"The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence"

Nov 19, 2013

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist and author whose books include "Buddha's Brain," "Just One Thing," and "Mother Nurture." Dr. Hanson, who is also the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and is an Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC-Berkeley, has a new book out called "Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence." As we read of this fascinating, thoroughly researched book at its publisher's website: "Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of being appreciated? Because your brain evolved to learn quickly from bad experiences but slowly from the good ones. You can change this. 'Hardwiring Happiness' lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. Dr. Hanson's four steps build strengths into your brain --- balancing its ancient negativity bias --- making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. In mere minutes each day, we can transform our brains into refuges and power centers of calm and happiness." Some fairly incredible claims in that citation, yes, but this well-regarded scientist/author makes his case for us on today's program. (And you can learn more about his book here.)