The man is more concerned about his well-being, happiness, and pleasures so that all his efforts are meant to attain it through various means according to their mental attributes. This is not different for a spiritual person where he experiences happiness in different ways eventually expecting to attain eternal bliss.
Whatever be the mode of happiness, it is experienced in the same brain as long as life remains in the body and it has a scientific explanation. What defines happiness? Where and how is it experienced? These questions were haunting the philosophers and scientists to dig deeper into it. (Read also 7 Ultimate Spiritual Ways to Increase Happiness)
The psychologist, philosophers, and various religious teachings have given different explanations for happiness and how to attain it. Many happiness kinds of research were done by the eminent researchers and they came up with the following amazing results.
Research on Happiness – Kyoto University
The nature of humans is verily dependent on biological and chemical composition. The biological conditions affirm the exactness in the feelings and mental conditions of a person and conversely the mental conditions influence the biological and chemical compositions in his brain and body.
The neuroscientific research on happiness showed that the nature of the human brain has to do more with happiness. The study was done by examining the precuneus area of the brain which was not much explored.
According to their study “the subjective happiness is more linked with the gray matter volume in the right precuneus and it mediates the subjective happiness by integrating the emotional and the cognitive component of the happiness.”
The research showed that the exact neurology of happiness by pinpointing the region in the brain. The earlier studies also showed that the hippocampus is the region for happiness and emotions that we feel.
The fact is that when there is an increase in the volume of gray matter in the precuneus of a person then, he will experience more happiness than the others. Getting more gray matter in the precuneus region will put you in a good mood.
Does Gene Determine Your Happiness?
We can notice that some people experience more happiness than the others in given circumstances. They get less stressed while encountering a problematic situation. Why some people are more prone to happiness while others are less responsive to it?
Minnesota University researchers conducted a study in the two identical twins. These twins were raised in different families under different life conditions right from childhood.
The researchers noted that around half percent of the total happiness experienced at any given instant of time is determined by the gene composition. That is about 44 to 53% of happiness that a person experience at any instant of time is inherited from his parents.
If you are inherited from a happy family then you are lucky to relieve your stress easily. But if you have an unhappy gene composition, you would have hard times even if it could encounter for the 50% of the total happiness.
Nevertheless, --- you have control over the other 50% of it. Not only have you had control over half of the happiness indeed, but you can also even control the genetic composition.
The chemicals produced in the body such as dopamine, serotonin is responsible for the good moods of a person. When one has the same genetic background as the twins, his biological nature as well as the body’s chemicals have many similarities to each other rooted from the predecessors. Therefore, they will have the common gene for the personality traits that are responsible for making them happy.
Meditation and Spirituality
Research on happiness in children aged between 8 – 12 years was done for accessing the correlation between meditation and spirituality. Studies found that spirituality accounted for the enhancement in the experience of a child’s happiness.
According to their studies, “the spirituality doesn’t mean attending any religious ceremonial functions, prayers, mass, etc. but involving in spiritual wellbeing.” The studies showed that more spiritually oriented children experienced greater happiness than the less spiritually oriented child.
Few types of research such as structural neuroimaging studies have shown that meditation increases the volume of gray matter in the precuneus. Hence, the advanced meditators experience a higher level of happiness. Yet, this is not exempted from the modest meditators. (Read also How to Practice Kundalini meditation?)
The happiness research has shown that the highest level of cortical glucose metabolism is found in the precuneus area of the brain. They say that the subjective consciousness in humans is highlighted in the precuneus region of the brain.
The research signifies the consciousness as the ‘I’ consciousness referring to the body rather than the consciousness resembling the soul as in the yoga and philosophy.
On account of this happiness research, there could be a correlation between happiness and the self that happy people are having more sense of the self. Their consciousness is more active than those who experience less happiness.
The Happiness which comes from the long practice, which leads to the end of suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar - this kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one's own mind.
- Vyasa 1500 BC
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