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Happiness

How To be happy

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“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”

~Buddha

Neuroscience Reveals: This Is How Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to Be Happier

Neuroscience Reveals: This Is How Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to Be Happier

realfarmacy.com

By Justin Brown

Published here on Aug 11, 2019

 

We often hear about the power of gratitude for creating a more positive and happy mental state. But did you know that gratitude literally transforms your brain?

According to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, regularly expressing gratitude literally changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier.

When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive, and less resistant. And gratitude is the most effective practice for stimulating feelings of happiness.

In this article we’ll share some of the research demonstrating that gratitude makes you happier, followed by some practical steps you can take to positively transform the molecular structure of the brain.

Studies of gratitude making you happier

In one study of gratitude, conducted by Robert A. Emmons at the University of California at Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, randomly assigned participants were given one of three tasks. The participants kept a journal each week, with one group describing things they were grateful for, another describing what’s hassling them and the other keeping track of neutral events. After ten weeks, the participants in the gratitude group felt 25 percent better than the other groups, and had exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.

In a later study by Emmons with a similar set up, participants completing gratitude exercises each day offered other people in their lives more emotional support than those in other groups.

Another study on gratitude was conducted with adults suffering from congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders (NMDs), with the majority of people having post-polio syndrome (PPS). Compared to those not jotting down what they’re grateful for every night, participants that did express gratitude felt more refreshed each day upon wakening. They also felt more connected with others than did participants in the group not expressing gratitude.

A fourth study didn’t require a gratitude journal, but looked at the amount of gratitude people showed in their daily lives. In this study, a group of Chinese researchers found that higher levels of gratitude were associated with better sleep, and also with lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Better sleep, with less anxiety and depression. Some compelling reasons to express gratitude more regularly.

Three simple steps to becoming more grateful

If you’ve only got time to say one prayer today, make it the simple words of “thank you.”

This is worth keeping in mind as you go about figuring out your daily practices and routines.

Here are three practical steps you can take to infusing routines of gratitude into your life.

1) Keep a daily journal of three things you are thankful for. This works well first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed.

2) Make it a practice to tell a spouse, partner or friend something you appreciate about them every day.

3) Look in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth, and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself.

Source: ideapod.com


The search for happiness

The search for happiness is not about looking at life through rose-colored glasses or blinding oneself to the pain and imperfections of the world. Nor is happiness a state of exultation to be perpetuated at all costs; it is the purging of mental toxins, such as hatred and obsession, that literally poison the mind. It is also about learning how to put things in perspective and reduce the gap between appearances and reality. To that end, we must acquire a better knowledge of how the mind works and a more accurate insight into the nature of things, for, in its deepest sense, suffering is intimately linked to a misapprehension of the nature of reality.

– Matthieu Ricard

source: http://bit.ly/2p5bVjf

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


Trying to control outer circumstances

We often think the only way to create happiness is to try to control the outer circumstances of our lives, to try to fix what seems wrong or to get rid of everything that bothers us. But the real problem lies in our reaction to those circumstances. What we have to change is the mind and the way it experiences reality.

– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

from the book “Gates to Buddhist Practice: Essential Teachings of a Tibetan Master”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


Life is short

Every act counts. Every thought and emotion counts too. This is all the path we have. This is where we apply the teachings. This is where we come to understand why we meditate. We are only going to be here for a short while. Even if we live to be 108, our life will be too short for witnessing all its wonders. The dharma is each act, each thought, each word we speak. Are we at least willing to catch ourselves spinning off and to do that without embarrassment? Do we at least aspire to not consider ourselves a problem, but simply a pretty typical human being who could at that moment give him- or herself a break and stop being so predictable?
My experience is that this is how our thoughts begin to slow down. Magically, it seems that there’s a lot more space to breathe, a lot more room to dance, and a lot more happiness.

– Pema Chödron

from the book “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times”

Just Dharma Quotes


Seeds of hell or happiness

Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice.

The habit of happiness

Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice

Cause and effect

To expect happiness without giving up negative action is like holding your hand in a fire and hoping not to be burned. Of course, no one actually wants to suffer, to be sick, to be cold or hungry – but as long as we continue to indulge in wrong doing we will never put an end to suffering. Likewise, we will never achieve happiness, except through positive deeds, words, and thoughts. Positive action is something we have to cultivate ourselves; it can be neither bought nor stolen, and no one ever stumbles on it just by chance.

– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book “The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes

Happiness is suffering in disguise

In truth, happiness is suffering in disguise but in such a subtle form that you don’t see it. If you cling to happiness, it’s the same as clinging to suffering, but you don’t realize it. When you hold on to happiness, it is impossible to throw away the inherent suffering. They’re inseparable like that. Thus the Buddha taught us to know suffering, see it as the inherent harm in happiness, to see them as equal. So be careful! When happiness arises, don’t be overjoyed, and don’t get carried away. When suffering comes, don’t despair, don’t lose yourself in it. See that they have the same equal value.

– Ajahn Chah


To think that you will be happy becoming something else is delusion

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Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice