The Neuro-Pathway to Happiness | Bart Baggett | TEDxUBIWiltz

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what makes you happy that's the question what makes you happy when I was about six years old climbing trees made me happy riding motorcycles made me happy and taking the boat out on the lake with my family and my dad used to tell me this really ridiculous silly joke every time we put the boat in the water he said art you know the two happiest days of a man's life know when he buys his first boat and when he sells it it makes no sense to a six-year-old right but it makes a lot of sense now when you think about what is happiness because some of the things that you think make you happy or do make you happy today might not make you happy tomorrow so let me ask you this how many people get a dopamine rush when you see a picture of a baby right or a real baby it's amazing how about puppy dogs okay and if you don't like puppy dogs this is bad kitty cat lovers even on the internet you're just like this is gotta get you dogs and cats living together right so what's happening when you're seeing outside stimulation is your brain is emitting chemicals so outside simulation career success love money kitty cats pitchers it makes you happy your mind is a happiness cocktail of endorphins oxytocin dopamine and serotonin I think that happy puppy dogs kitty cats are all wonderful until the kitty cat scratches the sofa the dog poops on the floor and the baby becomes a teenager in all seriousness chemicals are what make us happy and we tend to spend our life getting external stimulation for happiness I see a sunset this happens all over the wall see a sunset and I am just overwhelmed with gratitude that I'm alive and I can see it it's just amazing to me every time and the guy next to me looks at the sunset and he goes there's a cloud to come and it's rain I'm like what it's a beautiful sunset why am i an optimist why do I always see the glass half-full and he sees it half-empty and that's the question I want to propose to you today what I figured out is there's three simple tools or activities that can help you rewire your brain to happiness so basically you could hardwire your neural pathways to think positive no Napoleon Hill talked about Think and Grow Rich and think positive you know that's good in theory but I want to know how specifically to think positive and it all has to do with the five senses and the neural pathways and the neurons there's like 63 billion neurons in your head your mom might be tell me don't drink beer you'll kill those brain cells and you'll have no more it's not entirely true neuroplasticity and neural pruning are now proven that things grow back I'm not suggesting you drink too much this is not my point I want to mention at the age of mental fitness so there's an age of physical fitness that we've just seen passed and what they don't the body is amazing and I think we're in the age of mental fitness what they've done in the last 15 years with neuro psychology and brain sciences nothing less than remarkable so in physical fitness how many of you recognize this guy George Reeves he really sports tights well I mean that is tough to pull off pajamas in public in 1955 he was the epitome of the male specimen very masculine okay and then Arnold Schwarzenegger in less than 25 years the entire fitness industry changed and why you trician exercises they realize that this bicep is not part of a big hole it's isolated with one exercise you could do a bicep with certain nutrition certain drugs certain repetition you could go from George Reeves - Arnold Schwarzenegger that's amazing and that's the way the brain is we used to think of the brain as a big 3 pound piece of confusion but it's not different parts your brain controlled different pieces of your life from the fear center to the frontal lobe all these different pieces we can see under an MRI exactly what's happening when people are thinking when people are having emotion so if you're being stimulated you know how do you really have an emotion there's five senses okay sight visual sound auditory feeling touch and of course smell and taste and some of you have a sixth sense now I can't promise you I can give you a therapy for smell or taste but I have some Italian cooks that would beg to differ that that's the best way to happiness but my three techniques involve all three of those senses so you can actually program unconsciously by certain activities so I want to see can I hardwire myself to happiness so I can always be positive before I explain that let me use a simple metaphor a mountain and it rains where's the water going to go down the mountain the lowest point right every raindrop goes down the mountain and the first rain it just randomly goes but after five or six years where does the rain go down the rivers down the streams and then it's a lake right it's huge lake and so after a while that becomes a very carved out mountain and all of you sit in the audience have 20 30 40 years of neuro pathways that have been carved out over thinking the same thoughts over and over and over those are called habits their neural pathways and so if you wanted to change a river on the mountain what would you do would you sit in front of the water and stop it and like ah I'd be ridiculous you just dig a new trench a little block and all of a sudden go sideways so that's what I'm proposing we do we figure out which neural pathway really makes you happy create another one neuroplasticity and then hopefully you'll just choose the happiness carlos chat said cells that fire together