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



198 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

  14. Mithu Storino’s TED talk video is more relevant to me now more than ever. I thoroughly agree with the idea of treating your brain as a living organism. The brain is so fragile yet so resilient when properly maintained. I’ve realized that I must give my brain the proper care it needs in order to benefit my mental health. The idea that a large amount of stress in our lives disables us from experiencing our full brain and body power is also so accurate. Without control over stress, we can never truly master our emotions and develop reasonable decision-making skills. The knowledge and tools presented in the video are simple yet empowering reminders that we all have the power to be happy and stress-free.

    I’ve been consistently practicing IK four times a week and the benefits are being felt every day. I feel more mindful and patient, and easily more considerate of what my mind and body needs. I’m now more comfortable practicing on my own and listening to myself chant the mantra out loud. Allowing the IK into my life has been an incredible blessing for it provides me with the mindfulness and stress relief that I haven’t had in a long time.

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed Mithu Storoni’s TED Talk – How to “Grow” Happy. Her discussion of the happy mouse and how it’s brain actually shrinks the more it is around the grumpy mouse was so enlightening. I know that (from personal experience with a coworker), as a human, when we are constantly around negativity it tends to drag us over to the negative side. I did not realize that it also had an effect on brain size! The description of the rational side and the emotional side of our brain playing tug of war was also interesting. I know at times (probably more than I care to admit) my emotional side is definitely in control and I can feel the negativity. The idea that meditating helps to negate the ability of the emotional side to take control was an extremely strong argument (for me at least) to continue meditating every single day. As she states, if our rational side is paying attention to something, it will not allow our emotional side to take over. I love it!

    I also appreciate her analogy of the growth of a plant with the growth of the brain. Yes, obstacles will always be put in our way, but our brain is capable of growing and being positive. As you always state in class, we need to take care of ourselves with proper nutrition, rest, exercise, etc. This is true for both our brain and our body. We need to keep pedaling and remember that we dictate what goes into our story!

    I have been able to practice the Isha Kriya just about every day this week due to the fact that I have been without cable/internet service all week. I have had to practice on my own without the video (and now believe there is a benefit to having the video play in the background…I think I prefer that to practicing on my own). Without the distraction of the television or my computer this week, it has been quite eye-opening and after listening to this TED Talk (straining to hear as I sit in the cafe at Barnes & Noble for internet service), I appreciate even more why practicing the IK more frequently makes me feel even better…I am negating my emotional thinking.

  16. I’ve always found that the more you encourage your brain to go a certain way (either positive or negative) the more it will naturally begin to follow that way, which lines up with what the speaker is saying. The patterns we create become the reflexes our brains go to, and the positive or negative outlook someone will choose to take on will have its own tendency to multiply. I hadn’t thought about the fact that it is often our emotional mind that can lead us to be more negative, but it makes a lot of sense. The emotional side of our brains often needs to be “tamed” by the rational side, and it has more potential to create thoughts that go awry. We need emotions to feel pleasure, and we also need logic to not get lost within ourselves.

    I like the metaphor of the plant that needs to be nurtured. I often find myself in a thinking pattern that makes me feel as though I don’t deserve to feel happy, and the idea of the mind being a plant that needs to be nurtured helps me out of that self-deprecation and makes me much more able to empathize with myself and treat myself with better thinking. The speaker makes a very good point about our thinking in terms of cause and effect. I think a lot of times people will look for external reasons to feel a certain way rather than taking their thoughts under their own control and creating their own happiness.

  17. Mithu Storino’s TED Talk is incredibly important for humans to be able to evolve into the people they wish to be. Our whole life we are told that the ultimate goal is to achieve happiness. Pure enjoyment of the state your life has become. Honestly, what truly struck me didn’t happen until the end of the video when she spoke about the person inside of us writing our autobiography. It actually gave me chills. If I constantly make my life go in a path of negativity, I will only be sharing a legacy of negativity. I don’t want that. My biggest fear is dying and not being remembered for anything important. I don’t want to settle to be just a regular person who works a normal job and lives in regret. I don’t want to be like my parents. I want to be my own person and grow my own family filled with the childhood I never got. I want success and I will not stop until I get that 100%.

    The mouse example was extremely helpful to understand her points better. It shocked me that our brains actually shrink. Wow! That’s scary. I want to be friends with my brain. I need to take care of it and exercise it as much as I can. I think yoga is definitely a helpful resource in treating my brain with respect and love.

    Speaking of relaxation and my brain, I’ve been practicing the Isha Kriya and seeing results slowly. I think my brain is being treated nicely by distracting it with “I am not the body, I am not even the mind.” It’s soothing to be able to feel how clear-minded I get when practicing the Isha Kriya.

  18. I feel as if this was extremely useful into helping my inner mysteries. I always wondered how to be happy, and I agree that people try to make cause and effect. That is the problem I think, in why it is hard for me to be happy sometimes. I look deeply into cause, and I try to blame something for not being happy. If I try to look inside myself, and try to take care of myself, I think it will be easier than blaming things around me. It is also true that I need to give myself nutrition, rest, and exercise. I also feel like challenging myself will help, and it will enrich my brain. I need to give myself new things to do, such as biking longer distances, solving new things, and trying new activities. It is also true that I should give myself more attention, because I do have the same struggle between my rational self and my emotional self. Meditation will help me with this, as it done throughout my life already.

    I have done the Isha Kriya four times this week. It has really helped me calm down, especially since I am working towards getting a job. If I was stressed, I wouldn’t be able to handle such a work load. However, with my Isha Kriya, I have been able to calm down and concentrate on what I need to do. I usually do it in the morning, as I can sit and bathe in the sunlight. It also helps me wake up easier, and I really appreciate that.

