From Big Think.
This interview is an episode from @The-Well, our publication about ideas that inspire a life well-lived, created with the @JohnTempletonFoundation.
Sometimes, it’s really hard to be happy. And there’s a reason for that: The human brain isn’t hard-wired for happiness. Why? Because happiness isn’t essential for survival. To make matters worse, our minds can deceive us when it comes to happiness, leading us to chase things that won’t make us happy in the long run.
To solve for this, Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos recommends a set of practices, dubbed “re-wirements.” These practices include prioritizing social connection, being other-oriented, focusing on gratitude and blessings, and incorporating exercise into our daily routine.
By understanding the common pitfalls of our thinking and adopting new behaviors, we can achieve true happiness, and make it last. For Santos, happiness isn’t just a state; it’s an ongoing practice.
0:00 Happiness? Natural selection doesn’t care.
0:59 4 annoying mind features ruining your happiness
3:33 5 ways to rewire your behavior for more happiness
6:56 Listen to your negative emotions
About Laurie Santos:
Dr. Laurie Santos is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University. Her research provides an interface between evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, exploring the evolutionary origins of the human mind by comparing the cognitive abilities of human and non-human primates. Her experiments focus on non-human primates (in captivity and in the field), incorporating methodologies from cognitive development, animal learning psychology, and cognitive neuroscience.
Read more from The Well:
Theology professor: “Ancient Aliens” is fantasy fiction for atheists
Why the search for meaning is not a job for science — or religion
Eastern philosophy says there is no “self.” Science agrees
About The Well
Do we inhabit a multiverse? Do we have free will? What is love? Is evolution directional? There are no simple answers to life’s biggest questions, and that’s why they’re the questions occupying the world’s brightest minds.
Together, let’s learn from them.
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