The Happiness Switch Inside Your Brain

Can you learn to be a happier person by repeatedly visualizing two tiny parts of your brain and imagining yourself tweaking them?

Colorado teacher and musician Neil Slade says you can.

Slade has developed brain exercises, described on NeilSlade.com aimed at lifting your spirits and calming your fears. The website has become something of an underground sensation, attracting an average of 750,000 hits a month through word of mouth alone.

Slade suggests visualizing part of the primitive brain called the amygdala, commonly described as the seat of emotional experience. The two amygdalae, each about the size and shape of an almond, are located on either side of the head, between the eye and ear, about an inch in. Studies have shown the amygdalae have a part to play in everything from memory storage to anxiety.

Slade recommends locating your amygdalae in your thoughts, and visualizing a switch on each one, with the click-back position turning on the fear feelings, and the click-forward position turning on feelings of pleasure. Picture yourself purposefully clicking the switch forward.

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