  19. Happiness is something we all desire. Happiness is the ideal, it is the reason why we do many things. We envy and steal because we think being happier, smarter, or richer will make us happy. We are violent because we want things to be our way so we can be happy. The problem is, we see things as cause and effect and think that there is a specific cause of happiness. The thing which people need to realize is that happiness comes from perception of an experience. We have two parts of the brain, one emotional and one logical. The sides are always fighting for dominance, and whichever is winning effects our experiences. When we are more emotional, we interpret conversations, experiences, and responses negatively. This results in unhappiness. When we are logical, our brains detach from emotion and we can rise to challenges, leading to a string of success and consequent happiness. Happiness is important for our health. When a happy mouse was put in a cage with a grumpy, larger, hostile mouse, the happy mouse lost its ability to feel pleasure and its brain shrunk. This is because the mouse lost the ability to form synapses. Synapses are crucial for learning. They work to form active memory to allow us to predict what happens next. They are responsible for the functioning of the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex which are the centers of learning and memory. The happy mouse was put under stress, which hinders synaptic activity and the formation of new brain cells. Therefore, its brain stopped growing and shrunk. The question is, we all go through stress, so how do we handle it so our brains can still grow. The key is resilience. Our minds are like plants. The speaker stated that a plant in Japan can grow, but then when a typhoon hits, it can be crushed by a tree trunk. Nonetheless, the plant does not give up, but it lives. It was discovered in the study that when a mouse was put in a happy environment before it was put in the stressful environment, its brain still grew. The key is nourishing the brain to be resilient. To do this, we need good nutrition, rest, exercise, challenge, and novelty. Another important part of being happy is focus. If we focus on the rational, our brains can record successes and we can be happy. Lastly, we must continue self growth. We were all conditioned to put on a disguise to fit societal standards. The problem is, this disguise requires different ambition than your inner self. When we ignore our inner dreams and values and focus on our disguise, we feel unhappy. Thus, we must remember our true selves to keep going.

    Yoga can definitely be effective because it covers the multiple areas you need to address to be happy. For one, yoga alleviates stress. When we do yoga, we forget the outside world, and we practice activities which specifically target stress. Naturally, we can be happier with less stress. Yoga also helps to nourish our bodies physically. When we practice yoga, we are engaging in physical exercise. As we continue, we begin to eat healthier. We also get on a better sleep schedule because yoga calms us down and allows us to feel more relaxed at night. Yoga also prepares us for the day and allows us to feel more ready to face life’s challenges. Yoga also helps our focus. When we practice yoga, we detach from all outside stimulus and focus on movement, breathing, and self discovery. When we are occupied by these things, we do not have time to ruminate on emotions. As we focus on our rational side, we see things in a positive light and our brain records this. We look back and remember this positivity and we feel happy. Finally, yoga allows us to focus on our inner self. A large part of yoga is self discovery. We begin to learn who we actual are, not what we pretend to be for society. As a result, we can start to incorporate our dreams and wishes into our everyday lives. We allow our inner selves to have a say in our lives, thus allowing inner growth. All these things lead to greater happiness.

    What was most interesting about this video was the idea that happiness depends on our mindset. We have more control over our happiness than we realize. Keeping this in mind, I hope to control my happiness through yoga. I practice in the mornings, and have begun practicing in the middle of the day as well. I not only practice my hatha yoga, but I also practice the finger hold technique. I have tried to focus more, drinking less water and not going to the bathroom in order to maintain focus. I have definitely become more focused when doing my yoga. Consistently adding new things to my practice, I do not become bored. Practicing is not merely habit for me, it is active participation and enthusiasm. Sometimes, after a long day, or a late night, I do not want to practice. On these days, I push myself to practice at least once. I am always glad that I practiced because I feel much more refreshed. Yoga has definitely improved my happiness. I focus more on the positive and feel more at peace. I detach from worldly distraction and desire, which definitely makes me happier. I hope to continue to cultivate my yoga experience to stay positive and learn about myself.

  20. Mithu Storoni’s TED Talk was eye opening. Thinking about the tug of war that my emotional mind plays with my rational mind was so poignant for me. I suffer from extreme anxiety and depression and although I feel improvements, I often feel the setbacks even harder. Yesterday I had an extremely good day and today I feel awful already — but when I think about the facts with my rational mind, I realize that not much is different between the two days, thus far. It’s just my emotional mind interpreting everything as negative. I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of stress in my life and I honestly think I’ve been doing a great job in terms of external factors. However, I see that I could benefit from working through a different kind of stress, the negative, anxious thoughts that run through the back of my mind 24/7. My counselor actually explained something touched upon in this video. A couple of weeks ago I found myself extremely distracted during our entire class and it really frustrated me because I always had such a calming experience in yoga. When I told my counselor about this, he explained that the process of my mind wandering and consciously bringing it back is an important one, and that process is actually what will make my emotional mind stronger and reduce the amount f times my brain wanders in yoga to begin with. Yoga can be very daunting for me at times because I’m left alone with my (mostly) negative thoughts. This TED talk is relevant for our practice, but also just for my life in general.

    I’ve been practicing the IK four times a week outside of class. I still find it pretty difficult to focus on the practice, but like I mentioned earlier, I have faith that the process of letting it wander and then gently tugging it back to the present will make me more mindful overall. I’ve gone back to the video just to have a consistent reminder to be mindful in the mantra and not think about other, related things.

