I loved this…from Words Can Change Your Brain by Mark Waldman and and Andrew Newberg, MD. The term “neurological happiness” is so scientific! LOL It’s very exciting for me to see Science reaffirm what Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind, figured out years ago. Gradually the rest of the world is “getting it” and creating happier, more fulfilling lives.
We can become healed, happy and peaceful no matter what has happened in the past. It’s just a matter of choice and daily practice.
The most basic human emotion is not anger or fear. It’s *desire*—an instinctual impulse that makes us yearn to acquire anything that we consider valuable. It can be money or knowledge, relationship or power, or anything that is different or new. Put a mouse in a maze filled with bottle caps and other unfamiliar things, and the furry little creature will gather them up and save them for a “rainy day.” The “desire to acquire” impulse motivates us to take action, and it rewards us by releasing the pleasurable neurochemical dopamine. The big surprise: this pleasure-seeking activity stimulates consciousness in our frontal lobes. However, if too much dopamine is released, we can become addicted to our yearnings. If we crave money, we may gamble or take irrational risks. If we crave food, we’ll overeat. If we crave love, we may become overly dependent on others. Desire is our primary emotion of survival, but when fears crop up, this dopamine circuit shuts down. Stress neurochemicals are released. We lose motivation and run away. Fortunately, it’s easy to neurologically override anxieties and doubts that hold us back. First, make a list of all the activities that have brought you intense pleasure in the past. Next, make a list of all the qualities you deeply value about yourself, your relationships, and your work. Using these values as a guide, envision what you truly desire to bring into your life as you focus on the pleasurable “reward” that you’ll instantly feel. Write down your list of desires. Then, ask your intuition—your inner teacher—to devise a strategy to bring you closer to your goal. Remind yourself that there’s more pleasure waiting for you with each step you take toward acquiring what you desire. This “delayed gratification” keeps your ancient brain curious and excited. Not only will you strengthen the motivational circuits, you’ll increase those parts of your brain that generate conscious awareness. This is the true secret for attaining neurological happiness and satisfaction.
From the Science & Spirituality column by neuroscientists Mark Waldman and Andy Newburg, MD, Science of Mind Magazine, Mar 2013.
Also posted on the Science of Mind Facebook Page