are gradually moving away from the happiness what we are looking for. Those make people buy an expensive but unpractical cars and fancy goods even though they cannot afford. Living looking at ourselves is not just about our right and desires, but we have to share the heavy responsibilities of introspection and control with respect for others. In conclusion, the happiness we hope to have comes along when we find ourselves proud and honorable from our own eyes.

According to brain scientists, if the human brain repeats certain thoughts and actions, a circuit of synapses among neurons is formed and it creates a shortcut to the pattern. It means that repeating positive thoughts leads to thinking in a positive pattern and repeating negative thoughts creates a negative circuit. As a result, thoughts are expressed in words, words are expressed in actions, actions that are repeated and the repeated actions become a habit, and a character is formed by the habit, and eventually change the quality of life. The small path in our brain becomes larger and larger, like a highway, later path like a highway is formed. In conclusion, we can think positively, talk positively, practice positive act habitually and expand the narrow path of positive circuits, and then we can go into the path of happiness that we hope to have through these choices and training.

So, what special effort and training can we create a "positive circuit" in our brains through? Hypogastric breathing, meditation and yoga have the same common ground in seeking harmony between mind and body and peace of mind through relaxation and concentration and deep breathing, such as Buddhism's "Premitation of the Way of mind and body." Hypogastric breathing is effective in treating many mental illnesses, including stress relief, neuropathy, psychosomatic and autonomic neuropathy, and activates brain function to prevent dementia and strengthen memory. Those help recover physical health according to the principles of the cardiovascular system, where energy flows through the heart, and blood flows through the body to activate the body's immune function.

In 2005, I personally faced a health crisis called cancer surgery, and I was in a desperate situation where I had to give up not only my company but also my life. No matter how fate was set, it was so unfair that in my mid-50s I had to give up business and life because of illness. I sat in a bookstore for several days, and I searched through books about health, and I found a little light of hope, and I knocked on the door of "Kukseondo Training Center", a hypogastric breathing center. I wake up at 5 a.m. every day for 2 hours of hypogastric breathing training, and I'm amazed and amazed at the effects of bringing physical health and mental stability. With the prevention of aging and preventing adult diseases by reviving immune function, the energies that rise from the inside clear my mind set after training, I also feel a passion for corporate management. It's a the way to be happy" for me to be able to run for Vision, a long lasting and firm-grounded company and an export company, and it's also the luckiest thing in my life to learn about hypogastric breathing training, which provides a "primary energy" that can turn a watermill around vigorously.

Human body releases a lot of hormones, and the amount of hormones changes how we feel. Among these, there are four types of happy hormones.

First, there's endorphins.

It makes us feel fun and excited and it is secreted a lot when we laugh. Interestingly, a forced laughter releases endorphins.

The second is serotonin.

It's a hormone that comes out when we take a walk in the sun, making us feel peaceful and relaxed. Exposing ourselves to the sun light, stretching or taking a walk after a meal is good for digestion and serotonin is released.

Third, there is dopamine.

It's a hormone that makes us feel satisfied and fulfilling, and that comes when we meet something new and make it happen. When you challenge and achieve curiosity, dopamine is released.

Finally, there is oxytocin.

It's a hormone that makes us feel close and trustworthy, and that comes when we are hugged and patted. When we are with loved ones, oxytocin is released. 

It's not hard for us to feel "happy." We can enjoy happiness by laughing so often that we can get "endorphins," by getting out and taking a walk for secreting "serotonin," by reading new books and by challenging and fulfilling work for taking "dopamine" and by sharing friendship and affection with your family for oxytocin. In the end, "negative thoughts" only make us depressed and having "positive thoughts and habits of action" can make happiness come to us.

Seo Eun-keun, a professor of Yonsei University, explains his theory of happiness in his book, "The Origin of Happiness". The difference between becoming and being is huge. Becoming a daughter in law of a wealthy family and being a daughter in law of a wealthy family, they mean different. In order for high school students to pass only good universities, college students to get good jobs, middle age to prepare for old age and the success of their children. Like this, becoming means short term goals to achieve, but happiness means being. Even if you have a victory in "passing a prestigious university" in the battlefield of high school, you will feel a once intense happiness but this does not bring happiness for your life. Like every lottery winner ends up being miserable, intense but sudden happiness will not bring you life-span satisfaction. Once we get out of the obsession that success can affect our lives, the happiness we hope to have will come closer. One of life's three greatest misfortunes is succeeding in the early age. This means "becoming" when we too young leads to life's misery, not success, just pride of mind.

Happiness can also be divided into "hedonic happiness" which means seeking for pleasure and "aesthetic happiness" which implies meaning. If the former is light and quick-moment happiness, the latter includes morality and ethics and is a serious concept such as purpose, vocation, self-sacrifice, or just and great cause. But if God's glory, humanity, loyalty to the nation, martyrdom, devotion to the community are "meaningful happiness," it's a self-sacrifice and moral life with no joy at all. 

When it comes to meaningful, we can discuss something great and serious. However we can find something in our daily life meaningful even if they are small and little. Personally, I think forming a good habbit, suceeding in losing weight or enjoying one or more hobbies like growing plants is a good example for meaningful things in our daily life. In addition, cooking meals every morning for family members, calling our parents to ask how they are going, taking care of children or teaching children simple mathematics is the good exaple we can find at home. Completing a task that has been assigned to you, working with your colleagues to create Synergy, being praised by your boss, or receiving small rewards from the company is a good example we can find at work. These things do not come at the expense of themselves or they do not come at the expense of pleasure. Just as there is small but certain happiness like Sohwakhaeng, there is small but meaningful things like Sohwakui. It's good life that brings pleasure and a balanced pursuit of small and simple meanings, and it's a path to happiness.


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