Peak Achievement
 
About Us News & Events
Articles Media Kit
Clients Contact Us
 
Achieve Unleash the power of the brain

Join our mailing list, and receive a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on "Understanding and Activating Your Brain’s Pleasure Centers".

SIGN UP TODAY >>

Peak BrainHappiness Training Blog

The Surgeon General Links Present Happiness With Future Health: The Role of Neurofeedback

Dr. Jon Cowan - Friday, January 15, 2016

The authoritative American Medical Association Wire recently (12/28/15) ran an important story which you may not have seen due to the holiday.  Titled "The Simple Way to Boost Your Health You May Have Overlooked", it clearly stated that there is a link between present-day happiness and future health, echoing the thoughts and research of many positive psychologists over the past few years.   The article is particularly noteworthy because it is based on the conclusions of none other than the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, and quotes his TEDMED presentation quite substantially throughout. 

It has me thinking about adding to our Peak BrainHappiness Trainer labeling:  "Warning:  The Surgeon General Has Determined That Increasing Your Happiness Is Beneficial to Your Health"  :)                                              

Dr. Murthy said he has traveled to various communities throughout the country and has witnessed the unexpected benefits happiness can have on public health.  

“Happiness affects us on a biological level. Happy people have lower levels of cortisol, a key stress hormone,” he said during a presentation at TEDMED 2015. Happy people “have more favorable heart rates and blood pressure levels. They have strong immune systems … and lower levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein that is linked to coronary heart disease. It turns out that even when you control for smoking, physical activity and other health behaviors, happy people live longer. There’s something about happiness that seems to be protective.”

“Now you may ask yourself, ‘Does happiness really lead to better health? Isn’t it the other way around—doesn’t happiness result from good health and favorable circumstance?’” Dr. Murthy said, noting that people often think their happiness hinges upon contingencies, such as losing 15 more pounds, getting a better job or earning more money. 
 
However, “the truth is that while circumstances can and do impact our short-term happiness, our long-term happiness is far more driven by how we process life events than by the events themselves,” he said. 

The Surgeon General is backing a lot of research performed by positive psychologists, and particularly a meta-analysis performed by Dr. Ed Diener and Rita Chan, which reported that 157 of 160 studies indicated that better health followed increased happiness. Dr. Diener is Senior Scientist at the Gallup Organization and a Professor at the University of Virginia.  

An Erroneous Contrary View

Unfortunately, almost at the same time, the British Journal Lancet published a very large epidemiological study by Bette Liu and colleagues claiming exactly the opposite--that happiness did not affect future death rates.  This was reported on CBS Sunday Morning and elsewhere.  The study contained a number of methodological errors and poor assumptions, and was soon called into question by an OpEd piece in the LA Times, authored by Dr. Diener and his colleagues. I spotted one of the major problems that they referred to and wrote to the author.  It seems that those British women who were unhappiest--those that went to a doctor with complaints and were labelled as depressed or anxious--were considered as having a health problem from the onset of the prospective study, which then examined death rates, and corrected statistically for these health problems.  I wrote to Dr. Liu, who finally pointed me to a Table (#2) in the Appendix in which you can "see effects", according to her.  There is at least a 14% improvement in death rate if you are "happy most of the time" rather than unhappy.  So the original finding that enhanced happiness leads to future improved health stands.  

A Psychobiological Approach to a Psychobiological System

From my perspective, the Surgeon General added his emphasis on a very important part of the puzzle--the relationships between biological and psychological changes that form a very complex web in the relationships between happiness and health.  It is unfortunate that the article did not mention anything about the key role of brain systems involving neuromodulators, particularly dopamine and phenethylamine.  [Perhaps it is in the TEDMED tape, yet to be released.]  It has become clear that increasing the levels of dopamine, which decline with age, increases longevity.  

