There are lots of books coming on the market about happiness. I generally steer clear of this topic as happiness can be fleeting, and my interest is more focused on the longer-lasting concept of joy. But I'm intrigued because of the scientific research. There is now evidence that not only is the body affected by emotions and experiences, but the brain is an organ that learns and is structurally changed in the process! New neural networks are actually formed. It's all about neuroplasticity.
Purposefully thinking about good things and cultivating happiness makes new channels in the brain which become strong and resilient over time. With enough practice, happiness becomes a mood and eventually a trait.
There is a strong association between practicing gratitude and increased levels of happiness. The Harvard Health Publication (Nov 2011) from Harvard Medical School suggests the following ways to cultivate gratitude:
*Write a thank you note
*Thank someone mentally
*Keep a gratitude journal
*Count your blessings and write them down
So if the brain is shaped based on what the mind rests upon, what are you thinking of and doing today??!