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Hardwiring Happiness

by - Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

As the old song goes, the key to happiness is "to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative." You know this, so why in the hell is it always so much easier to laser-in on the bad stuff? In this book, author Rick Hanson explains we're neurologically programmed that way: 'The brain is like Velcro for bad experiences but Teflon for good ones.

Recent scientific breakthroughs have revealed that what we think and feel changes the brain. Dr Rick Hanson's >Hardwiring Happiness is the first book to show how to transform the simple positive experiences of daily life into neural structures that promote lasting health, contentment, love and inner peace. >Dr. Hanson defines 'taking in the good' as 'the deliberate internationalization of positive experiences in implicit memory.' In other words, being proactive about making positive experiences an inherent part of our memory. He's created four steps of taking in the good, which are easy to remember with the helpful acronym, HEAL.

Have a positive experience.
Enrich it.
Absorb it.
Link positive and negative material.

'[Lingering on the positive] improves the encoding of passing mental states into lasting neural traits,' says Hanson. 'That's the key here: we're trying to get the good stuff into us. And that means turning our passing positive experiences into lasting emotional memories.'

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