I recently received a newsletter titled "Be Happy" from the Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Hawaii that contained a real gem of wisdom:
"To find true and lasting happiness is the most common life-long goal of people across the globe.
What is the source of this desirable state?
Deepak Chopra states that there are two types of happiness. The first type is a feeling that arises when some external circumstance or event happens in our favor. A great example of this is the feeling of happiness one would experience when winning the lottery. Although the associated feelings are elation and contentment, it is generally a short-lived experience.
The second type of happiness does not rely on external circumstance to cue its existence, but rather, resides in the silence of our being. This type of happiness is what can be considered true happiness, and holds a permanent presence within us all, regardless of our emotional and mental state.
It has been known by prophets, mystics, yogis, and shamans across the ages that true happiness is not found in the outside world, but to be discovered within.
By quieting the mind and becoming familiar and comfortable with our inner landscape, we can drop into the experience of simply being, thereby allowing the experience of true happiness to emerge.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy."
How can those of us who have chosen a busier, less monastic life access that inner feeling of happiness and build it rapidly and effectively? How can we find and maintain that inner shift which activates the dopamine-based happiness system within the brain-mind? Its more than "simply being" that allows us to keep the happiness system activated. After a moment of happiness emerges, there is guidance from within that is necessary in order to learn to recognize it and hold it there, at a higher level of activation.
At first, you need to make an effort to notice the feeling and then hold it there. That's where our Neureka! neurofeedback has great value--helping you notice and sustain it at first, so that you can gradually learn to make that shift more clearly and powerfully, as part of your everyday life. Your happiness builds as you practice, first with the full Peak BrainHappiness Trainer program and then with lower levels of support. Later, you can use a timer included in our system to remind you to come back to the joyful state, finding it from within.
As a follower of the Positive Psychology Listserve, who has studied under Dr. Seligman, I have recently been reminded about what it is that they offer as the centerpiece of their practice and research. This approach is basically inducing Deepak Chopra's first type of happiness, based on circumstances or events created by the particular Positive Psychology Exercise. It is fleeting and weak. Little wonder that the effects of these exercises have proven difficult to replicate in research studies. The effect sizes are small, and procedures that also induce momentary positive feelings seem to be as powerful.
Our Approach to the Best Type of Happiness
Now you can use a simple, scientifically proven approach to increase anyone's happiness, by training their brain with brainwave biofeedback using the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer .
It's as simple as sitting in front of a computer for twelve 25-minute sessions--just five hours-- watching beautiful videos. You pick your own DVDs or select from five joyful DVDs and CDs that come with the system.
Research shows when you feel good feelings, such as happiness and love, the brain produces more of a type of brainwave we call Neureka! This corresponds to the emergence of the feeling of happiness. New studies (see below) show people can easily learn to increase the amount of that type of brainwave. The Trainer processes the brainwave signal, and measures the amount of Neureka! The more Neureka! brainwaves you produce, the more good feelings, like joy, satisfaction, and gratitude, you feel, and the larger the beautiful video's picture gets.
After you develop an understanding of how to create the shift to the feeling of happiness, we suggest that you eliminate the audiovisual stimuli and just guide yourself with the feedback from the increasing and decreasing Neureka! brainwaves. You will discover that you still have control over your inner experience and the resulting brainwaves.
Later, you can help to transfer this control to the rest of your life by carrying a timer that you set to vibrate at a comfortable interval, reminding you to turn on your happiness system every few minutes. After some time training, you won't need any of these aids to be happier, but they will still help if you want to go further.
If you know someone who could really enjoy life more, but who doesn't seem to have a really positive attitude, the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer will make a major difference in their life.
Everyone in the family can use and appreciate the effects of a gift like this on themselves, and the others will appreciate how much more loving and happy they will become.
Neureka! Clearly Measures Positive Feelings
Dr. Estate Sokhadze and I have recently completed two studies which he conducted at the University of Louisville Department of Psychiatry. We found quite a bit of evidence to support the idea that Neureka! can respond to positive feelings like joy, pleasure, delight, happiness and love.
The Neureka! output became larger when the subjects felt positive feelings for as little as 6 seconds. It did not go up when they felt the negative or the neutral feelings used in the study.
For details on these experiments, visit this page.
University Study Shows That Peak BrainHappiness Training Enhances Mood, Thinking, and Memory
The benefits of Peak BrainHappiness Training in Dr. Sokhadze's next study were even more powerful than I anticipated. He trained 11 subjects for 12 sessions of neurovideofeedback, each 25 minutes long--that's just five hours of total training.
The results showed that after training, the subjects reported they were much happier, and they scored much better on the Beck Depression Inventory . The happiness measure that we used was the same as the one used by the Australian Household Income and Labor Dynamics Survey reported in the article by Siahpush and associates that I summarized in a previous newsletter. They showed that a higher happiness score in 2001 predicted a 50% improvement in health in 2004. This study supports the idea that Peak BrainHappiness Training can increase your long-term health .
Furthermore, the results on the MicroCog test of mental ability were quite remarkable. It showed very significant enhancements in general cognitive functioning, information processing accuracy, and memory.
Basically, people became happier, smarter and less depressed after training their brain with the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer!
For all of the details and numbers, please visit this page.
Improved Happiness is Long Lasting
The key point to remember is that the improvements in happiness are long-lasting. Four months after the twelve sessions, the group's happiness ratings were still just as high! They had learned to be happy and to maintain it without any further effort. Isn't that what you want and deserve? The technology to achieve this is here now. Why wait?
The Remarkable Kalani Oceanside Resort
Its really not surprising to find such a well written gem in Kalani's Newsletter. Kalani is, after all, a remarkably wonderful growth center--the largest retreat center in Hawaii. They offer a wide variety of programs of their own and host many for other organizations. I visited there several years ago for a very powerful reunion of Gay Luce's Nine Gates Program, which ended with a remarkable night communing with the godess Pele on the floes of the nearby volcano. Perhaps my fondest memory was the Watsu water massage session in their very special pool. Yes, its only Type 1 happiness, but it is a very powerful induction!
For more information about our Peak BrainHappiness Trainer, click here.