(Higher Perspective) Scientists are giving this 71-year-old monk the title of the “world’s happiest man.” His name is Mathiew Ricard, and he says that the secret to being happy takes just 15 minutes a day. We all have the capacity to reach his level of happiness, but can we do it?
Meet the world’s happiest man
Matthieu Ricard is a 71-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monk. He lives in Nepal but was born in France. However, he wasn’t always a happy man. He was a very hardworking young man who went after a Ph.D. degree in molecular genetics. However, he later made the decision to shift gear and lead a simpler, but more fulfilling life, as a Buddist and humanitarian.
What makes Matthiew really special is the way his brain works. Scientists were able to study it and prove that meditation and compassion really do have everlasting results on happiness and peace of mind.
Matthieu participated in a 12-year study on meditation and compassion during which his head was hooked up to 256 sensors. Scientists discovered that when Matthiew was meditating on compassion his mind became light. In fact, his brain has reduced the level of waves that were connected to consciousness, attention, learning and memory. This was the first time neuroscience made a discovery of this kind.
The more the research went the more that scientists found a connection between meditation on compassion and the activation of the left prefrontal cortex of his brain which gave Mathiew a huge capacity for happiness. This was an abnormal brain activity that reduced the odds of negative feelings. Matthiew considers himself a happy person and meditates on a daily basis, but what he attributes as the ultimate source of happiness goes deeper than that.
It’s not all about you: altruism
Mathieu finds that while thinking of your needs is important, altruism is part of the path to happiness. Rather than put yourself at the center of the universe and only think in terms of “me, me, me” consider observing how interconnected the universe is and how every move you make plays a small role in a chain reaction of the universe at large. If you were to overthink every move, it would become draining.
Matthiew explains: “It’s not the moral ground. It’s simply that me, me, me all day long is very stuffy. And it’s quite miserable because you instrumentalize the whole world as a threat, or as a potential sort of interest [to yourself].”
The line between kindness and being taken advantage of: benevolence
So what should you do to stop yourself from falling victim to the world? Fill your mind with benevolence. There is happiness to be found in making others happy and showing them how much you care. If we each did our part in that, the world itself would become happier.
Matthieu says: “If you want to be happy, you should strive to be benevolent, which will not only make you feel better but also make others like you more. ” However, Mathiew recognized that there is a difference between being kind and letting others take advantage of you, so do it within reason. “If your mind is filled with benevolence, you know, the passion and solidarity … this is a very healthy state of mind that is conducive to flourishing. So you, yourself, are in a much better mental state. Your body will be healthier, so it has been shown. And also, people will perceive it as something nice.”
But how? Run a marathon
As nice as benevolence sounds, we tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the every, in an attempt to simply survive. So how can master the energy to be of service to others without letting our own needs fall apart completely? Well, Matthieu believes that each one of us everyone has the ability to have a lighter mind because the potential of good is within us all. The key is in training it, the same way you would train to run a marathon.
Like a marathon runner who needs to build their endurance to finish the race, people who want to be happier need to train their minds to find balance and feel grounded enough to reach the finish line, and their happiness.
The key: all it takes is 15 minutes a day
This is how we find happiness in just 15 minutes. Spending 15 continuous minutes a day thinking happy thoughts is enough to wire the brain to feel genuine lasting happiness. When we think of happy thoughts, we trigger a lot of the same happy chemicals as when we actually experience them in real time. Not only that but we train our mindset to expect, receive and be open to happy thoughts over negative ones. We take control over our focus and our emotions.
Mathieu has his own methods of training, he uses meditation. However mental training can come in different forms as long as the activity brings you to a place of peace. You could even think while you actually run! The key is in actually training. No athlete success without training, the same way no mind can find and understand happiness without training. Happiness is in fact a skill that can be trained.
The key is in repetition
Just like with any kind of training, results may take time but the more you do it, the more you will reap the benefits. Consider training your mind towards happiness every single day. Just focus on making it day by day and when days turn into weeks, the results will reveal themselves. You will find yourself unexplainably happier and embracing a more positive mindset in everything you do. After all Mathiew has been practicing for 50 years and continues to find happiness.
This is now backed by scientists who found that even 20 minutes of daily meditation can make people much happier overall.
You are in control
Every time you are sitting quietly at home or walking through a scenic path, focus on the intrinsic value of these things and take a moment to acknowledge those happy thoughts. Being consciously aware of the good will make life itself better.
Source: Higher Perspective
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