  21. The greatest hardships are from where we attain the most valuable lessons in life. Analogous to our vessels carrying the mind within our brain, the mind itself must be nurtured. Cared for as one cares for a small growing stemmed plant, the mind, and by extension the brain must be challenged to rise to any occasion, particularly the hard ones. Just as we better respond to negative situations based on experiences similar to those in the present, we implement memorized knowledge to rationalize a situation and discern its solution. When we remove the inclination to be receptive to our own negative feelings and impulses based on our comparisons to others, as Asetya teaches, our minds identify why such activity what made these thoughts and the entities they focus on as negative, and thus, help one press on through life, rising to challenge after challenge, learning from experiences, but not arbitrarily holding onto the negative parts of them. Should we keep ourselves physically healthy as well as mentally through such a process of “growing” our minds, we will achieve the proper state of what we now know as “happiness”

    The power and growth attained through facing challenges is easier to champion in writing than it is to demonstrate as a lived experience. Practicing the Isha Kriya has been an undoubtedly healthy and wonderful addition to my life. Though I try to engage myself in the practice wholeheartedly, I find myself often distracted not by others and their feelings, but rather by the bottom lines I am surely failing to meet by simply standing by “idly.” I, of course, do not believe the Isha Kriya to be a period of idleness, but find myself disturbed by my own thoughts with seem to subconsciously bring me to such a conclusion based on the idea of me being in an academic setting, performing a professor’s assignment, and completing said assignment in exchange for credits and higher virtual marks next to my virtual name, a representation of my “real” self. I still have a long way to go to accept that I may not be ready to face every challenge, but I’m confident that once I am, I will have next-to-nothing left to hold me back.

  22. Happiness is the ultimate goal in our society. When you ask someone what they want, usually their answer is to be happy. The concept of happiness is so vague and to be happy means something different for everyone. I enjoyed the rational of this ted talk. Talking about happieness in terms of optimizing our brain and body, which is base level. Our brain is absolutely a living organism. It must be kept and maintained and optimized for resilience. It is interesting because we can easily understand the mortality of plant. It needs the right amount of water, the right amount of sunlight, the right temperature and the right soil. Without the proper conditioning it will die or weaken. Ourselves are not different, we need to put in the work to have us be our best selves. For me I try to master my emotions and find happiness in the fact that I put work into taking care of myself.

    My Isha Kriya practice which I have done four times this week has been relaxing and enjoyable. Part of the enjoyment comes from the knowledge that I am taking that time for myself. In doing the Isha Kriya routinely I find growth and momentum in all aspects of my life. In taking the time to do Isha Kriya I have the momentum to have a successful day. If helps me realize the potential I have and give me the confidence to rountinely work towards goals.

  23. Now understanding your brain is a living organism is fairly interesting to think of. While listening, I’ve realized my brain needs the proper treatment in order for my mental health to stay calm and relaxed. I believe without stress in our daily lives life it would help our emotions to develop skills in order to keep the feelings inside.

    While I continue with the IK my emotions and brain structure feels calmer. It makes me feel as through my body us at ease; my mind is much more patient towards those around me and through life situations. I think the IK sends and alarm through my whole body for purity and patience that I’ve been looking for and haven’t found until now.

  24. I enjoyed the TED Talk because the realization of how someone’s happiness is easily taken away and altered is so interesting. Many of us just have a lot to handle at once and it creates the stressed mindset that ultimately doesn’t let us be happy because we are constantly running around with all of our thoughts. That often happens to me but I also believe that I let even the smallest of things affect me completely as if it is the most influential thing in the world when it isn’t. I do also believe in the idea that our heart (emotional) is in a constant battle with our brain (rational), and most of the time the emotional aspect of us wins and that causes us to be unhappy although we believe our body and brain tells us to go along with the emotional routed pathway. Personally, I have to start learning the idea of not always listening to my emotional thoughts but rather more my rational thoughts just so I can keep my happiness and not always expect every day to be negative because of one occurrence. I believe in the idea that starting the day with positive thoughts and a positive mindset will help influence and create a positive day which ultimately creates the happiness that we all need.

    I have been practicing the IK 4 times a week and tried to do it more than 4 times when I can. I have also included the finger holds into my practice at several times during the day because it helps me bring myself to a balance when I start to worry about other things that are going on in my life at the moment. The finger holds also help me before I go to sleep to balance my minds and bring myself to a calm state. My breathing has become better with my practices of the IK, I try to do the practice on my own without the video or the instructions but I always have the video backup just in case.

  25. Mithu Storoni’s Ted Talk on happiness was very interesting and easy to understand for someone who does not know complex biological concepts. She talks about happiness being depleted in a mouse when repeatedly faced with a tough obstacle (another, unhappy mouse). She talks about how as a result of this mouse’s experience, its brain begins to shrink as it moves away from happiness due to its emotions being its running component. However, she also talks about how this is not the end. There is a way that this mouse can grow happiness again, and it is through the regrowth of its synapses. By focusing on the rational more often than the emotional, she says you will be able to grow happier. She also mentions that meditation helps significantly with this because it helps people to detach from the emotional. That by being rational your personal biography will become a happy one rather than a negatively effected unhappy one. Finally, she goes on to say that by allowing ourselves to grow for ourselves and not for society we can truly be happy.

    As a person with mental illness, I found this Ted talk very intriguing for multiple reasons. First, when it comes to my depression some days it feels impossible to be happy, even when there are exactly zero things going wrong. I wanted to research more into her description of synapses and how these may affect my depression specifically. According to an article titled “Biology of Depression,” the serotonin depletion in my brain is caused by what are called neurotransmitters which run through the synapses. The imbalance of certain types of these neurotransmitters is believed to be what causes a person, such as myself, to suffer from depression. Therefore, as my synapses regrow and reform they can help me to grow to be happier, but it will not fix the problem. Granted, this will not fix my mental illness, it can make it more bearable to live with. I believe that this approach is beneficial to a growth mindset especially for someone with mental illness because it makes me want to work harder to look for the more positive things in life.

