Strategically placed among the recessed lighting in our living room ceiling, is an adjustable “fisheye” that rotates so we can highlight the stained glass in our front door. When people drive or walk down our street in the evening, they can’t help but look at it—to focus on it.
In our everyday lives, we have multiple opportunities to focus. We can shine our mind’s spotlight on the positive, or on the negative. Like the “fisheye” — it’s an adjustable choice.
Dr. Richard Davidson, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at UW-Madison, scanned the brains of happy people and found they were unusually active in one area—the left prefrontal cortex. Now he and other researchers in the field are learning more about how we can take advantage of our brain’s “plasticity”—its ability to reshape itself—and rewire our own brains to be happier.
Last week I become part of a beta group that’s testing the science of happiness and positive psychology. I just completed part one of the first track. Each day I participate in brief, online “happiness skill builders” specifically designed to promote positive emotional qualities such as gratitude, kindness, mindfulness, and compassion.
Where do you place your focus?