What makes you happy?
Well in all honesty I must say it is probably Dopamine and Serotonin. These are really the mayor factors that make me happy. Don't get me wrong I like my dose of oxytocin like everybody else. But Dopamine and Serotonin is where it's at.
It's obviously a stupid question. First of all people want to be happy but nobody wants to be too happy. Otherwise we could just fill everybody up with anti-depressants and make it so. Or are we already doing that?
And if you don't want to be too happy than there is no real reason to pursue happiness. Because happiness like dopamine will come and go. You'll have days of happiness and days of sadness. All shall pass.
Did you know most anti-depressants work by increasing your serotonin levels? They do this by blocking the reuptake of the transmitter in your brain so you can feel the effect of your natural serotonin longer. Now they have found a more stable anti-depressant that does the opposite. It has none of the usual side effects like becoming a mental vegetable. Years of abuse of anti-depressants in our society and we now know that we were threathing it wrong. What a waste of human potential.
Now that we don't have to be happy we can do other things. Things we would like to achieve, goals. Not that any of that is even remotely necessary but it seems a little bit engrained in our western society. In other societies it wouldn't be such a bother probably. You could just live your life doing your thing not amounting to much (in our western eyes) and be a respected and functioning member of society.
In western society you have to achieve. Otherwise your billion twitter followers and your online facebook friends might stop liking your pictures of cats. There is no inherrent reason to 'achieve' anything it is of course purely societal influence on our monkey brain that dictates it. It's all encompasing too. It is everywhere. You look around and everybody is doing better than you. This is the perception. The perception that you fabricate and that marketeers have carefully manufactured so you will buy their product. Marketeers are very good at it but people have also adopted it and are doing it themselves. People are becoming living advertisements of themselves showing all the good stuff they do and are. All for online validation of their being. All for somebody we might not even know to say "You are doing a good job, now look at me and tell me I'm doing a good job". It's all reciprocal validation of our own lives. It seems all very pointless to me.
This all rolls down back to dopamine of course. It's all very addictive to be validated. Your brain likes to give you a reward for fitting in with society. This of course how we got together thousands of years ago in societies and not kill eachother. If you get validated in the group you get a dopamine reward. If you do something the group doesn't like you don't.
Again the pursuit for neurotransmitters.