We believe that one key place to intervene positively in the functioning of this complex web is to enhance the functioning of the Neureka! brain system via the Neureka! neurofeedback training included in our Peak BrainHappiness Trainer.  The Neureka! brain system includes the interaction between a high frequency (40 Hz.) brain rhythm, which increases learning by searching for new connections between aspects of our experiences, and the dopamine reward system's extension into the prefrontal cortex, which rewards you for your efforts to learn. Our data, which has been presented at ISNR, indicates that when you train this system to put out larger Neureka! brain rhythms, this is associated with better memory and long-lasting enhanced happiness.  This can be done in as few as twelve 25-minute sessions once a week, and probably even fewer with more frequent training.  We have also presented data which shows an association between positive feelings and higher amplitude Neureka! rhythms, with as little as 10 seconds of EEG. 
 
Improving Appreciation, Attitude Towards Life, and Success

The experience of Neureka! training improves your attitude towards life, changing the way you process life events, which the the Surgeon General regards as a key.  When you enhance your Neureka! rhythm, you feel an increased appreciation of the videos being shown on the screen, and the picture responds by enlarging, as shown in the video.  Within a few sessions, this begins to carry over to your overall life experience.  This should produce a stronger effect than many of the positive psychology exercises that the Surgeon General advocates because it works at a deeper, more neurophysiological level.  You can feel your happiness increase within the first few minutes, as you activate the Neureka! system with the help of our biofeedback.    
 
Dr. Diener's research has also shown that happiness also enhances future success in a number of areas.  People like to be around happy people and and tend to reward them more to maintain the relationship.  
 
This is clearly a major new frontier for neurofeedback, with the new ability to train clients to improve happiness, health, and even success.  We suggest that  a wide variety of practitioners consider including this in their offerings and their marketing.  Please call us at 800-886-4228 or 502-228-0605 or inquire if you are interested in this new possibility.
 

Jon

Jonathan D. Cowan, Ph.D., BCN
President and CTO, NeuroTek, LLC.

*       Manufacturer of the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer and the Peak Achievement Trainer,  called "The Victor Within:  The Coach Who Will Put You in the Zone" by the New York Times Magazine's special issue on important new technology,
http://www.peakachievement.com/coachwho.htm  
*       www.peakachievement.com
*       1103 Hollendale Way, Goshen, KY 40026
*       Voice: (502) 228-0605
*       Fax: (502) 228-1552    

Comments
Charla commented on 12-May-2017 08:07 PM
This is a topic close to my heart cheers. Thanks

Post a Comment




Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://peakachievement.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=9698&PostID=616630&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

NEWS, FEATURES & STUDIES

Better Focus in Teens
A recent study shows that teens were able to achieve higher levels of focus while using the Peak Achievement Trainer.

Interface
Now featuring Neurovideofeedback™--monitoring both the body and the brain!

Featured Study
Read the study that shows proof that you can achieve positive emotions through this Trainer.


Peak Achievement Training Helps Australian Football Player to Score Four Goals in a Game
A brief course of Peak Achievement Training helped an Australian Football player, Drew Petrie, to sharpen his shooting. He scored four goals in the next .. READ ARTICLE

Peak Achievement Training® Introduces New Neurovideofeedback™ System For Training Happiness
The Peak BrainHappiness Trainer™ can help people achieve excited or calm happiness whenever they want through brainwave biofeedback training Philad.. READ ARTICLE

Golf Experts Wrote About Improving Your Golf Game
David Leadbetter and Robert Winters wrote about the Peak Achievement Trainer®. They found that it showed differences between highly-skilled golfers .. READ ARTICLE

Success in Sport
Are you an athlete looking to gain an edge? The Peak Achievement Trainer® has helped hundreds of athletes develop their brain for optimal effectiveness.

Mental Processing
Now measuring & training the Three Principal Dimensions of Mental Processing: Focus, Alertness, and Awareness!

A Peak Performance Center at a Fortune 500 Company doubled their executives' focus time & realized outstanding benefits.



E-mail us: info@peakachievement.com

The Peak Achievement Trainer is an educational instrument.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or disorder or for clinical use, and cannot be used for evaluating advertising or other media.
 
Copyright© 2016 Peak Achievement Training. All Rights Reserved