    Another part of the Ted talk that I mentioned and found interesting was the part where Mithu Storoni talks about people who meditate being happier, definitely agree with this statement. I have found that meditation and Isha Kriya has helped both myself and other people I know to level with our anxiety and fight panic attacks. This is something I especially embraced this week, as I have used my IK twice this week to fight oncoming anxiety and it helped a lot. I practiced four times total – twice for anxiety, once to clear my head so that I could get work done, and once to help me go to sleep. One of the times, I invited a friend of mine to practice with me. Practicing with someone else who has never done it before has opened my eyes to how far I have come in my practice. She has practiced other types of meditation before this, so I was surprised at her reaction to the Isha Kriya. She found it a bit awkward and had a hard time concentrating, which helped me to recognize where I have grown into my practice in my ability to get comfortable. I know that at the beginning of the semester I felt a little awkward, even though I had done breathing exercises and simple meditation prior. However, now I am a bit more comfortable with the process and am glad to continue to do it. I hope to continue to practice with her in the future and show her how Isha Kriya can be beneficial.


  26. Mindfulness and self care ( in all its forms) are the two most important things in keeping a healthy and balanced life.It is much easier to say these two things than it is to put them in practice, however once experienced it feels impossible to go back. It has been an extremely gradual process , but I feel confident in my ability to avoid repeating past cycles of toxicity in my life. And this is because I have chosen to be conscious of myself, conscious of my mental and physical health, conscious of where my thoughts and energies are gravitating towards. There will always be challenges in life, and even though there have been incredibly hard moments in own life, I’m sure worse is to come. However this is not something that scares me anymore, because I’m confident in my ability to withstand whatever is coming because self care and mindfulness is my main focus. I’ve seen significant changes in my reactions to negative situations since then, I no longer feel and am able to focus on solutions rather than negativity. I’ve had this in my head nearly everyday in the last year but I feel I was not able to put it into practice , really put it into practice, until september of 2017 when hurricane Maria hit my home. My great grandmother whom I had whom I had not seen in over a year passed during, and so we went just 2 days after it had it. The weeks I spent there after were the hardest I have ever lived, not only because of my great grandmother being gone but also seeing the rest of my family there, and seeing the places I grew up around destroyed, it was chaos. Even in these moments though , there was much connection and goodness around the people closest to me. I kept thinking of the last spoke with my great grandmother, she had been very sick for a long time and even in the midst of all that never lost her good spirit I asked her why and she said ” whatever is happening , you have to raise your head and face it head on because the only way to grow is to keep moving forward, things fall into place”. Even though it seems like very cliche advice, she lived her life with that mentality and was always happy and so I’ve really taken her advise to heart. Without it I do not think I could have survived experiencing the aftermath of the hurricane.

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences and your honest feelings. Remember you can always be with your Abuelita anytime now as she is your Guardian Angel and can offer you solace and even answers if you listen very quietly she will show you the way! Namaste

  27. Mithu Storoni’s “How to “Grow” Happy” is an interesting and well done talk on how our brains navigate stress and happiness. The main points that Storoni identifies in the talk are complex ideas that she breaks down using the metaphor of a plant and studies conducted on a mouse’s brain. Storoni brings up many different topics related to the brain in the talk, including the struggle between the emotional and rational brain, the importance of an enriched environment on brain growth, resiliency of the brain, our DMN, the control we have over our mindsets, the disguise we create with our identities as we grow older, and the importance of focusing our attention on our inner child or “2 year old.”

    Throughout Storoni’s talk, a theme that stuck out to me was growth. With the metaphor of the plant, growth is the key for the plant to be resilient and grow despite being crushed by the tree. I agreed with the point that Storoni made that in order for our brains to really grow, we need rest, proper nutrition, exercise, challenge, and novelty. I think that this idea connects with some of the ideas we are learning in yoga, which is to place attention on ourselves in order to become better, deepen our understanding of the world around us, and further our way on our paths.

    Despite setting times for myself to practice the Isha Krya, I am finding it difficult to stick to my schedule and not get distracted by other things. I only practiced the IK twice this week, which was mostly due to a situation in my personal life. I know that the IK is crucial to my progress on the mat and on my path so I will continue to try to make it a priority.

  28. Throughout the duration of this TED Talk by Mithu Storoni, the discussion of experiences of hardship, struggle or even moments of such depression, all effect our happiness mentally; more than anything our brain itself. As human beings, we all experience situations of stress or things that feel crippling to the mind and in-turn this alters the way we focus our attention upon people or communities around, as well as our own health. Mithu Storoni within her TED Talk, discussed about a depiction of a little, delicate plant undergoing one of Japan’s nastiest typhoon’s. Though with it’s resilience, the plant grew into a larger/stronger shape. Moreover, she expanded upon the idea on the comparison to that of a plant’s growth (experience to natural disasters), with that of a human brain (the experience of stress or anixety in daily life). “Like a plant, there are really two aspects to it. The first thing you’ve got to do is nurture the roots, so with a plant you need to feed it and water it and this can go the same way with a brain. You have to give it the right nutrition, you have to give it the right rest; and both nutrition, rest and excersise have shown to affect synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis within the brain” (Storoni TED Talk). Focusing now upon that of my own Isha Kriya practice, I’ve practiced once a day, these recent 5 days. Further with this of my Isha Kriya, I feel I’m most definitely improving on my posture within the practice, center of attention to that of the practice, as well as the fact that it has assisted me throughout the day feeling relaxed (at ease) and rather than that of stressed, anxious or even that of depression.

