How to “grow” happy | Mithu Storoni | TEDxHongKongSalon – YouTube



126 responses »

  1. I found this video so well done. I enjoy how she started off with the example of the mouse and its brain to show that happiness has legitimate effects on our organs. I was amazed to learn that our brains can and will shrink when we go from this extreme happiness/freedom to the next.
    I think it is important for people to hear this because so many of us tend to just take what comes to us in the terms of events in the world and let it effect us. Or, rather, let our emotional side of the brain take over. It’s really easy to do that instead of thinking with the rational side. Knowing that you can control your happiness and state of being is so crucial!

    The metaphor with the plant was great, too. It was so simple but so relevant to the human mind. Our minds might get stuck momentarily under the wight of negativity, but we are so powerful, our minds are so powerful, we have the strength to keep growing.

    This reminds me of the card choose two classes ago that spoke about choosing to say no to negative thoughts; your mind creates your own reality. What we see is our own perception. Those perceptions are created by the mind. And, in the end, our mind is a piece of us that we have control over, not the other way around. This was a wonderful video and it will definitely stick around in my mind next time I’m getting down. Namaste

  2. Wow! I had no idea the physiological effects stress and happiness have on the brain. One cannot overstate the incredible power and resilience of the brain. While it is at times a vulnerable organ, it is capable of monumental things; but it all comes down to how you treat it.

    The idea of treating your brain as a living organism (in this case, a plant) is an intriguing one. One must give the brain proper attention and care in order for it to be healthy, grow and in turn be mentally healthy. Mithu Storoni briefly mentions that those who meditate experience a slew of benefits, since they are more about to find a balance between the rational and emotional aspects of the brain. Achieving this balance can lead to happiness and inner peace, which is truly the goal in life. All it takes is the proper treatment and to truly want to grow and pursue a happy life. As Storoni says, one mustn’t become complacent if you achieve happiness, since life is unpredictable. One’s self-care must continue to experience a long, healthy and joyous life.

  3. It is interesting to understand how emotions will play out due to the scientific understandings of synapses, but it is even clearer that ones environment will be the strongest component. When illustrating how the mind is like a planet that grows, it is sad to realize the uncontrollable vulnerability a small planet or even a baby for that case has during the overall growth of their synapses. For some people their environment will be so sick that the stress on the brain will make the battle for concentration over emotion virtually impossible. For those that have the ability to even direct themselves towards meditation, it is clear to see how these arguments supports the practical psychological benefits of yoga/mediation practices. Control over ones own attention is invaluable towards personal growth and the execution of what enticed you in the first place.

  4. This video is very motivational, and it brings up several crucial points on the importance of a good environment. One of the points that really stood out to me is when she talked about the brain becoming resilient to stressful situations. During a stressful situation, it is easier to give in and view things with a negative mindset. People tend to focus on everything that goes wrong and overlook the small positive things. Growth is a part of life that cant be avoided and it is better to pay attention to the positive things rather than giving the spotlight to everything that goes wrong. I like how she explained the war between being rational and emotional tied because it was able to help me understand why those who meditate are happier individuals. The video highlights the importance of keeping a positive mind and a healthy environment.

    I still doing the Isha Kriya the required amount of time and one of the differences I have started to really notice an improvement in my sleeping habits. Meditating before going to bed forces me to put my phone away, I use a clock to keep track of time. I also have an easier time falling asleep instead of the normal tossing and turning.

  5. This video was extremely motivational and moving. I felt that it definitely broadened your perspective, simply by making you think about concepts and aspects of life in ways we may not have before. I connected to it because it was a reminder that we should not be passive to understand ourselves and that sometimes we may do that unconsciously. When she spoke about the physiological effects stress has on the brain and how vulnerable our minds our to our environment. We neglect our minds by overworking them through ways that run us down and are unhelpful to us. If we allow ourself to positively compartmentalise how we check in with ourselves, then we will be better to our on minds and thought processes.

  6. For the Isha Kriya I still practice it with the video however I found now I am able to have it more in the background and not focus completely on it. The benefits of the practice come to me in waves. I appreciate new things each time. Most recently it has been Patience. Really giving into how beneficial patience can be and what it can do for me and that is what I have been connecting to most recently with the Isha Kriya

  7. I am not at all surprised over the beauty and wonderful flow of Mithu Storino’s presentation and speech about happiness. I fully agree with her that happiness comes from our experiences of events. I was shocked to hear that during the experiment that was conducted, the happy mouse’s brain has shrunk by being within the presence of the other grumpier mouse which eventually led it to feel, as Storino described it, social stress. I enjoyed listening to Storino explain the science behind this as well as her explanation over the war that exists within the emotionally and rational part of our brains.
    I have mentioned in my previous post about my personal struggles with panic attacks and how they are usually triggered by negative thoughts. Her explanation on how the emotional side of the brain attempts to string us into negative thoughts and memories makes perfect sense to me. She has opened my perspective on pursuing a healthier path in order to help my brain grow in a positive way. She has made me realize the lack of rest that exists in my life in which she mentioned is important. She also mentioned how meditators are typically happier people because they learn to focus very well on what they want to, detaching their emotional and rational side of the brain. That has inspired me to be less hesitant on meditation. It was wonderful to learn how a person’s mentality, health and environment all have a role into a person’s happiness.
    -Samantha Diaz

  8. While watching this video, what I took away from it is that happiness comes from an experience of an event, not the event itself. Meaning, it is what you make of an experience as well as how you interpret it that can truly make you happy. The study with the mouse was a very powerful one and made me feel that -since it can happen to our brains- that we must trust ourselves and surround ourselves with people with positive, good energies that help our brains grow rather than deplete. It is a very beautiful way to think of our brains as growing plants that can be resilient and trained to be happy. I wish to always feed my brain and aid in its growth as a happy healthy brain.

