Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Brain and Happiness

Quite often I receive questions from individuals asking how they can be “happy.” Since happiness is a personal perception, no one can tell someone else how to be happy. It is an individual journey. However, there are some general principles to consider.  Remember, everything starts and ends in the brain. Yours. When replying to those questions I typically suggest that one place to begin is by finding out all your can about your family-of-origin. “But I was a foster child or adopted or homeless,” you may say, “and I don’t know my biological family.” Since you are a combination of nature and nurture, (nature representing biology and nurture standing for the environment), review what you do know about either one or both. Did you hear about any family history of happiness or unhappiness? At conception you received some cellular memories from your biological ancestors and from conception onward you began building cellular memories related to your environment. Remember, in adulthood many people either replicate what they know from childhood or go for 180 degrees different  (and I typically add that 180 degrees from dysfunctional is still dysfunctional). Do you gravitate toward joy and pleasantness or do you choose to be around people who are unhappy and unpleasant? 

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