FREEeee……Shot of Happiness

I heard recently about some neuro scientific research that shows that when we watch someone else doing something, the bits of our brains that light up are not, as was previously thought, the perception bits ( the ‘judgement, interpreting bits) but the bits that would light up if we ourselves were performing the thing we are watching!

Well 20 minutes ago, I let my dogs out into the garden for a wee. Toby the beagle/terrier tiptoed gingerly to the edge of the doorstep and sat down ever so carefully, apparently trying to avoid letting his nether regions actually make contact with the cold stone.  Sammy, the 15 year old retriever, walked onto the gravelled courtyard, stood for a considered moment, wobbling slightly on his old hips, appeared to begin to sink then staggered onto the lawn. He laid down on the grass, stretched himself out, yawned and rolled over on his back, slowly wriggling from side to side as if squeezing as much pleasure out of the experience as possible.

As I watched, I found myself involuntarily grinning. I was not conscious of any voice in my head saying ‘ah, dear old chap, he’s really enjoying that’, or ‘that looks nice’. It was rather as if I was picking something up in the ether that produced this effect in me, as if I was experiencing an associative pleasure through some kind of instinctive time/mind warp. I felt as if the simple watching of something, just by the receipt of information to my brain via my eyes, produced a sense of simple animal pleasure. Is this the sixth sense?

Thinking about this. My best depression buster is to expose myself to natural birdsong. A similar thing happens. I hear birdsong, particularly from the little garden birds, and its like a shot of happiness that goes straight to the heart of the matter, jumping right over everything else in my brain that might get in it’s way. Intellectually marvelling at this makes me smile all the more!

Try it. It’s freeeeee!

by Penny 03.01.2013

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