Science Proves Happiness Lies Within – What Does This Mean for Your Happiness?

Happy!

Happy!

Scientists have proved that happiness lies within.

What leads to greater happiness, winning the Lotto or becoming a Paraplegic?

Actually, after a year, lotto winners and paraplegics are equally happy with their lives. This is according to Harvard Psychologist, Dan Gilbert who cites data on happiness and is author of the book Stumbling on Happiness.

You have a built-in experience simulator that creates happiness

Homo Sapiens possess a Frontal lobe or Prefrontal Cortex. The amazing thing about this is it is an experience simulator. Human Sapiens can simulate experience before it happens. This is something that neither ancient man/woman (Homo Habilis (2,000,000 years B.C) or animals could do. The Prefrontal Cortex wasn’t developed yet.

Major life traumas have no impact on your happiness

Gilbert found in his labs that our experience simulator doesn’t always work as well as it should. He calls this phenomenon, Impact Bias. The experience simulator tends to cause us to believe that different outcomes are more different than they really are.  Things like winning or losing, gaining or losing a romantic partner, money and so on, have far less impact, intensity and duration than people expect them to have. Gilbert cites a recent study of how major life traumas affect people suggest that, if it happened over three months ago, with only a few exceptions, it has no impact whatsoever on your happiness.

Happiness can be synthesized

Why is this so? It is because happiness can be synthesized. The problem is that while you have the ability to synthesize happiness, you believe that happiness is something to be found. You have the belief that synthetic happiness is not of the same quality as what Gilbert calls natural happiness.

Natural happiness is when we get when we get what we wanted. Synthetic happiness is what you make when you don’t get what you wanted. Particularly in Western Society we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is inferior to natural happiness. Gilbert says that one of the reasons for this is that our whole economic engine is built on the principle that you must get what you want to be happy, that a shopping mall full of Zen monks isn’t going to be profitable because they don’t want stuff.

Synthetic happiness is every bit as real as natural happiness

In the video below, Gilbert goes on to prove scientifically that what he calls synthetic happiness is every bit as real and enduring as the kind of happiness you stumble upon when you get exactly what you are aiming for. It is a very interesting experiment.

From a Spiritual or Metaphysical viewpoint, I would go beyond what Gilbert shows in his talk, that what he calls synthetic happiness is actually true happiness as it is not dependent on what happens to us in our lives. What Gilbert calls natural happiness is fleeting as when we don’t get what we want, or lose what we had, we are unhappy. It is a powerless type of happiness because we are 100% dependent on our external world.

Science proves happiness lies within

What is fascinating about Gilbert’s video is that it scientifically proves the old adage that true happiness lies within. Quoting Og Mandino:
“Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”

Our brain is designed to create happiness

Our ability to create happiness has a physical counterpart in our brain, the frontal lobe or prefrontal cortex. Knowing this, we can no longer blame people, events or situations outside of us for making us unhappy because our brain is designed to create happiness.

Only we can make ourselves happy by using the brain faculties we all possess. Now, granted, this amazing tool called the frontal lobe doesn’t always work as well as it should. Due to emotional wounding, beliefs and other things we have stuffed in our subconscious it can run amuck manufacturing experiences in our inner world that make us unhappy instead of happy. But that is what healing and growth is for. We heal our emotional wounding, clean out old beliefs that no longer serve us and bring our subconscious conscious so that our frontal lobe is restored to the well running machine it was meant to be.

Now you know that you have everything you need to be happy inside of you. Unless you are a Homo Habilis, and don’t have a Pre Frontal Cortex, you have everything you need to be happy right inside your brain. All you need are the tools to return it to a fine running machine.

Here is the video:



What are your experiences with ‘Synthetic Happiness’?


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