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Happiness is
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Society teaches us that happiness is a result, something you achieve or gain through accomplishments.

But a growing body of scientific research shows the opposite. Happiness is a state of mind, an attitude that can be nurtured and nourished regardless of external factors.

In fact, science demonstrates that people who are happy first are more successful later on: they have more energy and show more passion. And their enthusiasm is contagious. This is the foundational idea behind ABSRI: happiness matters now.

We unleash the passion of individuals, teams, customers and others by helping them put happiness first. We harness happiness to make a difference in lives, in businesses—and in the world.

Couple in LoveLove is the bridge between you and everything. This one phrase—penned by the noted 13th century Sufi mystic and poet Rumi—is precisely what brain science now reveals and what timeless spiritual traditions always knew. We are wired for love and connection. Love is the sacred bridge that connects you to the world.

Love does more than rejoice the heart and warm the soul, it also powerfully benefits your brain. It’s a key concept that I look forward to sharing with you in my upcoming book Science of a Happy Brain. So potent is the drive for love and social bonding that in their absence, something remarkable happens in your brain, body, and being.

The pain felt when you lack love or healthy human contact is processed in shared regions of your brain that regulate physical pain. What does that mean? Your brain experiences equally the pain from a broken bone, a broken heart, and broken bonds. Prolonged social and emotional pain are shown to impair immune system function and DNA replication—two leading factors for disease and decreased lifespan. 

Conversely, the more you cultivate love and meaningful relationships—not just romantic—the happier and healthier you become. Love is also what cultivates the 4 Cs of a Happy Brain—Comfort, Contribution, Connection, and Compassion. From the perspective of brain science:

1) Love gives us comfort in times of strife.
2) Love acts as a form of contribution allowing us to express our calling and purpose in the world.
3) Love provides deep and nurturing connection to others in our life.
4) Love teaches us the gift of compassion and the ability to empathize the suffering of others.

As I share in Science of a Happy Brain: “The drive to know you are loved, valued, and cared for by others is just as fundamental to your health and happiness as are the importance of food, water, warmth, and sleep.” It all goes back to how the human brain evolved as a “social organ” for connection and caring.

Rumi was right! Love does connect you to everything and everyone.  Learn more about “Love on the Brain.”


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Golden Retriever dog giving paw owner, closeup photoEver wonder why your dog becomes so passionately excited seeing you even if you’ve only been gone for five minutes? How do you know exactly what your dog is feeling from simply its bark or gaze? It turns out you speak “dog” better than you think. It all goes back to the powerful bond developed between dogs and humans. Archeological research reveals that our special bond with dogs is extremely ancient with the discovery of burial sites showing dogs being buried alongside humans nearly 14,000 years ago. The bond between you and your dog is more than powerful, it’s primal.

What’s even more incredible is how current discoveries in brain science indicate the human brain evolved to communicate non-verbally with “man’s best friend.” Here’s a fun act—the same neuro-chemicals released in a dog’s brain when it sees you are identical to those released in your brain when you’re deeply in love. That’s right, your dog is constantly in love with you and isn’t shy to show it! Enjoy learning more about this special bond in  “Why Dogs & Humans Love Each Other”

 

 

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Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 11.12.50 PMAwaken to a new way of parenting with proven tools that will help your amazing children be EVEN MORE resilient, authentic, mindful and aware — because we can all use support to be the best parents we can be! Whether you desire to be a more mindful parent or your kids to achieve balance, longevity, and resilience, join Dr. Jay Kumar and numerous noted experts at the free online Mindful World Parenting Summit Jan. 21-27, 2019. to explore the latest research and applications for raising healthy and happy kids. Register for this free online seminar and enjoy my interview “Achieving Balance, Longevity & Resilience” for your kids.

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As you start the New Year, enjoy our short video on Dr. Jay’s upcoming book “Science of a Happy Brain” coming out in 2019.

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fullsizeoutput_a605Happy New Year, everyone! As you embark on the upcoming year, here’s a vital question I wish to ask: How connected are you to your potential in life? How equipped are you to actualize your goals and vision for prosperity and abundance? As someone who researches the brain science of happiness, I want to reveal why connecting to your potential is vital in order for your intentions for health and well-being to become a reality.

I find one of the greatest obstacles that can prevent you from achieving your life’s goals are self-doubt and the self-created excuses we carry in our mind. Trust me, you’re not the only person who’s ever experienced this behavior, nor will you be the last. In fact, timeless spiritual wisdom seems to align with evolutionary biology and behavioral psychology. When taken collectively, they reveal how your brain evolved to favor operating in self-doubt and holding on to the negative beliefs we construct over time. Well, isn’t that just great? But it doesn’t have to be this way.

