The Physiological Basis of Bliss: 5 Ways to Rewire Your Brain Circuits [Part 2]

by Dr. Christopher on December 5, 2012

Question.

Do you crave bliss, ecstasy, or the passion of life?

Maybe even heaven on earth?

If not, do you at least want to be a little happier?

When neurologist Jill Taylor had a stroke[Part 1], little did she realize that she would help us figure out how we could live a happier existence by simple stepping to the right.  

Without going further into her story, Jill Taylor learned what it was like to live exclusively in the right hemisphere of her brain.  That’s because the left hemisphere of her brain had quit on her.

On her return from the stroke, she realized that we could teach ourselves how to step to the right to be happier.

Here, we discuss some thoughts on how to get into the right hemisphere of our brains.

5 Ways to Activate Your Right Hemisphere of Your Brain

1.  Meditation

There’s a reason why nearly every religion on Earth uses this practice to connect with each of our true selves.

It seems that through the right hemisphere of our brains, we can connect to an existence on Earth that exposes our bonds with all of life.  That’s powerful.  As an easy way to start, Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project shows you a little bit of the magic.

2.  Mindfulness

 Are you an excellent multitasker?  Well stop it!!

It might allow you to get more done, but it disengages your consciousness from your life.

Have you ever focused on just doing what you’re doing?  Try just doing one thing … waking up, eating a ripe strawberry, washing the dishes, walking down the street, taking a hot shower, or even sitting peacefully in your chair.  Notice that these simple acts of daily life, can be very pleasurable if we focus on the fact that we are alive and able.

For a great resource, check out Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hahn.

3.  Flow opportunities or creative ventures

What do you love to do?  What is your passion?  What allows you to get lost in the moment, so that time seemingly stops?

In the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes how flow experiences significantly raise people’s happiness levels by letting them engage in the creative parts of their brain, mainly the right hemisphere.

Whether you enjoy playing music, listening to music, painting, drawing, writing poetry, treating patients (like me), playing video games, walking in nature, envisioning new businesses, cooking food, you should create the space to do more of just that.

4.  Soul-gazing or life connecting

I don’t have a book for this one.

I recently did an exercise with a group of people who are high on the charts for character traits like compassion and empathy.  Each individual was required to go around in the circle and stare into each participant’s eyes.  No words were allowed.  Just looking.

The connection that I felt looking into every person’s eyes without expecting someone to squander the moment with needing to fill the space with noise(as evidenced by the enormous amount of tears from all participants) was tangible and more real than almost anything I’ve experienced before.

Try it.

There’s magic inside through the doorway of the eyes.

5.  Angel cards

Jill Bolte Taylor pointed me in the direction of the Angel Cards.

Have you ever left an experience open to the universe?  Wondering what emotion or intention you should bring to a particular day, event, process, or time of your life?

Angel Cards can help with those.

They are a series of cards with words or emotions on them, allowing you to bring a certain, conscious energy to an experience.

When I think of Angel Cards, I think of my worst day, when I ask the universe for help.  I choose a card and it says “gratitude”.  And my entire day flips upside down.

Instead of being so darn logical all the time, maybe we should let our creative hemisphere see what it can conjure to lead us on the path of happiness.

Your Right Hemisphere and You

The actions steps above might be a bit abstract or hard to conceptualize.  After all, we’re excluding the logical portion of our brain which resides in the left hemisphere.

There are times when I sit down to meditate and I ask myself, “What am I doing exactly?”

What I can assure you, though, is that my life is infinitely better every day that I incorporate the above 5 things.  And meditation is at the top of the list for a reason.  It seems that maybe brain circuits are being rewired.

It’s a personal goal of mine to get to the point where I meditate for an hour a day.

I seem to average 15 minutes at a time and I definitely don’t do it everyday.  But I’m gentle with myself.

My challenge to you: Try one of the ways above to step away from the logical brain and into the creative, right side of your brain.  Note how you feel, whether your energy goes up or down, how the lens through which you see the world changes, and how over time, your happiness level goes up or down.

After all, the research has proven that 10% of happiness lies in external conditions.

That means 90% of happiness, lies within you.  

Love and gratitude  : )

Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Denville, NJ.  He has been trained under the Integrative Diagnosis system for “clinical excellence”.  He loves to help people pursue their own hero’s journey. Please reach out to him if he can be of a service in any way. It doesnt hurt to ask.

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