How to improve your overall wellbeing
Monday, January 18, 2021
I've been reading Rick Hanson's book "Hardwired for Happiness'. I find it a GREAT read! It gives me many useful insights. It's a fascinating read to me.
The idea is that our ancestors were at peace (in a responsive / relaxed) state most of the time with just short bursts of great stress when in danger. But these days we are stressed out all the time by modern day life so our brain is in a reactive, negative mode too much of the time which is very bad for our health and mood.
Basically Hanson's solution is to let good things sink in consciously. So if you have a good experience, could be just a small thing like a glass of water when thirsty, a nice view, a good meal, smiling at somone, getting a compliment, or petting your cat, the idea is to really let that sink in, to dwell on it (feel the impact of it) for at least 12 seconds, so it is an experience that is taken in and very consciously absorbed.
This strengthens the neural pathways in the brain that helps us to be responsive rather than reactive and that contributes greatly to our overall wellbeing. I've been practicing with this a little and it definitely feels like it's doing me good.
And it's true that really so much of our time every day is spent having basically good experiences: most of us are usually well fed, warm, we have comfortable beds and couches, many of us have pets or kids or spouses to cuddle, and so on.
So it would be great if we could focus on these basic good experiences more, especially if that helps to lessen the impact of the stuff we worry about.