Learning! The neuroscience of happiness

We are kind of obsessed with happiness right now, aren't we?  And while I'm not convinced that happiness (an emotional state) is the ultimate answer to life, I do think that it's an awesome idea to embrace the things you can do to be happier.  Especially since our crappy mental patterns tend to verge on destroying us.

There was a great article in Business Insider summing up four areas that neuroscience has tested and proven to increase our happiness.  My Cole's Notes is below, click through to the article to see all the fun research behind it.

1) Gratitude - this is one of my favourite spiritual practices.  Asking myself what I am grateful for is the main thing that turned my depression around in a noticeable way.

2) Label your feelings - instead of just wallowing in feeling crappy, name the thing you are feeling.  Lonely?  Sad?  Angry?  This helps you avoid suppressing your feelings and see them for what they are - and what they are is not all-powerful.

3) Make a choice - if you are avoiding making a decision, that's probably taking away from your happiness.  Whatever it is, just making a decisions - any decision - will make you feel better.

4) Hug it out - or generally get some positive touch with another person.  Hugging, holding hands, a shoulder rub, and the like, let us know that we're not alone and connect us to others.  A nice, long hug is the bomb for well-being and health.


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