03 May 5 things that will make you MUCH happier
via the Ladders by Travis Bradberry
There’s enough advice on happiness floating around out there to make your head spin. Yet, this is understandable, as everyone is different. What makes one person happy might make another miserable.
In the face of so much contradictory, and often subjective, advice, what are you supposed to do if you want to live a happier life? Just forget about all that subjective advice and focus your energy and attention on science-proven facts.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama
UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has spent a great deal of time studying the effects of different happiness strategies on the brain. His findings have a lot to teach us about what actually works when it comes to boosting happiness.
Korb’s research demonstrates that your thoughts—and the emotions you feel in response to those thoughts—have a profound impact on surprising areas of your brain.
Guilt and shame, for example, activate the brain’s reward center, which explains why we have such a strong tendency to heap guilt and shame upon ourselves. Likewise, worrying increases activity in the prefrontal cortex (the rational brain), which is why worrying can make you feel more in control than doing nothing at all.
Gratitude creates happiness
I’m not advocating worry, guilt, and shame as the path to happiness. The illustration shows why we tend to succumb to thoughts that fuel these emotions. The real neural antidepressant is gratitude. Gratitude boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine—the brain’s happy chemicals and the same chemicals targeted by antidepressant medications. The striking thing about gratitude is that it can work even when things aren’t going well for you. That’s because you don’t actually have to feel spontaneous gratitude in order to produce chemical changes in your brain; you just have to force yourself to think about something in your life that you appreciate. This train of thought activates your brain to make you feel happier…
…keep reading the full & original article HERE