wire together you heard that phrase okay it's amazing and she's technically correct so it's more important that neuro pathway neurons if they fire together in a certain sequence with a certain repetition or emotional intensity they wire and that's why we have habits that's what we have phobias that's what we have reactions okay this is a neural pathway inside your brain all this electricity right how many of you had had a song on the radio and you just remember your childhood right although something like oh that was prom he was so cute and handsome oh right boom his memory instantaneously to memory its visual sight sound all from an auditory stimulation from 25 years ago amazing same thing happens from a negative experience let's say a little girl seven years old walking through a barn and she hears a rattle that's my rattlesnake what's that noise she sees a snake and the snake time shivering by and jump center and bites are on the leg some of you are just creeping out because the snakes will that girl loved snakes the rest of their life or probably have a phobia right they are like snake and so there see if she shivers she shakes you can't explain too soon we'll go to the zoo that's a phobia and it doesn't take years to make a phobia how long does it take to create a neuro pathway with that kind of intensity seconds instantaneous that's why you can change quickly instantaneous okay this is the brain under MRI it's very fascinating how you can see different parts of the brain to make a new neural pathway you need sequence and repetition or you need intensity like a phobia I think we can create positive phobias so new create neural pathways with intention and here's how we do it Malcolm Gladwell talked about it takes 10,000 hours to be a master anything's may be a read Malcolm Gladwell it's brilliant brilliant he says 10,000 hours to throw a football no kick a football European football to be a master musician or be an artist and if you've got seven eight thousand you'd be great teacher but it takes that many hours of physical movement practice and rehearsal to be world-class because your mind your body is tied together I don't think it takes 10,000 hours to program happiness I think you can do it in 30 days I think you can do it in four to six minutes a day if you had the intention of programming happiness first tip guided meditation Mike I spend too much of meditation because so many smart people have talked about meditation before but I want to give you a few distinctions of what makes it happen is meditation is essentially visualization with an auditory and intention so as much as I love meditating like a Tibetan monk and think about nothingness I'm referring to spend a few minutes a day actually seeing what you want in a particular visual category and you all do it now but some of you do it like my mother and she just worries about things that never happen so she visualizes stuff that doesn't happen and what happens she has anxiety what's the office anxiety happiness hope hope is one of the greatest emotions you can have and hope you can just create in your mind so really you don't even need external validation you just think about things and have things change the way I use meditation is I literally record in my own voice some of the things in my life that make me happy I put in my little headphone and I listen to it six minutes a day it's a very simple exercise and I encourage you to do it second thing a magic question I love this technique and this is a technique you can take home right now use it today piece of cake Tony Robbins says the quality of your life is the quality of your questions Richard Bandler created NLP with John grinder Rex Sykes taught me something called a Direction question and I narrowed it down to something called a magic question here's what it is it's one question that presupposes an answer so your brain goes out and finds good stuff how great is today gonna be how much fun are we gonna have today how can I double my income or my personal favorite how good-looking am I because your brain only has a couple of answers you're good looking Bart or you're really good looking and the opposite is negative questions right and most of us ask bad questions all the time so here's the tip that you can take home and it's wonderful get an index card and write one powerful question with the language of presuppositions tape this card to your mirror in your restroom in your bathroom and every morning you just ask yourself one question how can a double man come how can I make my spouse feel loved what's beautiful about today and you'll answer it consciously in the morning and then the rest of the day your unconscious mind will continue to think about it that tip alone will make your trip worth it I promise and finally physical movement talked about kinesthetic movement physical movement how you can use your body and your mind to make create changes they did experiments with rhesus monkeys and they figured out that if they tape their fingers together and move their finger like this a certain neural pathway lights up in their head under an MRI but if they take this finger down and do that finger a different neural pathway very similar but slightly different and I thought those incredible just a small movement of your fingers create a slightly different neural pathway okay and we know that through physical movement you can make changes okay spinal injuries horrible topic people that have it sometimes they're paralyzed but what do they do with people that have a paralyzed leg now the leg is fine right and the brain