  29. This video is very motivational, Mithu Storoni’s talk is articulate and informative. When we want to experience happiness, we expect to have a cause that produces the emotion but we should always maintain a positive mind in any type of environment or situation, which takes individual growth. The mice experiment really explains what any living creature goes through in a supportive environment, how the brain can progress over just a few weeks. Our brain controls the whole body, so when the brain is in a stressful situation it sends messages throughout the whole body which can immediately change our emotions and make the body feel physically weak. It’s easy for the brain and body to shut down, but it takes time and progress to build ourselves back up again. This video really opened up my mind about how we react to small negative things and how we should start paying more attention to the small positive things.

    I’ve noticed in regards of my Isha Kriya’s are I’m more excited to do them after a long day or workout. I’m able to do them without the video and it’s easier for me to focus even if there’s noises or people in my environment. I do them before bed, so I also immediately fall asleep right after.

    -Melenie Warner

  30. I loved this Ted talk because it really affected me in with my personal life. Not trying to go into depth but I had had emotional problems in my family and also have stress with getting work done and having midterms soon while needing to finish projects and essays all close to the dates of the midterm. And it seems hard to feel happy on my own and not relying on others for happiness. I loved the metaphor with the plant getting damaged with the big tree trunk that disturbed it. Because sometimes happiness and positivity can easily be disturbed by outside sources that a person has no control over. But I also loved to think how it could grow with good environments and with positivity and no outside negativity it could have the possibility of growing into a bright strong plant or later on blossom flowers. the spokeswoman also mentioned the brain is an important issue that contains happiness, in a way. When a person’s brain looks at the challenges and rewards that It could receive and as well of the benefits it grows and it has space for improvement in investing, in my opine, more positive surroundings and energies.
    I could relate to the part where she talks about lazy people because sometimes I tend to procrastinate on work because I feel no motivation to do it but it is the reward of my future goals that I want to accomplish that makes me look forward to the future. And by completing the goals is what makes me and I bet other people, have the spark of motivation like Mithu said with the carrot at the end of the road. She then went to talk about that emotions and rationalism and it made me think of examples of being in love, and the saying of how someone could stay with someone toxic because emotionally they seem in love even though rationally they know they would be better off parting ways. I loved how she explained that emotions and rationalism never mix well because, on one end, I think, if emotions are involved in certain situations it clouds judgment on the right choice that could “grow” happiness.
    This video clearly scientifically explained the importance of happiness rather than just talk about emotions and how to fix them to be happy. She went into detailed on how the brain could physically change oneself isn’t happy and made the understandings of synapses clear. I really found this video motivational and relatable to the examples she used as well.
    I am still doing the Isha Kriya, although this week I have not been able to do them as regularly as I would like. Due to the fact that it is midterm week and I have been trying to cram all my studying for all my classes. When I do the IK I always continue to do them at night, I find it to help me sleep easier at night. I can follow doing the IK with just the instructions only to glance at, but not look at the video. Although I am busy I think the IK has helped me emotionally to feel relaxed a littlest more rather than stress I could be feeling if I was not doing the Isha Kriya.

  31. I found this TED Talk to be extremely interesting because it examined happiness on a very fundamental and basic level, which I had not thought of before. I agree that an issue with society is that we think of happiness of a cause of an event, and not what it really is: the experience of an event. Happiness is a way of life, and ultimately I believe happiness is a choice. We can have very little and be happy , or have everything society teaches us we need to be happy and not find happiness at all.

    The idea of treating our brain like a plant that needs to be watered, and thinking of it like it’s own human being is especially helpful to me. Sleep and nutrients are so necessary, along with the prevention of stress. Personally, getting enough sleep is something I can work on.

    Although I agree with this TED Talk, I do think happiness is more complicated than just these basic needs. I do think that besides basic needs, there are psychological and spiritual obstacles that need to be crossed before true happiness is found.

  32. Revised Comment:

    I found this TED Talk to be extremely interesting because it examined happiness on a very fundamental and basic level, which I had not thought of before. I agree that an issue with society is that we think of happiness of a cause of an event, and not what it really is: the experience of an event. Happiness is a way of life, and ultimately I believe happiness is a choice. We can have very little and be happy , or have everything society teaches us we need to be happy and not find happiness at all.

    The idea of treating our brain like a plant that needs to be watered, and thinking of it like it’s own human being is especially helpful to me. Sleep and nutrients are so necessary, along with the prevention of stress. Personally, getting enough sleep is something I can work on. While I agree with this TED Talk, I do think happiness is more complicated than just these basic needs. I do think that besides basic needs, there are psychological and spiritual obstacles that need to be crossed before true happiness is found.

