Hardwiring for Happiness (Rick Hanson)
Human beings have a great capacity for incredible happiness or incredible misery. It all comes down to one thing: choice. What do you choose? The author for Hardwiring for Happiness” lays out a formula to wire your brain for happiness.
Now as nature would have it, the brain has been wired for survival. In pre-modern times that meant dealing with enemies like extreme cold, extreme weather, the saber-toothed tiger. In modern society, this survival mechanism has led us to focus on so many potential threats and there’s so much going on that it actually creates stress. We’re running around a like a manic.
Now for an athlete, this also translates into performance because anything that gets in the way like a bad call from a ref creates a stress reaction and can set us off and can get us out of the flow and out of the zone. So, how does one wire themselves for happiness and peak performance?
Well it comes down to a few simple practices and what these practices do is strengthen the brain and it literally, you can wire the brain for misery or for happiness. So, it comes down to choosing to do it for happiness. So here are the recommendations.
Number one, practice gratitude early, first thing in the morning. Write down at least three things that you’re grateful for. Focus on the positive experiences.
Number two, create a treasure box of memories and experiences that you go through that are positive or have a positive element in them and collect them. At the end of each month and each year, review them and see all the great memories you’ve created and relive them.
Number three, when you do go through a tough situation, find the opportunity in the situation. Find the thing or the positive element and focus on that.
All these things will wire your brain for happiness so it becomes like a habit and something that you just expect to happen. In this way, you can experience happiness in your sport and life.