I just got done reading a book that you’d really like.
“Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science Of Contentment, Calm And Confidence” by Rick Hanson Ph. D
He’s this Neuroscientist who also is really into meditation and stuff, and wrote a very practical book about how to do, what is essentially a very advanced version of “Gratitude Meditation”, but something that you can just slot into everyday life.
Each time you speak with a good friend, you enjoy it, but you probably don’t really let the enjoyment of it sink into you, as you get distracted by other things.
Each time you have a nice meal, you enjoy it, but again, probably not for long before you’re distracted by the next thing.
Part of the book deals with actually making the most of the good things in life, something I’m not sure I’ve ever really read about. Yeah you’re supposed to “make the most” of everything, but… how? This book is how.
Another part of the book explains the science behind why it’s difficult for us to really bask in the good things that happen, and instead why it’s so easy for us to be negative it all.
Our brains are basically wired to keep us alive, rather than particularly happy, and if you’ve been in a state of panic for a long time, like being bullied or growing up in a shit neighbourhood or something, your brain would rewire itself to adjust to this reality, protecting you from every conceivable threat, even after these threats are long absent. This is why depression can spiral. But if you can wire your brain one way, you can wire it the other, and this process of “Gratitude Meditation” is how you do that. Take your brain from a red state to a green state, and then keep it that way most of the time.
Another part of the book goes over what to do with negative thoughts, experiences and memories, and even explores who therapists help patients recover from traumatic memories by having them reinterpret them, which is something you can do for yourself.
But the bulk of the book is just HOW to do all this. The book is extremely actionable, with every chapter having steps for you to take to implement what it is he’s teaching.
My only criticism is that the science can get a bit overwhelming in spaces, but you’re a smart cookie, so you’ll get past it.