Hardwiring happiness

It’s really important to have positive experiences of these things that we want to grow, and then really help them sink in, because if we don’t help them sink in, they don’t become neural structure very effectively.

– From How to Build a Happier Brain in The Atlantic

There are several layers to this, and I am sure Rick Hansen addresses some of this in his book.

I can seek out and take in nurturing experienes. Good food. Nurturing interactions. Walks in nature. Breema.

I can find and take in what’s good in an ordinary and conventional sense. I have a roof over the head. I had breakfast today. I am drinking a good green tea. I just did a Breema intensive. It’s sunny today. The music at the coffee shop is good. I am meeting a friend later this afternoon. My family loves me. I had a very good dinner conversation yesterday. I was invited out tonight.

I can find and take in what’s good in an even more basic sense. I am supported by the ground. I notice the warm comfort of my body. The air fills my lungs and enlivens the body. There is a fullness in my belly from breakfast.

I can find and take in the love behind what’s here in terms of emotions, thoughts, identification etc. I see that this sadness is here to protect the image of me. It’s devoted to me. It comes from love. It is love. What initially may appear as something other than love (anger, reactiveness, grief, fear, identification) is revealed as love.

I can find and take in what’s more real and true for me than my initial beliefs, assumptions, and labels. Is it true that not staying in the East Bay today was bad? Is it true it would have been better for me, others and the world if I had stayed an extra day? What are some genuine and specific examples of how this is better? (I get to see that I chose to not stay in order to not disappoint another friend. I get to question the beliefs and fears behind that choice. I get a quiet day at a nice coffee shop instead. I get to catch up with some projects. I get to not have to travel on the bus.) How is it to stay with it, feel it, and take it in?

I can set aside time each day to do this. For instance, after waking up in the morning, after a meal, before falling asleep in the evening. I can also do this with another person, either in person or over Skype.

In each case, it’s important to take it in. To find real and specific examples, to take time to feel it, allow time for it to sink in, stay with it, and return to it.

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