More research in brain science reveals how you can overcome the mental traps that sabotage your dreams and goals. Learn how in our recent article for Conscious Good Media how you can begin to “Connect to Your Potential.”

Health & Happiness for the New Year,

Dr. Jay
The Happiness Professor
Connecting to Your Potential

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Image 12-21-18 at 7.39 PMWhat is passion? More importantly, why is passion the key to a life of health and happiness? While most of us tend to associate passion with the sensual or romantic, it is much more. As French General Ferdinand Foch once declared: “The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire.” Passion is the vital fuel that propels you on the journey toward happiness. Think of passion as the innate burning desire to express your gifts and shed your light onto the world. More research in brain science affirms those who are passionate about a cause or a purpose other than out of  self-interest, report greater well-being, joy, and resilience in life. Learn more about Connecting to Your Passion in my recent article for Conscious Good Media.

Follow Your Heart

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“If You Want To Get Happy, Practice Gratitude!” In the “Happiness” course I teach ay my university, I have students perform a variety of “gratitude-building” exercises throughout the semester. Here’s one simple and easy-to-use gratitude tool that you can incorporate into your daily regimen. Bring to mind three people—alive or deceased—whom you are genuinely grateful for in your life. They don’t have to be the same people every day you do this. They don’t even have to be people. You can think of a pet, the one you have now or the one you loved as a child. The important thing is that you do this exercise the first thing when you wake up! Envision each person in your mind for about 10-15 seconds, and send either a verbal or silent affirmation expressing why that person—or dog or cat—mattered to you. The other important thing is to not only engage your thoughts, but the feeling of gratitude. You’ll be surprised by how much this simple exercise will brighten your day and help you enjoy the many benefits of a Happy Brain. Enjoy our video to learn more!

 

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gratitude brainIn my opinion, gratitude is one of the most powerful — yet underrated — emotions when it comes to achieving a Happy Brain. As I state in my first book Brain, Body & Being: “If You Want To Get Happy, Practice Gratitude!” Why is that true? Well first of all, science backs up this very claim. Whenever you express gratitude, it’s like the neural circuits in your brain step on the “emotional brakes” and suddenly, the emotions of sadness, self-pity or stress that were driving you, are slowed. Cultivating gratitude also helps build your “empathy muscles” by allowing you to embody compassion for others. More brain science affirms that people who are compassionate and express gratitude are more happy and healthy. Enjoy the video to learn more about the many benefits of gratitude.

 

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boats-and-towers“Housewives, workers who do windows, we had executives. And the thing that was the best, everyone helped everyone…I was compelled [to act], as I’m the type of person who can’t stand by and watch other people suffer. And to me they were suffering. They wanted to get off the island. And there was no way for them to get off the island, other than the water.” These are the heartfelt words of Captain Vincent Ardolino describing his bravery and courage on 9/11 as he took part in Operation Boatlift. For those unfamiliar with this event, it is the heroic tale that transpired in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers. Operation Boatlift is the largest known naval evacuation to have taken place in history.

What makes Operation Boatlift so powerful is that without even any hesitation or consideration for their own safety, Ardolino and over a hundred civilian captains instinctively knew what had to be done. Ardolino and his fellow “Boatlifters” from the greater New York metropolitan area organized an impromptu fleet of volunteer ships with one goal in mind—to evacuate the hordes of stranded survivors from the carnage. Why did they act? To save their tribe!

As we commemorate 9/11, we are reminded of humanity’s timeless power and enduring resilience that manifest the moment we become a tribe. Operation Boatlift is a social snapshot that illuminates wisdom advanced throughout the ages and reveals a forgotten secret about our common humanity. In times of tragedy and in moments of strife there exists an evolutionary drive for us to rush to the aid of others—our tribe. Tribe is the backbone of every society. Without our tribe, we perish. Tribe makes sure that we survive and thrive! You’ll know exactly what I mean by watching this powerful video!

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Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 4.41.25 PMAmong the most primal drives we humans have is the insatiable need to be needed. More so than desiring money, a big home, a fancy car, the latest fashion, or Twitter likes, we crave connection. As a researcher on brain science and human happiness, I couldn’t agree more! Being part of a community and feeling needed turn out to be one of the greatest sources of our happiness. Knowing that you belong and that others value your presence in the world is a form of wealth beyond measure! Have you ever wondered why we crave connection? Enjoy learning the answer in our latest article in the series “The Science Behind Connection” for Conscious Good Media.

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