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Impediments to Happiness  

Adapted from What Happy People Know By Dan Baker, Ph.D.

As a person curious about what constitutes a happy way of life, I found the research of Dr. Baker to be a source of information and consolation. I share a bit with you today taking excerpts which I put in italics:

Physiological Impediments:

"There is a common factor in all humans that impedes happiness and that is the neurological fear system embedded deep within our brains, a neural network that once helped us survive as a species. This biological circuitry of fear is the greatest enemy of happiness.

The fear system is our repository for past trauma, current tribulations, fear of the future, and archaic instinctual terrors.

Although very slow in manifesting, evolution has offered us an almost magical source of compensation for this block to our happiness. The human neocortex is the primary area of intellect in the brain which is the creative, intuitive, intellectual and spiritual area and is the physical site of happiness."

Baker goes on to say that we can override this fear system. "The neocortex is also the site of the human spirit, the entity that links the intellect with intuition and the subconscious. The human spirit goes beyond the boundaries of reason and experience, and can offer messages of reassurance, comfort, and confidence. The spirit must lead. That is the key to happiness".

Great, I am thinking, this is all well and good but I don't really know HOW to override the system.  

Antidote:  Baker begins by focusing on one of his attributes of happiness:appreciation

Given that the neurology of the brain cannot be in a state of appreciation and a state of fear at the same time, and noting that appreciation resides as an internal personal experience which Baker calls the highest and purest form of love, I can replace the negative fearful thought patterns with recollections of authentic appreciation.

These recollections heighten creativity, slow heart rate, soften brain waves, and synchronize the endocrine system with the heart and the brain.

I have lived long enough to know that trouble will strike and adversity will show up when I least expect it.  I also know that it is not how I can avoid disparity, but how I can respond to it that makes a difference.   One of my favorite sayings  is:  "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain".

Would you join me in an experiment?

I want to experience first hand what shifts may occur by taking note of appreciation.  The first step toward this journey is to keep an appreciation journal.  Jim Manske often asks, "what's going well today".   There's quite a bit going well right this moment for me that I can focus on. My computer works!     Having had a hard drive failure recently, I want to stay in this appreciation moment by savoring my deep gratitude.   I can really appreciate a functioning computer!   I feel that appreciation in the depth of my being!

My office is cool and comfortable. My body is serving me well today. I have folks in my mind who bring me much joy and make me smile.

The sense of calm and spiritual warmth I already feel in just this moment is already noticeable!

Dear friends, would you be open to joining me in an appreciation journal.  And after a couple of days would you be willing to share any shifts or transformations you notice.  You can comment below in the comment section.

 "Millions of Americans have become so used to not being happy that they barely even notice it. No matter how numb you may become, life is still there but the living is gone."

Let's bring living back into our life!

                 ---Faye Landey, Compassionate Leadership and CNVC  Certified Trainer

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