Wiring the Brain for Happiness

Wiring the Brain for HappinessFor a very long time, the heart has been considered the seat of emotions. There have been so many – and there still are – correlations that link emotion to the heart. Just look at the amount of hearts you see in Valentine’s Day. When someone has experienced loss, they are “heart-broken.” When a person is too emotional, he’s called a person who “wears his heart on his sleeve.” Why are our feelings so intertwined with what a blood-pumping organ has to do, when it fact, It IS the brain where our feelings find a home.

Neurologists have a different saying when it comes to happiness, though: “The neurons that fire together, wire together.” Neurologists explain that this is how emotions are explained – through this one simple sentence. The duration, intensity, and how often neurons fire is directly related to the intensity of the feeling we experience.

However, when you think about it, we don’t really dwell on our positive experiences as much as we do with the negative experiences. When was the last time you remember having an experience so joyful that you dwelled on it for weeks? However, when you think of your last breakup, you remember being “heart-broken” for months, right? Its cause positive emotions don’t dwell with us long enough to be transferred to long-term memory. In a way, imagine that the bad experiences are like Velcro, while the good ones are like Teflon.

In many documented cases, long lasting relationships usually have a 1 to 5 positivity to negativity ratio in order to thrive. However, there is a way to overcome this negativity bias, and start living happily. You should let those positive experiences linger with you for longer. Maybe even if you have to forcibly let them stay there. This is how you turn those passing positive experiences into lasting memories.

All of us have our fair share of positive moments each day, but no matter how small, we should truly appreciate these as to change our perspectives. In effect, we’re wiring our brain for happiness. By doing this enough times, we learn to appreciate those things that are dear to us, and let them have a larger impact in our lives. By being mindful, we might just steal the spotlight away from the bad, and shine it to the good.

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