PERREAULT Magazine September 2014 - Page 51

Perreault Magazine - 51 -

Happy 101

Happiness is a state of mind. We have the will power to harness it and use it to its maximum potential. It is not an easy task but it is feasible. We live in a very dynamic world with external stimuli that affect our emotional states constantly and take our focus away from what really gives us pleasure. Here is a list of things you can start doing today to start wiring your brain for a happier one.

1 – CHANGE: If you want to be happy then you must want to change. I do not mean you have to change who you are, but you have to change the way you approach your day to day encounters and situations. You must change the way you feel when negative emotions overwhelm your mind. This is the first step towards happiness.

2- HAPPY MOMENTS: At any moment in your day you might have a happy moment taking place. It can be as short as 10 seconds. Perhaps your baby hugged you, your wife told you that she loves you, or you are peacefully sitting in your backyard enjoying the afternoon breeze. Embrace these moments. Make a conscious effort to engrave that moment in your mind. Take time to analyze that happy moment and understand how it made you feel not only emotionally but also physically. The more conscious you make it, the easier it will be to store it in your long term memory.

3 – SEEK NEW THINGS: Try doing new things as often as you can. The more you keep that brain busy the less likely you will allow negative emotions flood it. Has it ever happened to you that something really upset

you, but the moment you sat down to watch a movie or fixed something around the house you temporarily forgot the problem? This is in part due to your amygdala pathways. When you are busy, the amygdala becomes inactive, blocking negative emotions. This in turn opens up the happy pathways that were invaded by the negative emotions. Stay busy!

4 – BE OPTIMISTIC: research has shown that optimists are happier in all aspects of life. Optimists do not allow negative emotions affect them and know how to look at events with a different perspective, a positive one. They tend to spin that negative emotion into a positive one. The glass is never half empty, is half full. Stay positive and know that you are in control of your emotions.

Have a happy day!

REFERENCES:

Rutledge, R.; et. al. 2014. A computational and neural model of monetary subjective well-being. PNAS. V111 p12252-12257.

Hanson, R. 2013. Hardwiring happiness:

The new brain science of contentment, calm, and confidence. Crown Publishing Group.

World Happiness Report. 2013.

United Nations.

German Garcia-Fresco, PhD.

.