    In regards to my IK practice, I do it for 12 minutes and keep time on my phone setting a timer and without the video. I have been feeling small benefits in my mood feeling lighter as well as my stress levels which have made a positive effect on me and I hope they continue to benefit me as I continue with this practice.

  9. It is very interesting how Mithu Storoni connected the brain to plants and nature when explaining how to nurture the brain. Nurturing, enriching and concentrating our brains seems to have so many benefits and meditation really seems to be a great way to do that. Learning about the dmn and comparing it to an autobiography and writing and it your self was so interesting as a writer and someone who rights a lot of autobiographies this analogy worked well for me.

    I have been practicing my IK outside of class still but I have been doing it less then I use to getting bogged down with work and applications and sickness I know it would really help my with these things it just seems so hard to make the time.

    • Your ability to carve out 12 mins four times a week will make a huge difference in your mat work, final grade and your overall health and success with all aspects of your life, it’s simply your choice.

  10. Mithu Storoni’s Ted Talk on “How to Grow Happy” was a super informative reality check. In acknowledging the expectations put on us by society, our inner selves begin to carry the burden of disguise to fit in. But at the center of these decisions to “fit in” are our growing brains and inner child, who need to be nurtured in order to grow happy. The knowledge and tools she provides are simple yet empowering to reminds us that we have the power to transform our lives.

    The analogy on the brain “tug of war” made it easy to understand the role of the hippocampus & prefrontal cortex working towards growth and how the emotional brain works against that. With the prefrontal cortex being full of synaptic activity and formation, once our lives are hit with stress, we are negatively affected. But as my elders would say “It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond”
    Based on Storoni’s concepts we need challenge, novelty and focused attention in order to grow. Rising to the challenge allows us to grow synapses & we must combine new skills with familiar strengths to thrive. The environments we are in affect us tremendously so we must ensure that we’re dwelling in spaces that nurture us. But regardless of the environment the practice of meditation allows us to “level up” to be our best selves. Meditation allows us to remove emotional baggage and take agency over our happiness.

    Our daily meditation allows us to release tension and stress, clearing our minds to allow us to make rationale decisions in our lives. My daily Isha Kriya practice is one that I look forward to at the end of each day. This week I’ve shared one weekly practice with my fiancé. I showed him the “Learn The Isha Kriya” video and afterwards he followed my lead. My Isha Kriya is more successful when I practice in the living room with minimal lighting and soothing yoga music. I normally mark the time of the practice with a harp alarm on my phone to slowly wind down. I’m noticing practicing at night gives me better sleeping patterns, deeper sleep and easier mornings. I’m not a morning person at all and I’m noticing that I’m more grateful than grumpy when I start my day.

  11. One quote in this that struck me was “if your emotions are winning, your perception of everything around you takes on a negative slant. Your life becomes unhappy.” It’s interesting for such a concept to be phrased so simply- it seems that it encompasses a lot of the thoughts I’ve had over the last few months of my life. While I was in France this summer, on a fully-paid-for international student film set, I encountered many people from many walks of life- students mainly from Benin, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia- and they all had one main question: Why are all the American (Purchase) students so unhappy? “All of the American students are so stressed and anxious and angry. Why?” We were all brought around the world to make this film, for free, meals and housing provided- and we were unhappy. Why? Because we let little inconveniences get the best of us constantly, while the other students refused to. The other students didn’t understand anxiety attacks on a fundamental level because they’re never in their emotions to the point of them taking over their lives- which makes sense, and also makes sense why they were all so much happier than we were on this beautiful trip. We let our emotions get the best of us much more often than we’re aware- it’s something we need to keep track of.

  12. The quote that stood out the most to me from this video was when Mithu stated that the one thing in life that pauses synaptic activity is stress. It is so critical that we eliminate all forms of stress in our lives and strive to focus our brain’s incredible power on the most virtuous and rewarding tasks we have available to us. By doing so we can take our mind and body on a fantastic journey that leaves us with the experiences we so cherish, that in turn empowers the brain to release those hormones our body craves to feel well. We then derive our personal happiness from the feelings and emotions that these experiences give us. Without stress in our lives we can experience our full brain and body power that will allow us to master our emotions and demonstrate the amazing cognitive decision making ability that exists within all of us.

  13. Mithu Storoni’s Ted Talk on “How to Grow Happy” explains the brain’s relationship to our overall happiness. It is in fact a choice that we can make day in and day out. Negative things happen to everyone, every day, but it is how we respond to them that will change our overall life story. I found her analogy comparing our lives to our autobiographies very helpful. If we dwell on the negativity in life, our books will be full of sad and unhappy chapters. Do we really want to devote that much energy to the things that didn’t make us feel good? We should instead choose to focus on the good things in life, the positive spins we can put on any negative situation. Like she said in the TED Talk, meditators are generally happier people because they are choosing daily which matters to give their focus to, and all the other white noise becomes less and less important. I am working on becoming a meditator, and through this weekly class as well as practice at home I am attaining that goal.

    My daily IK practice has been most effective at night before bed. I have trouble sleeping through the night but since I’ve started this yoga class I have seen many improvements. I use a gentle alarm on my phone with birdsong to notify me of each change throughout my IK. Now that I am really into my IK routine before bed I am finding that my body wakes up naturally before my alarm goes off every morning. This has never happened to me in my life! I have always been the type to hit snooze 5 times before actually waking up. Now I am waking up rested, happy, and content to start the day. I attribute this stride to the yoga practice you have helped me with.

    Catherine Halstead

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