Your Brain and Your Happiness (Paperback)
Happiness is the end goal of every human endeavor. It is not so much what happens to us that determines our happiness, but the manner in which our brains make sense of our reality.
Temperament, which represents constitutional differences in reactivity and self-regulation with respect to rewards and punishments, influences the degree to which we are resilient versus vulnerable to the hard knocks of life. Of particular importance are the personality traits of extraversion (the tendency to be bold, assertive, outgoing, talkative, gregarious, and enthusiastic) and neuroticism (the tendency to experience anxiety, irritability, and various other negative emotions). Extraversion predicts higher well-being whereas neuroticism predicts lower well-being, not only in the present but also many years into the future, suggesting that personality has a sustained impact on happiness over time.
Interpersonal variation in temperament reflects underlying differences in brain structure and biochemistry. When properly understood, the links between nervous system differences on the one hand and personality and subjective well-being on the other have profound implications for enhancing the quality of our lives.
Personality traits may establish our baseline levels of joy, meaning, and contentment. This happiness set point is then pushed and pulled about as good and bad things happen to us. How do personality traits enhance happiness or undermine it? Do certain life events have the power to permanently modify our happiness set point? What actions can we take to spend most of our lives in the upper half of our biological happiness range? How can we set and adjust life goals to maximize our well-being? Can money buy happiness? This book is a comprehensive guide to understanding the elements of happiness based on years of groundbreaking scientific research. It also incorporates practical and empowering happiness strategies to help us realize our innate potential for joy and ways to sustain it in our lives.
Talzoya is a nuclear physicist by education and the author of Of Lovers, Lonely Hearts, and the Psychotic Spell Called Falling in Love and The Traits of Powerful People, as well as numerous scientific publications. Talzoya takes pride in distilling knowledge from fields as distinct as sociology, biology, biochemistry, evolutionary psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience into a readable format accessible to all, so that we may all benefit from the findings of science.