    As for my IK, I’ve been practicing four times a week and depending on my stress levels I sometimes find it difficult to focus. If I have a lot of work, for example, I tend to start making a list of all the things I have to do before I get into the zone. Once I remind myself that this is only fifteen minutes, and something that I really am doing to better myself and will better the quality of my work I snap out of this list making mindset. While I’ve found in general, my focus has grown and I am deeper into my IK practice than ever before..I sometimes still struggle with getting my mind to slow down completely depending on the workload of the day – Anneliese Treitmeier-McCarthy

  33. It is our own perceptions of situations that either allow us to grow or otherwise recede into ourselves. Depending on the outlook one takes on a seemingly negative situation, one can learn and excel while still leading a happy life or choose to dwell on all that is negative consequentially making life feel more miserable. The power of positivity is an immense asset that lets us retain a little sense of our inner child which makes us resilient and unstoppable, enabling us to learn and flourish like the little plant analogy used in the video. Positivity gives us that one little sprout of hope so that we may climb our way out from desperate circumstances and still find happiness in the world around. It is the tool that makes us grow as people. Unfortunately, many get stuck in a state where all that can be focused on is the negative, which makes it all the harder to acknowledge the good that may come from something less than ideal. Also, as we develop as individuals, we conform to society out of necessity for companionship and acceptance, yet we tend to get stuck in that state and loose the sense of self that was so prominent in childhood. We realize this later in life (what may be referred to as an existential or midlife crisis). Yet, we can always remember our inner kid and rely on that to begin to grow again, simply by remember the nostalgic happiness and innocence that we were akin to so long ago.

    This week, I have practiced the IK four times, at night and during the midafternoon. I am still finding it easier to focus on introspective reflection and my mind no longer wanders to how much time has passed. I feel comfortable and whole both during and after the practice and find that I am leading a healthier life. After the IK, I also feel more energized to get work done and focus on the task at hand rather than stress over needing to do it. I believe that my life is beginning to feel a bit more positive and I cant wait to see what happens next.

  34. This video was very motivational and inspiring, it opened up my mind to how simply things in life and small changes can make one very happy. Simply just changing your aspect of life is the first step to becoming happier individual. Neglecting our mental health and not being aware of the physiological effects stress has on our brain is also a huge mistake we all make. We sometimes overwork our selves and forget to check in with our well-being. It was very interesting to hear that happiness doesn’t come from an event it comes from the experience of the event. Many individuals who make the best out of a situations and turn any event into a positive ones are those who are most successful. The study with the mouse was truly influential, it just comes to show that surrounding yourself with positive thoughts and people is the root of starting a happy life.
    I have been practicing the Ik about four times a week. I am finding it easier to concentrate. Its been a great addition to my routine, it relaxes me and helps me revaluate my thoughts of the day. Its helped a lot with my goal to be more self aware, it has also helped me be more appreciative of myself

  35. This video was very interesting. I know that a person’s mood can affect the hormones in their body, but I did not know a person’s organs would be affected as well as the extent of the affects. For example, when Mithu Storoni gives the example of the mouse being in the cage for periods of time during the day. The stress and the hormone imbalance caused the mouse to loose brain size was very shocking. The most shocking part about the experiment was that it can happen to humans and mostly likely happened to people without them knowing, I like how Storoni gave tips on how to combat this and help grow and nourish your brain by: sleeping, eating healthy, and keeping the brain active. Storoni also reminds us that our brain is a living thing and we often discard or forget that.

    I practiced the Isha Kryia four times last week. It is becoming a nature routine in my schedule. I practice it at night, before bed, it helps me have a non-restless sleep. I have noticed a improvement in my breathing and my asthma seems to getting better. I am able to breath through my nose easily now and I don’t weeze as loudly/hard when I am sleeping.

  36. The TED Talk that was presented was informative and went into why we are happy, what makes us happy, and how we can keep that feeling of happiness. When people are happy, they are happy. When they are not happy, people want to go back to being happy, even if they may resist that happiness. The rational and emotional parts of the brain are at constant odds with each other and one is always trying to overtake the other. The emotional part of the brain is the one that fills our thoughts with negativity. Our responses to situations become more emotional and any recollection we have of the situation views it from a more emotional perspective rather than a rational one. The mind then “rationalizes” that the negative view we have of it is the “correct” view, thus we think of that situation as causing us to be unhappy.
    To “feel” happy, people have to rationalize that the negative emotions that try to overtake our thoughts is not necessarily the “right” interpretation. When negative thoughts start to creep into our minds, we tend to zero-in on those thoughts and ignore anything positive. That first step needed to achieve happiness and maintain it is to simply think positive and keep going.
    I still try to practice the Isha Kriya every night. It can be a bit difficult to keep doing the practice because there are days when I am too exhausted by the time night comes around and can barely sit up even though I want to stay up long enough to do the Isha Kriya. There are other days that I stay up too late and make up excuses and tell myself that it is “too late” to do the practice, even though it is never “too late”. But I do practice more often than not and I have become less self-conscious about hearing my own voice while chanting.

  37. I was very interested by this video. Speaking from experience, I can think of many times that periods of stagnation and depression have been alleviated by learning and personal growth. Challenge and novelty have certainly been instrumental to such growth. She was perhaps a bit poetic and at times sounding like a motivational speaker; however, as Storoni is a doctor of neuroscience and refers to specific scientific information in her talk, I am inclined to put more stock in her opinions. Further, I find it interesting that many of the things she talks about have been topics which we are reading about in this class.
    This week I have had more success with Isha Kriya. It is beginning to feel less like a burden and more like a breath of fresh air. Also, whereas before i could only do it while comfortable at my apartment and without any time constraints, this week I managed to fit one in after arriving early for a class and being the only one in the room. It helped me pass the time and not be so restless.

  38. “Happiness is never the consequence of an event, happiness comes from the experience of an event.” Looking back on what makes you happy the first thing your mind goes to is people, places, things, or an activity that make you feel happy. These are tangible things that we place value on through prior experiences that we have had. It is easy then to make the mistake of where this happiness derives from. We put these tangible objects of happiness in a position of great significance in our lives, viewing them as the source of our happiness. Creating a mental checklist of the things we need to make us happy, and if we do not have them we then must not be happy.