is fine what's not happening is not communicating so the brain is doing electricity move my leg and it's not communicating the legs healthy what they do is they move the leg over and over and over and what happens if we have a miracle all of a sudden they start talking to each other it kick-starts that entire idea the leg kick starts it so they do it for a month two months five months and maybe it all comes together neuro-pathways a little bit of things like that when I was young I told you I liked riding motorcycles and sometimes the motorcycle just wouldn't start that's a bummer when you're six really and what do you do is you hit the starter doesn't start you hit the key kick it it doesn't start so what do you do well I'm six years old I'll push it up a hill I'll put it in neutral I'll push it down the hill I'll jump on it and what happens the wheels turn the chain turn the pistons and then start the engine well that's what's happening when people have injuries why do you have to wait to have an injury or a head injury to change your life we know that certain movements of the body are stimulating certain parts of the brain so my friend Sam Botta had a terrible car accident he's a top radio voiceover artist she probably heard his voice on movie trailers audiobooks and this is his identity his life he's you know he's his voice he had a head-on car collision about a year and a half ago and he literally lost the ability to speak and he's texted me Bart I can't speak I'm really in trouble couldn't walk dizzy and I said Sam I don't know if this is gonna help you but let me give you a suggestion one of the things I've learned is that this movement this figure-eight movement both in your body like swinging a golf but also in your handwriting is synonymous with people that are great speakers and great orator and I said I know that your your profession is speaking I personally been interviewed and interacted with fifteen to sixteen hundred radio and TV hosts all over the world the best in the business and one of the things they all have in their handwriting is this trait not all of them 70% of them so it's a trait of speakers and writers so oh if your speaker or writer or golfer add this to your handwriting who knows you might become a better golfer but I told Sam I said Sam I have no idea that is gonna work but why don't you just practice writing this stroke every day pages and pages because part I can barely even write I don't know you I know you can't write because this he forgot right his hand he forgot it right so he goes okay I'll try it I'll try anything right you know medicine and drugs he's just doing everything he can to get his life back and so he texts me 30 days later 29 days then he said Bart I don't I don't know what to tell you he goes it's been 30 days and I have 80% of my ability to speak back 80% because of handwriting and nutrition and I thought that's just unbelievable is that really possible can you really use micro movements of the fingers to program certain neural pathways of the brain I think you can I think you can in India we have have a partnership with Imran and Rafi bag and they with me created a workbook for children and so for 90 days we have them do handwriting exercises and 30 thousand children have gone through this program and improved their grades improved their self-esteem and proved their ability to be to memorize things and of course that's 60,000 very happy parents so while Sam is an exception because we haven't enough research India Wow that's 30,000 people saying hey you know what if we change your hand running you can change your life which sounds like an odd premise and when someone told me that many many years ago I thought that's really silly but that make any sense but we didn't have the neuroscience to back up why neural pathways and micro moods the fingers make any difference so when I was about 15 years old getting doctor Walker said Bart if you change the way you sign your name you could be successful and wealthy and happy one day and I go well that's a small price to pay if it works I'm successful rich and happy if it doesn't work my name is tilted and I've got weird tea bars so I tried it and I really believe that that small change in my writing which is basically micro movements of the finger just like big movements of the leg is a reason I had a higher self image and the reason I think I've been more optimistic my life so here's our final tip handwriting is really brain writing and I know that because I met a guy with no arms professional speaker and he says oh I can write I go really pulled off his shoe signed his name sign that he wrote a sentence for me I looked at his handwriting I showed some personality traits his wife said uh-huh he's stubborn so it's brain writing so if you tilt your handwriting up to the right that's optimism and just like your body language everything's looking up everything getting up that's body language so in conclusion there's three tips to do it audio better self talk ask better questions visualize what you want and of course use your physiology to make small changes in your unconscious mind and that's what I call the neuro pathway to happiness thank you you
Channel: TEDx Talks
Views: 32,474
Rating: 4.8865247 out of 5
Keywords: TEDxTalks, English, Luxembourg, Social Science, Behavior, Cognitive science, Development, Goal-setting, Happiness, Positive Thinking, Meditation
Id: 4_tHPwj8dls
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Length: 18min 4sec (1084 seconds)
Published: Mon Dec 07 2015
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