We all have biases. Some serve us better than others. When neuropsychologist Rick Hanson talks about rewiring your brain for happiness, it seems like any biases he mentions are worth considering.
Hanson is the author of “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science Of Contentment, Calm and Confidence” and also “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom.”
He is widely quoted throughout this Huffington Post article from last Thursday called “How To Wire Your Brain For Happiness.” Mostly Hanson is recommending mindfulness, staying present and giving more attention to the little joys and wonders of life. But interestingly, he says this is important to do because we are neurologically wired with a “negativity bias” that predisposes us to focusing on the bad things about life.
Smart says “clarity of mind” is our default state. That means we are naturally in tune with our inner wisdom and can be relaxed about navigating life with inspiration from within.
To illustrate, Smart notes that we often fall for a “trick of the mind” that temporarily fools us into believing circumstances are responsible for how we feel. But as he shows through countless examples and provocative metaphors, it is always our thoughts about a situation that determine how we feel.
This is “clarity of understanding.” He says that when we remember this, our default state, clarity of mind, naturally returns.
Both Hanson and Smart have a lot to offer that is worth “hardwiring” into your mind and body. If they seem to disagree on what is a fundamental human bias, you can either just appreciate different schools of thought and leave it at that; or you might consider which view serves you better and choose to adopt the one more likely to foster your happiness.
That’s all any of us want for you.
A longer version of this article appeared in Communities at WashingtonTimes.com.