    I tend to do this in some ways, mainly finding things that make me happy and then making them a necessity in my life. These are also things that often bring me growth, so I am not becoming contempt and have something to focus on, which in the video was a mane point in finding happiness. I end up swinging too far in the other direction focusing too much on these things, and if I am unable to do them I feel as though I am falling behind or losing something I am unable to make up. This stress inevitably takes the happiness away from these activities, and my overall outlook. Maybe I am not living up to this idea of what I should or need to be, I don’t know. These even getts to the point that even if I enjoy and am happy while experiencing an event, after the fact it has the opposite effect due to the event not meeting some criteria/checklist. This, if the video is correct is because I am focusing on the wrong things, the event itself rather than my mindset and mental experience.

    I have been doing my IK practices pretty regularly and am not feeling the desired effects. I assumed as things progressed I would be feeling better in some way after doing them. In fact, the opposite has happened, at times feeling uneasy or aluming sadness throughout the rest of the day after completing the practice. This is relatively new, with me for the first few weeks not feeling an at least major impact on my mental state. It may be from me holding back while doing it, still feeling a little uncomfortable while in the practice.

  39. I really enjoyed watching this ted talk. She started out talking about cause and effect. As human beings too often we think in cause and effect. But as she explains in the ted talk, that is not how happiness works. Just like our listenings on violence and jealousy, were always trying to fulfill our inner needs and desires, with outside things. Also in the video we watched about about stress and the way people handle stress, we learned that the majority of how stress affects us, is how we react to it and not the situation that we’ve been put in. So, for happiness, we can not rely on an outside force for our happiness, we can’t wait for something to come around and make us happy, it is something that has to be created in the mind, we must make our brains grow. I liked the analogy of the brain as a plant, we must water the roots. We must create challenges for our brain and put it in new environments. We want to become resilient to the things around us.
    We must engage our rational brain to disengage our emotional brain. This is why people meditate, to have control, not over outside situations, but over their minds. Happiness consists of three things overall, growth, control over thoughts, never forget who you are.

  40. I wrote a post which I wanted to have revised. I had thought that some of the concepts in the talk were incorrect but I spoke with a friend and she set me straight.

    This talk addresses how the brain responds to happiness, unhappiness, and stress. When we are happy, new synapses on nerve cells form to extend connections between nerve cells. During periods of stress, nerve cells fire less in certain regions of the brain and unhappiness can cause the brain to shrink.

    I was initially resistant to these facts because I misunderstood what was being discussed, mostly because I was confusing some terms but also because I did not want to accept that stress and unhappiness could have these consequences. I think we are often resistant to facts when they have implications for our circumstances. It was difficult for me to hear that my brain may have shrunk as a result of unhappiness or to be reminded that parts of my brain were inactive due to stress.

    It is interesting to me how, even though I have been learning and reading so much about the importance of getting beyond the ego lately, I was not able to recognize this. However, I do feel a sense of hope that I woke up with an inquisitive mind and learned something new about how I react when my views of self are challenged.

  41. The state of true happiness and the identification of being happy is just as the speaker says, a mystery. There is no one path that leads us to the true state of happiness, we must live and learn through our experiences and by doing this form, a growing path towards happiness- it is unique for each individual, this is important.

    Someone once said to me that as human beings we are divided between two thoughts and these two thoughts are constantly filling out brains; happiness and suffering. It is up to us to decipher which emotion we are going to embrace and live by, its purely that simple. Growing or choosing happiness can be found doing something as simple as, being happy for someone when they win and you don’t. The act is simple yet, it shows that you are branching out to become the better, stronger and the key factor, positive individual.

    The speaker briefly mentions a concept calling it an internal tug of war. Although the concept may sound a bit naive, I have tried to focus my life around it for quite some time and it has helped me to channel an inner peace and honestly, reduce my anxiousness I often feel. I would encourage others to live by such a mindset, you never know what greatness it could lead to.

