For more happiness…focus more on the good!

For more happiness…focus more on the good!

Happy people are realistic people. 

They acknowledge that they're not and that the world's not perfect. 

But they also acknowledge and focus more on and spend more time savouring … the good things! 

And that's largely why they enjoy more happiness … 

by Rick Hanson from the Greater Good

It’s kind of amazing: right now, what you think and feel, enjoy and suffer, is changing your brain. The brain is the organ that learns, designed by evolution to be changed by our experiences.

Neurons that fire together, wire together. This is what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Each one of us has the power to use the mind to change the brain to change the mind for the better. To benefit oneself and other beings.

We're pleased to bring you another installment of Rick Hanson's Just One Thing (JOT) newsletter, which each week offers a simple practice designed to bring you more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind and heart.

Using this internal power is more important than ever these days, when so many of us are pushed and prodded by external forces—the economy, media, politics, workplace policies, war on the other side of the world, the people on the other side of the dining room table—and by our reactions to them.

Life is often hard. To cope with hard things, to be effective and successful, or to simply to experience ordinary well-being, we need resources inside, inner strengths like resilience, compassion, gratitude, and other positive emotions, not to mention a sense of self-worth.

Some strengths are innate—built into your DNA—but most are acquired, woven over time into the fabric of your brain. These lasting traits come from passing states—experiences of the inner strength—that get installed into the brain. You become more grateful through internalizing repeated experiences of gratitude; you become more compassionate through internalizing repeated experiences of compassion; and so on.

So far, so obvious. But here’s the catch: without this installation, without the transfer of the experience from short-term memory buffers to long-term storage,  beneficial experiences such as feeling cared about are momentarily pleasant but have no lasting value. Yikes! There is no learning, no growth, no change for the better.

Meanwhile, your brain is rapidly and efficiently turning unpleasant, negative experiences—feeling frazzled, stressed, worried, frustrated, irritated, inadequate, hurt—into neural structure. To help our ancestors survive in harsh conditions, the brain evolved a negativity bias that makes it good at learning from bad experiences but relatively bad at learning from good ones – even though learning from good experiences is the main way to grow the inner strengths we all need.

In effect, today our brains have a well-intended, universal learning disability because they’ve been painstakingly built over millions of years for peak performance… in Stone Age conditions…

…keep reading the full and original article HERE