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Understanding Our Brain: The Path to Happiness

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The pursuit of happiness is as old as humanity itself. Yet, research in neuroscience shows that the human brain is not inherently designed for lasting happiness. We need to overcome our brain's biases and false desires, learn how to be happy, and develop our happiness muscles. Understanding our brain is the path to happiness. Despite our quest for happiness, we often find ourselves more anxious, depressed, unsatisfied, and empty than ever. It seems we are living in opposition to the happiness we chase. A recent comprehensive study shows that the usage rate of antidepressant drugs has increased 400 times compared to 20 years ago.

The Brain's Illusion of Happiness

We all want to be happy and believe that the decisions we make throughout the day will lead to happiness. However, we often overlook one critical aspect: our brain systematically deceives us about happiness and directs us toward false goals. Simply put, our brain doesn't really care about our happiness. The primary function of the evolved human brain is survival, which means perceiving external risks and taking precautions against them.

Imagine walking down the street and encountering a pack of barking dogs running toward you. In such a situation, you have three possible reactions: fight, flight, or freeze. Whichever response you choose, you do so without thinking, driven by automatic reflexes focused solely on keeping you alive.

Resilience to Negative Effects in Modern Life

In modern life, we might not face a pack of dogs every day. Suppose you're having a wonderful day, meeting your favorite friends, enjoying good food, and engaging in pleasant conversations. Suddenly, your phone rings, and a friend tells you, in a harsh tone, that you sometimes act thoughtlessly and selfishly. Despite all the positive things around you, this negative feedback can ruin your entire day. Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? Why do negative events have such a powerful impact on us? Why do we remember insults more than compliments? Why do we think about negative things more often than positive ones?

Because our brains are wired this way. Evolutionarily, we need to distinguish the bad and react quickly, just as we would when encountering a pack of dogs. Our negative biases and mental traps have survival value. However, we no longer live in primitive tribes. We are not constantly battling the wild. The consequences of negative events in modern society are not usually life or death situations. Therefore, shouldn't we adapt our thoughts and behaviors to develop a more optimistic outlook?

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

The evolved brain primarily uses extrinsic motivation sources for survival. Extrinsic motivation refers to tangible rewards and gains, such as getting a high grade on a test, receiving a promotion at work, earning a high income, or gaining approval and recognition from others. Each external reward increases the level of dopamine in our brains. However, the happiness created by these experiences is temporary because dopamine levels quickly decrease. This cycle is similar to the neural cycle experienced in substance addiction. Thus, extrinsic motivation acts as a real happiness killer.

Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is a longer-lasting fuel source. It does not rely on external reinforcement for the outcomes of our actions. There are no tangible rewards. Although the brain dislikes this, intrinsic motivation is crucial for sustainable happiness and well-being in the modern world. To increase intrinsic motivation, we must closely observe our thought patterns, understand who we are, and what we genuinely want. Only then can we guide our brains towards happiness in the contexts of modern life.

The Journey to Happiness with Mindary

This is where Mindary comes into play. Mindary is a mental health app developed using insights from positive psychology. The app learns your focus on your well-being journey and suggests steps to support your holistic well-being, aligned with this focus. By changing your daily habits, Mindary aims to make happiness sustainable, based on the principle that small changes can lead to significant differences.

🏃🏼‍♀️‍ Activities: Daily, short, actionable practices 🏃🏼‍♀️‍

🛣️ Journeys: Customized activity sets designed according to your focus and needs 🛣️

⏳ Short Practices: Quick and easily solvable exercises ⏳

🎧 Sound Library: Sounds to aid your sleep routines, focus, and relaxation 🎧

📹 Videos: Professional video content designed to support your holistic well-being 📹

With Mindary, you can experience the joy of significant changes through just two minutes of daily practice. Turn happiness into a habit and bring lasting joy into your life. Download Mindary today and start enjoying the transformation!

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