The Neuropsychology of Happiness

For most of my life I have pursued the twin passions of neuroscience and spirituality – the study of the brain and the search for an understanding of life, of humanity’s place in the cosmic order. In my journey I discovered that the ancient wisdom literature from around the world overlaps in a notion we can call mindfulness, a state of awareness, acceptance, and compassion, that is entirely compatible with the principles of neuropsychology and a powerful tool for achieving psychological wellbeing.

If we look at how our brains and our culture have evolved, we can see that our ability to think – to anticipate and remember (the Buddha would say to live in the future and the past) has taken us far away from mindfulness, which can be defined as dwelling in the present moment. At the same time, our culture – the things and activities among which we live (including the internet and social media) support this way of living. Psychologically speaking, this is the source of most of our suffering – our anxiety, sadness, fear, regret, hopelessness, and anger. Mindfulness – learning to live more often in the present moment, is a powerful tool for healing. It is a tool that I use in my work and in my life every day.