How does the happiest man in the world earn that moniker? Over a 12-year period cellular biologist turn Buddhist Monk, Matthieu Ricard participated in a research study at the University of Wisconsin where his brain waves were monitored while he was meditating. Researcher Richard Davidson had a group of meditators, including Ricard and a group of non-meditators focus on the ideas of compassion. After comparing their results, Ricard’s brain’s activity was “off the happiness chart.”
At a recent meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (a meeting where there may not be too much happiness, but where meditation would benefit many of the attendees) Ricard was asked about being happy. He identified 3 keys:
- Look for opportunities to be benevolent and to give back to others.
- When you are in a stressful situation, recognize whether there are actions you can take to improve your circumstancestake them. However, if there are not, cut back on your worry as that only creates more stress.
- Engage in a meditation or mindfulness practice.
I’m glad to see that ideas we promote in The Resilience Advantage follow Ricard’s advice. We even include 5 simple mindfulness exercises that can help you focus your mind on everything from walking to eating.
By the way, now that we’ve found the world’s happiest man, anyone have any ideas about where the world’s happiest woman is residing?
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016