This amazing Oprah.com article is about new research findings that link meditation to happiness. I hope you enjoy!
This Is Your Brain on Happiness
Some highlights are below:
- “Circuits in your brain light up when you’re happy. One groundbreaking researcher has discovered how to keep them lit.”
- “Richard J. Davidson, PhD. vividly showed that meditation produced a significant increase in activity in the part of the brain responsible for positive emotions and traits like optimism and resilience—the left prefrontal cortex. In meditating monks, he’d separately found, this area lit up like the lights in Times Square, showing activity beyond anything he and his team had ever seen—a neurological circuit board explaining their sunny serenity.”
- “His new studies on the monks—’the Olympic athletes of meditation,’ as he calls them—are designed to measure what happens when they engage specifically in compassion practice. So far, he’s found that their brains show dramatic changes in two telling areas: increased activity not only in the prefrontal cortex—which floods them with well-being—but also in the areas involved with motor planning. It seems the monks are not just ‘feeling’ good; their brains have primed their bodies to spring up and ‘do’ good. ‘They are poised to jump into action and do whatever they can to help relieve suffering,’ Davidson says”
- “These and other findings of Davidson’s have bolstered mounting research suggesting that the adult brain is changeable, or ‘plastic,’ as opposed to becoming fixed in adolescence.”
- “‘…Most people accept the idea that regular physical exercise is something they should do for the remainder of their lives. Imagine how different things might be if we accepted the notion that the regular practice of mental exercises to strengthen compassion is something to incorporate into everyday life.'”