Some people are genetically happier than others--makes sense, right? We all know the people that hop out of bed in the morning and throw the curtains open like a Disney movie. They drink a cup of coffee, poop a rainbow, mount their unicorn and ride off in the sunrise whistling all the way to work.
If you’re anything like me, you have to work a little harder at being happy. The little nugget of knowledge that follows explains why some people are actually genetically happier than others. Don’t despair - something can be done!
In 1992 Bush and Yeltsin proclaimed a formal end to the Cold War. We were bumping Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” became more popular than ever due to Wayne’s World.
What didn’t make the headlines was the discovery of an American pharmacologist and Czech chemist. They discovered a fatty acid neurotransmitter they dubbed the “happy molecule.” They named it anandamide. Ananda is Sanskrit for bliss.
Twenty-seven years later, we now know that anandamide is largely responsible for the modulation of mood, fear, anxiety, and even pain….onto genetics!
Anandamide is the happy molecule. There is a nasty little concoction in your body called fatty acid amide hydrolase (if you’re a doctor). We’ll just call it FAAH.
FAAH eats your bliss molecule. So the more FAAH, the less happy molecules. You can thank (or curse) your forefathers for the amount of FAAH your body produces. It’s genetic!
What can you do?
Exercise - 30 minutes of exercise has been shown to increase anandamide levels. Anandamide is one of the chemicals that comes to the rescue during real tough workouts - commonly known as “runner’s high.”
Eat chocolate – Eat chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. Anandamide is found in chocolate...no surprise here. Chocolate makes us happy.
Eat Black Truffles – Don’t break the bank on this one, but black truffles have been shown to increase anandamide levels.
Stay healthy (and happy), my friends!