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Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

hardwiring happinessI wanted to let you know about a new book by Rick Hanson that I think you’ll like. Rick, a neuropsychologist and bestselling author, is a contributor to this blog, and his teaching has had a profound influence on my understanding of what’s actually going on when we meditate.

I haven’t read the book yet (I hope to do so soon), so this isn’t a review. It’s just a heads-up that a brilliant author who is always worth reading has a new book coming out. I’m clearing my reading schedule to make sure that I have time to read my review copy when it arrives.

The book’s called Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, and it 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.

Recent scientific breakthroughs have revealed that what we think and feel changes the brain. Dr. Hanson’s Hardwiring Happiness is the first book to show how to transform the simple positive experiences of daily life into neural structures that promote lasting health, feeling cared about, and effectiveness.

To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved a “negativity bias” that makes it like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones. This might have been good for survival, but today this bias makes us needlessly stressed, worried, irritated, and blue.

Even worse, the inner strengths – like self-worth or positive emotions – we need for the long road of life are mainly built from positive experiences. But these usually flow through the brain like water through a sieve, with no lasting value.

Drawing on neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and wisdom from the contemplative traditions, Hardwiring Happiness shows you how to overcome the negativity bias and get good experiences into the brain where it can use them. By taking just a few extra seconds to stay with an everyday positive experience – the deliciousness of a cookie, the calming in a single breath, the warmth of a friend – you turn good moments into a great brain that gives you a durable resilience and well-being.

Revolutionary yet profoundly practical, this important book offers us the tools we need to heal old wounds, increase our motivation, handle stress, develop our inner resources and, ultimately, transform our lives. As Rick says, “In mere minutes each day, we can transform our brains into refuges and power centers of calm and happiness.”

If you would like to pre-order a copy now, before the book comes out on October 8th, and receive the free bonus of Dr. Hanson’s “Your Best Brain” multimedia presentation, visit Rick’s website.

The “Your Best Brain” multimedia presentation includes audio and slide sets from the “Your Best Brain” Workshop and will give you practical, research-based ways to learn how to Be On Your Own Side, Take In The Good, and Come Home to Happiness.

I hope you’ll take a look at Rick’s new book.

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About Bodhipaksa

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Bodhipaksa is a Buddhist practitioner and teacher, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, and a published author. He founded Wildmind in 2001. Bodhipaksa has published many guided meditation CDs and guided meditation MP3s.

He teaches at Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire. You can follow Bodhipaksa on Twitter, join him on Facebook, or hang out with him on .

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