How Your Thoughts Can Rewire Your Brain To Make You Happy

by Amber Lyon

on May 2, 2014

Can you physically change your brain with your thoughts? In this video, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson outlines his idea that we can use our minds to make physical changes in our brains to transform the mind for the better.

Studies have shown people who mediate frequently have a measurably larger neocortex in the pre-frontal regions of the brain, the area responsible for concentration.  As a result, these people are more able to concentrate and pay attention.

Dr. Hanson states that if one does not change their brain for the better, outside negative forces such as stress, work pressure, and other people will do so. The human brain has a evolutionary tendency to focus on the negative. This negativity bias allows negative experiences to stick to the brain like velcro while positive experience past through rather quickly.  To compensate against this evolutionary “design flaw”, Dr Hanson highlights the importance of taking in good experiences, savouring them and allowing them to sink in.  Through this process he believes one can hardwire their brain for happiness.