Hardwiring Happiness Summary & Review

Author: Rick Hanson

Hardwiring Happiness (2013) is a guide to living a happier and more fulfilling life. It is based on the latest research that will allow you to shift your thinking towards the positivity around you.
hardwiring happiness
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Hardwiring Happiness Summary Explanation

Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson teaches us to steer our brains towards becoming happier through science and neurology. Unlike other self-help books, it does not only present theories about being happy. It focuses on hard evidence through which we can stimulate our brains with happy memories no matter how small they are.

Humans tend to focus on the negative. We have evolved around wars, mass murders, and worsening climate change. That is why we focus, listen, and spread negative news more.

Bad emotions tend to stick longer but Hardwiring happiness presents ways in which one can transform his whole thinking. By practicing our quest for happiness daily, we can make it a pattern for our brains.

Hardwiring Happiness Summary Key Points

In our brain, there is a cell named the “Happy Amygdala” that releases optimistic and happy hormones. In simple terms, our brain part which deals with emotional responses brings happy memories.

Recalling experiences that bring us joy time and after like recalling eating our favorite meal, or thinking about our favorite trip with our friends put our brain into a cycle of thinking about the good. In Hardwiring Happiness’s key points, we will go through all of these steps in detail. So let’s jump right in!

You might be interested in reading The Art of Possibility Summary.

What is Negativity Bias and How we are Attracted Towards it

Negativity Bias refers to the general ability of humans to focus on the bad.

Take today’s newspaper in your hand, or after work tries switching on the news in the evening. Does the news bulletin share anything positive? Perhaps someone’s achievements, improvement in climate, or better resources?

You are very unlikely to come across such information but you will find how countries are going to default, how Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of war, and much more like unemployment and other social issues.

If we need happiness so much why do people are more inclined towards sharing bad news frequently? Why does the media keep us showing mishaps and chaos? The answer lies in our attraction toward the negative.

Bad emotions tend to stick around longer and trigger much deeper feelings in humans. We are more likely to remember the embarrassing stuff about our childhood than we are to remember the good cherishable memories.

Scientists have found out that our tendency to focus on the good or bad depends upon a part of our brain known as the Amygdala. Some people have a happy Amygdala that pushes them to grow and achieve while others have a sad Amygdala which tends to focus on the missed opportunities and emotions that are based on fear.

So, now that we know who controls this phenomenon how can we rewire it for our benefit? In the next key points of Hardwiring Happiness, we will find the secrets to rewiring our brains.

Changing your brain towards thinking the better

Do you remember the first time you started doing what you do now for a living? The first time you developed a code or the first time you finished writing a short story? I bet you would have tried to be adequately prepared. You reached there on time but when you started the work you might have been a little afraid and slow.

Today you can perform the same job with much more efficiency and smart work. Our brains work in the same way, he can train them every day. Whatever you put in; you receive. It is like a muscle that gets stronger with practice.

 For demonstration, a famous psychologist named Stanley Schacter surrounded patients with loving and kind families who reinforced happiness. In this atmosphere, the brain was constantly stimulated with happier thoughts. As a result, the sad Amygdala was transformed into a happier one.

In Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson teaches us the same. Such practices can make our brains become stronger and change our course of thinking.

Allow Yourself to Feel Good

The modern human is like a machine. He constantly works every day and every night. Completing task after task from the to-do list but he does not stop to allow himself to feel the pleasure of his accomplishments. You would argue that nobody has the time for doing that. When we finish doing something the next task is waiting for us. So we just jump towards it.

Another thing that Rick Hanson teaches us in Hardwiring Happiness is slowing down and enjoying the small moments. If you need to hardwire your brain into feeling happy; you need to make it a daily practice. Rejoice in small things and they will continue to grow and expand.

Allow yourself to feel happy for a moment or two after you have accomplished something. Take time out to enjoy the little things in your life like curling up with a good book after a long day, watching the sunset, or making a loved one smile.

Hardwiring Happiness Quotes

“If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.” –Rick Hanson

“By taking just a few extra seconds to stay with a positive experience—even the comfort in a single breath—you’ll help turn a passing mental state into the lasting neural structure.” –Rick Hanson

Hardwiring Happiness Review

If you constantly find yourself looking at the negativity and passed opportunities lately; you can benefit a lot from this book. Life gets hard and we tend to lose sight of the importance of leading a happy and fulfilling life. Hardwiring happiness Summary is your chance to reclaim your bliss. It focuses on scientific research to present a solid and simple road map for its reader.

To Whom Would I Recommend Hardwiring Happiness Summary

  • To the eighteen-year-old who has been stressed and worried about college.
  • To the thirty-two-year-old woman is from a small town and wants to make her life more meaningful.
  • And to anyone who wants to develop a more positive perspective toward life.

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