I read a lot of personal development books since this is my main passion in life, and there are so many great ideas and practices that create incremental positive shifts in my life that I wish to share with my friends and family. But you can only recommend so many books to someone, in the hopes that at least some of them will be read. Instead I will do my best to present those ideas and practces that really made a difference in my own life along with my recipes and other writings, a sort of a cookbook for the mind.
I have to admit that I did NOT finish the book Hardwiring Happiness and got bogged down somewhere half way through. It is a classic example of a great idea being blown out into 200+ pages out of sheer necessity to become “a book” to qualify for sale on Amazon. Yet it produced a noticeable change in my life and equipped me with tools to gradually increase my level of day to day well being which I want to share with you.
Our evolutionary development has left us with a strong negativity bias – we are hard wired to notice and learn from negative experiences a lot more than positive ones. But with a bit of concious attention we can reverse this trend. Any time you are having a positive experience, pause for a few seconds or minutes and really take the time to enjoy the good feelings, amplify them, and then imagine them settling into your brain and your entire being to become part of you. You don’t even need to wait to have a positive experience to practice this, do it any time you remember to, since any moment of life can contain some positive experience – the breeze or the sunshine, a pleasant memory which can be recalled or a fantasy imagined, or even the reassuring sensation of your breath going in and out.
Feel it – Enjoy it – Amplify it
Slowly you will begin retraining your mind to seek and focus on positives in life as opposed to negatives. And eventually you will enter this state of being which I am currently attempting to inhabit all of the time – luxuriate in life, every moment of it.
Below is the video of the book author explaining his idea in a little more depth. And of course you can always pick up the book itself for even more background neuroscience explanations, more tips of honing on the positive experiences, and even using this technique to heal past negative experiences.