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The Science Behind How Festive Season Brings In Absolute Happiness

The Science Behind How Festive Season Brings In Absolute Happiness

Onset of the festival season brings in a sudden uplift in our hearts. For instance, when we see people fixing Durga Pooja pandals , we instantly feel happy, for no apparent reason, even if the festival is many weeks away. Why so? To know the science behind happiness and festivals, we spoke to few psychiatrists, who shared some interesting insights into the connection between both.

Biological reason: Festival sharpens all the five senses
"Happiness is triggered when all five senses are sharpened. During festival, this is exactly what happens. The beautiful decor is a pleasure to your eyes and rewires your brain to feel happy. Similarly, you smell nice fragrances all around you. And, olfactory nerves are connected to your brains, thereby giving fragrances the power to change the way you think and feel. Similarly, eating sweets and food that you have enjoyed as a child brings back happy memories, thereby making you happy," says Mamta Harish Iyer, Clinical Psychologist and Life Coach, DocsApp.

Psychological reason: The counter-intuitive approach
One of the biggest reasons why festive seasons bring happiness is because of conditioning. For ages, our minds have known festivals to be synonymous with good times, happiness, togetherness, and celebration. "Festivities trigger off a conditioned response in the mind - that of celebrating, being happy, becoming magnanimous and forgiving. Very naturally, if we are in such a state of mind, that itself feels like a celebration," says Dr. Sanjay Chugh, senior consultant psychiatrist.

"The mind switches gears when it comes in touch with the festive fervor. Just as our minds are tuned to the fact that we have to wake up and go to work in the morning, or have lunch at lunch time, similarly, it is programmed to feel upbeat and celebrate during the festive season," he adds.

Social reason: Better interaction with family and friends
This is one time of the year when we see happy faces all around, which affects our mood too. Another factor that aids this feeling of happiness is that we interact with family. All of us ensure we are with family this time of the year.

The lights during Diwali are not an everyday affair, so the mind knows something special is would happen when our mothers take out that special dinner set for some guests. So, when we see people around us celebrating, we go that extra mile to take out time and join in the celebrations. "Smartphones have become an active part of the festivities and celebration these days with people sending greetings to their loved ones. They also work very well for all those who are not with their families during the festive season. Their longing gets addressed to a certain extent through video calls and chats," adds Dr. Chugh.

How to sustain the happiness all through the year?
The festive spirit is what one needs to learn to recreate and sustain. "We need to learn that even without the external trigger provided by the festivities, we can recreate the happiness, the tolerance, and the sense of inclusiveness. Conversely, if we just 'act' in a way that is inclusive, tolerant, and magnanimous, we can automatically feel happy," says Dr Chugh. "We, as a community, need to take a psycho-spirituality approach to happiness. Which means we should be able to keep all our senses enhanced all through the year and enjoy the small pleasures of life," adds Mamta.

(Also read: Why It Is Important To Embrace Negative Emotions )

(Image Credit: Pinterest)

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