(Country Living) The ‘world’s happiest man’ reveals the secret to happiness takes only 20 minutes a day
Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has got the answers…
According to scientists and Google, the world’s happiest man is a Tibetan Buddhist monk named Matthieu Ricard. That’s quite some title to have, so what are the secrets behind his unbeatable happiness?
The 71-year-old monk’s happy label came about after he took part in a 12-year brain study centred around meditation and compassion. Leading the study was neuroscientist, Richard Davidson from the University of Wisconsin. In the research, Ricard’s brain was monitored during meditation and the 256 sensors found that his mind was extremely light, happy and conscious.
Originally from France, the monk moved to India to study Buddhism 40-years-ago and he is now said to be the happiest man on the planet. He certainly looks very youthful!
The secrets to his happiness, according to Ricard, were reported by Simple Capacity:
1. Meditation is key to happiness
“The scans showed that when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produces a level of gamma waves – those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory – never reported before in the neuroscience literature”, Davidson said. The scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, allowing him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity.”
Ricard believes that meditation can change how the brain works and boost people’s happiness in the same way exercise can change muscle. This is known as “neuroplasticity”.
2. Let thoughts pass through your mind
Your mind should act like a mirror and reflect thoughts, allowing them to pass through your mind without sticking. Dwelling on thoughts is not a positive step towards happiness.
3. Control your mind
Thoughts coming into your mind is a natural process but try and focus your attention on your breathing or an external sound, for example. This can lead to clarity of mind, relaxation, and not allowing your thoughts to control you.
4. Be mindful
Practise mindfulness by focusing on your breathing and stop your mind from wandering. This is all about being conscious in the present moment, rather than dwelling on the past or future.
5. Feel the love
Use mindfulness and meditation to revive feelings of kindness and love you have felt previously, however briefly. Actively pursuing these positive emotions can boost your overall mood and happiness.
6. Practise regularly
Meditation is most effective when practised every day. Try just 20 minutes each day and it will have a greater effect on your mind. Practice makes perfect after all.
7. Be self-aware
We all experience negative emotions but rather than be consumed by them, try and become aware of them and look at them from a distance. Meditation can help you attain this space from negativity and will reduce its strength.
According to Ricard, following these steps will open up your mind to greater happiness and a sense of calm. Seeing as he’s the happiest man in the world who are we to disagree?