Neuroscience’s secret to happiness

AGENCIES
Published May 18, 2016, 12:24 am IST
Updated May 18, 2016, 7:00 am IST
Neuroscience is the road to happiness, rather than the act of reaching the destination is what makes us happy.
Dalai Lama
 Dalai Lama

In his book, The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama wrote: “We need to learn how to want what we have, not to have what we want in order to get steady and stable happiness.” And the wise man might have been proved right by science.

According to neuroscientist Jaak Panskepp, it is the road to happiness, rather than the act of reaching the destination, which makes us happy. The neuroscientist claims that the fulfillment of desires may not cause happiness in the long run.

 

Talking at TEDx, he outlined seven primal emotions: play, panic, care, lust, fear, rage and seeking. The last one — seeking — appears to govern our happiness.

Panskepp asserts that dopamine, which is a chemical found in the brain linked with pleasure, is connected to the seeking instinct, and the more we explore and seek new information, the more our brain releases dopamine.

Jason Silva, philosopher and creator of the YouTube series Shots of Awe, cited a book by historian and philosopher James P. Carse in a recent video: “Finite games are played to win or lose; infinite games are played to keep the game going. “It is no longer about black and white… it’s to keep the game going... it’s not about conquering, it’s about continuing to exist, to contemplate.”

Previous studies on the subject of happiness have shown that it is the the constant seeking and maintenance of quality relationships that keeps us happy.

— Source: www.indi100.independent.co.uk

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