Happiness the Pursuit of Serotonin

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Throughout one's life, we are destined to experience a vast variety of circumstances which will ultimately affect what we feel as a result, though we as a society seem to strive to achieve happiness above other emotions or experiences. (Gilbert) Blaise Pascal has alleged that happiness acts as an essential motivator for us as humans, not only in society, but throughout the history of our survival and evolution. It could be said that happiness itself can be reduced to nothing more than a process of neurotransmission, but emotion is not an exact science in all cases, making happiness seem to be more subjective than a mere chemical reaction. (Datta) From a young age, I have been very academically motivated and my passion for learning has only continued to develop over the years. Despite the fact that I was accepted to Ivy League institutions such as Princeton University, I ultimately decided on Drexel University because I felt that I was happiest with the programs they had to offer. However, this experience was not as pleasant as one would have expected or hoped; I struggled with chronic depression throughout the entirety of my time studying at Drexel University, but I soon learned that many of my classmates felt similarly. In fact, recent studies show that depressive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, and other self-destructive tendencies are all far too common amongst current college students. (Mortier) When I was nineteen years old, I began working as a communications officer for a municipal police department. Previously, I had dreaded going into work and this dissatisfaction seeped into other areas of my life until I changed the trajectory of my career path. Emergency dispatching provided me with a newfound passion, or happiness; I felt truly happy with my career and found myself eager to log into my console to take calls. Despite long twelve or more hour shifts, the severity of the calls I have received, or the traumas that we manage on a regular basis, my new career path left me feeling exultant and rewarded. (Neumann) In social aspects of my life, I have found that surrounding oneself with supportive friends and family is crucial to one's happiness. As someone with hearing loss, I have experienced unique situations that others would not have faced if they were not affected by hearing loss. These challenges faced by deaf and hard of hearing individuals are truly unique to our community and studies have shown that those with hearing loss are at higher risk for mental illness than that of the hearing population. (Checinski) This does not mean that hearing loss in and of itself has made me feel unhappy, but rather the way that others perceive me or my hearing loss that leaves me feeling despondent. While everyone is fighting their own unique battles in life, we all seem to share a similar objective; to achieve happiness. In The New Science of Happiness the author quotes a psychologist by the name of Kahneman who states Everyone is surprised by how happy paraplegics can be" this line resonates with me as a person with a disability for many reasons; we are more than our disability, we are whole and we want to be happy like everyone else hopes to attain. (Wallis) This message transcends personal differences in the way that there is more to everyone than what they cannot do, nor should outside perceptions affect our ability to acquire contentment in life.
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Happiness The Pursuit of Serotonin. (2019, May 16). Retrieved July 12, 2024 , from

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