Since happiness means different things to each person, there are many answers to how to make sure the New Year is happy.
Here are some of the answers we’ve heard:
- More parties
- More money
- A better love life
- Win the Lottery
- Have world peace
Well, the research about happiness does not support any of these answers. Nor does it support
any of the other answers that are situations that would remove your stress or “problems”.
Here is what people who are happy by nature know that helps them stay in this state more of the
Real happiness is dependent upon inner resources, not outer wishes fulfilled.
What The Research Says
It’s good news! Happiness can be learned. Dr. Richard Davidson’s research using MRI
documentation shows that the patterns of neural activity in the brain’s front lobes reveal one’s
disposition tendency. Establishing what the patterns mean, then finding a way to shift and keep
the patterns of happiness in the brain and WOW! People can grow happy!
Happy people have more activity in the left frontal brain area (the prefrontal cortex), according
to research observing functional MRI visuals of brain activity. The left prefrontal cortex is
associated with positive thinking and mood.
Dr. Davidson also showed that people who are more anxious or depressed have more activity in
the right frontal brain area, which is associated with negativity and hypervigilance. These people
also have more activity in the circuitry around the amygdala, which processes emotions.
OK, so let’s go further. The mood patterns are indexed. How can people get to the happy end of
What clues can we gather from the subjects who were most successful? The most extreme
“happy” brain index (activity in the left prefrontal cortex) of the 175 people previously tested
was found in a senior Tibetan monk who had decades of experience meditating.
Now we have evidence of how to change our brain’s neurological activity patterns to become
less anxious, less stressed, more positive and happier.
What are you going to do with this information, which may be amongst the most meaningful to
your future of any research?
Meditate. Nothing is more important than your happiness.