A Happy Brain Leads to Longevity
In this New Year, 2016 represents the year of action and abundance. Do you see that happening for you yet?
I was watching an interview the other day with Dr. Daniel Amen, the brain doc, about how a happy brain leads to longevity. He said something that really hit home for me in his interview: “There is one thing that leads to a person living 15 percent longer than others and that is purposefulness.”
Whatever gets you jumping out of bed in the morning and gives you that deep sense of purpose and meaning, actually enhances your longevity, wow! How simple, yet at times complex in a life of distraction and “busyness.” This is to say, it becomes more difficult to choose one thought over the other, especially positive thoughts when pooled in a world of negativity. Which is why happiness seems so elusive to many.
However, according to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, our brains have a plasticity where we can change the chemistry of our brains based on happier thoughts. In a 2007 study, the use of a PET scan detected serotonin uptake builders when a person had a happy memory and conversely slower serotonin uptake with a sad memory. With this realization, we can change our neurochemistry based upon conscious thought, and shift our practices to empower our thoughts to a happier state.
With that said, why not shift the brain’s ability to the renewed sense of meaning you have this year? Do you have a book, project or business idea that excites and stimulates you to the point that the idea of doing the same old same old, just isn’t cutting it anymore?
I realize the idea of making a change can be scary. However, usually, when a window closes, a door opens. Making “space” in your life is essential for attracting the new to come in where the old once was. Just as changing a negative thought into a positive thought takes practice.
One must make “space” interrupt old thought patterns and substitute with happier thoughts to create a new neural pathway. The more you practice doing this the closer you are to pursuing a new goal, hence when you are happier you are more productive.
Let me clarify in real terms to everyday life.
Let’s take a client of mine. She has a California-based tutoring company with several tutors who work for her. Life was very busy between calls from parents, bookings, schedule changes and finding the right tutor for the right child.
In addition, she was juggling her own children and life as a single mom. She was dating a new guy and also writing articles for the local newspaper to educate parents about the importance of a good tutor to a child’s well-being.
On the outside, things looked like they were flowing harmoniously. But deep down, she knew it was time to make a change in her business life since it was affecting her personal life and the juggling act was overwhelming.
Feeling scattered, unfocused and depleted was tough on her and affected the quality time she planned with her kids. She needed to make a change and fast!
Well, she had an idea, which involved making more change, in addition, to the current changes happening in her life. Except the outcome of this idea would give her more free time and freedom in her business and her personal life. Hmmm, it was the how? Perhaps this was too crazy of an idea?
“Ideas are easy, implementation is hard.” — Guy Kawasaki
She hired me to brainstorm her new idea. By partnering, we got to work on her one-page business plan, a strategy and then wrapped it in a new brand, logo, and tagline to capture the attention of her new online idea. She was thrilled with how happy everything came out, but more importantly, she added more life to her life.
“I had the pleasure of meeting with Jackie,” she said. “We only spent two hours talking; she helped my business tremendously. Two hours moved my business forward probably two years.”
It is the impossible that makes the word possible, kinda fun!
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Jackie Ruka skyrockets busy professionals from breakdowns to breakthroughs, knowing the best opportunities are the ones we create consciously. As “America’s Happyologist” her mission is assisting clients to reach the vibrant life and business one has dreamed of. Jackie is an award-winning marketing professional, trained Art Psychotherapist, Well-Being expert, and Founder of Get Happy Zone.com. The author of the best-selling book, Get Happy and Create a Kick- Butt Life! She leads courses and lectures nationally to teach you how to live a happier life by design. She paints her life canvas in Southern CA. Please visit her site at www.gethappyzone.com