  42. The question that is posed, how can we have fun all the time? Happiness seems to be such a mystery because we think in terms of cause & effect. If happiness is an affect that there has to be a cause. Happiness is NEVER a consequence, it comes from our experience. We can be feeling pleasure, go through an experience, and the pleasure begins to diminish; we then look at the entire process from before to after. Outside negative energies may impact this devolvement of happiness, by essentially causing introverting, and isolation. When we are at a loss for pleasure, our brain shrinks. While half our brain tries to keep things rational, the other half is emotional attempting to pull the entire whole into negativity, it is a constant tug-of-war. This war between the two determines your experience.
    When your brain grows it undergoes synapsis’ , these happen in 2 specific parts of the brain. The brain is constantly creating a path from then, to now, to trying to predict what will happen next. If these 2 places within the brain don’t get the synapsis activity that is needed, the brain shrinks. Stress is what stops this activity from occurring. But, if you are put in an environment where Synaptic activity occurs, then are put in an environment that is stress full the brain will not shrink. The term to define this reaction was resilience. Resilient means withstanding harm that may effect growth.
    So how do we make the brain grow? We have to nurture it’s roots, give it the right nutrition and rest that it needs to function properly. We must think of the brain as a living, intelligent creature, these types of creatures are naturally lazy, meaning we must use temptation to stimulate the brains activity, in order for it to reach towards its potential. There are 2 things we can tempt the brain with, a challenge or a novelty. Novelty being a new environment, and will want to explore and learn this environment, the things within it and explore ideas of using it in a new way. If you are put in enriched environment synapsis activity occurs, and grows, then put in a stressful environment, synapsis will still continue to grow.
    There is another aspect that holds the brain from being lazy, that is attention. Attention is like a spot light, when given a challenge, we use attention to focus on it. You choose where you put your focus. The problem is that our attention is fighting the tug-of-war, our attention is being pulled from rational side to emotional side. Our attention is the marker declaring who wins thats tied to the rope. It is in constant motion, being in on different sides for various amounts of times.It is impossible to focus on something while being emotionally involved with something else. You have to choose, you either have to concentrate, or let your mind wander, there is no in-between, you cannot have both. If you truly wish to focus you will disengage from your emotional brain, this is why meditators are happier people. They choose to focus & let their emotional party empty.
    Everyone contains a living child, this is said to take the form of a group of brain cells. These cells record everything, real or imagined, creating your own personal autobiography. If you limit the amount of wandering that your brain does into the negative area that the emotional tries to pull you into and only allow the book to be written with positivity and success. When allowing your brain to wander we will look back and read the book, seeing that we are only or mostly happy.
    With a 2 year old child, what you see is what you get. Everything else that we acquire throughout life is a mask, that comes from wanting to belong, constructed from the ideas of what should and shouldn’t be, then attempted to live by, by us. The child inside, always needs to be growing and wants to be growing. And when our brain isn’t receiving the activity to grow, the growing stops. Happiness cannot be found, Unhappiness comes from losing alignment with this child inside, when our inside and outside personas don’t match and we essentially become separated from ourselves.
    There are 3 things happiness is derived from. 1. growing, never get complacent, you must always challenge or tempt your brain, find new ways to grow always. 2. The Living child writing the book, we dictate what goes into the book, so we must choose not to let our minds wander too far into negativity, our interpretation of an experience is everything. 3. Never forgetting the child inside, this child is more you than you think, and needs to be remembered and heard, just as much so, truly requires its needs to be met.

    I really loved this video, such an amazing way to put this, I feel like it really brings everything to the core. Growing happiness really isn’t that hard, focus is all that truly matters, and where you place that focus. It’s very unfortunate seeing people who forget about themselves when they become lost in a mess that isn’t theirs.

  43. That was absolutely amazing. I want to share that video with everyone. I am so touched by it. I’ve been on a journey to find my own happiness and tried grasping at things that makes other people feel so impowered to try and find that happiness within myself.

    What resonated the most with me was comparing oneself to a plant. As someone with a green thumb, I take so much care of my plants and now I feel like I should do that for myself. Keep growing and allowing all positive energies to get to me. I feel like I’ve been complacent and have been accepting the hardships in life and choosing not to move forwards but this video is making me rethink things and makes me want to choose to grow.

  44. this is a very important thing. to never forget who we are as people, and to always what our goals are. they are what gave use direction. Something to strive for in the end. the fact that yoga constantly reminds you to observe and gently touch. as well as giving you energy to be engaged in your own life. to be able to have enough energy to push your self. To over come hills and give your self a sense of accomplishment. It’s a huge benefit to how we should be living our lives.

    • Glad you are catching up on your assignments, however do invest proper time when writing your essays. In this you left out a review, there is no comparative resource and your statements here are not fully developed. Remember you are doing the work late and you need to fully complete the work for credit.

  45. Over the summer of 2015, I left New York City and spent the summer with my aunt and her family. During that time I was primarily spending time with my cousin introduced me to the competitive community of super smash bro’s Wii U players. He would take me to tournament after tournament, and though I wasn’t playing much, I can’t remember another time when I was so happy. Aside from being introduced to a community of competitive video game players, I began teaching myself how to code. I was in an environment that, though it was geared towards video games, was fostering an interest in overcoming challenges, so as a result I became happier, and I found that I was learning how to code at a quicker rate, I felt that my brain all in all was growing and I was growing as an individual.

    Before watching this video, I practiced my Isha Kriya, and I noticed that the things that were causing me stress and emotional distraught were no longer things I found myself focusing on. Now after watching and understanding this idea of the positive effects of joy on the human mind I now have a deeper understanding of why meditation helps my brain feel more at ease and has a simpler time focusing than it previously did. Today was such a wonderful day for me, I went outside, had a nice breakfast while sitting by a window watching the flowers. Afterward, I came home and did my Isha Kriya, and upon doing so I found that doing my homework came with much more ease. Self-care does more for the human mind, and human productivity, I find, than putting pressure on ourselves and others.

    After watching this video, I came to find peace in something else that had been bothering me throughout my time on this campus. During my sophomore year, I allowed my anger towards white people to take control over my life. I believed the anger I felt was empowering me. I have every right to be angry towards this specific group of people due to the current state of things, however, I began seeing my grades drop as well as my happiness. I had to also come to terms with the fact that the character I had created or felt the need to adapt due to the tribe of individuals I was raised around known as my family, is not who I am. As a child, I cannot remember a time where I thought to myself that I hated anyone, of course I know I felt anger towards people from time to time, but never this much rage, I was primarily interested in loving people and making others feel happy. That was when I was at my happiest, and that was when my mind was at its strongest, I was excellent in math, English, history, school in general. All of this came due to my ability to be happy and not care who I was friends with, only that my friends were good to me.

    • This is an amazing revelation! I hope you print this essay and safeguard it, revisit a few times each year and add new commentary each time. I think you have saved your Soul and Life with these thoughts. Now you can be most effective in being the Best You, solving problems with Grace and Acumen. I truly have the utmost respect and admiration for your revelations, Namaste

  46. I haven’t said the words “I’m happy” in a long time.
    It stems from my childhood and the expectations of happiness I was taught to have. So I never really knew what happiness was because I was constantly expected to be happy because of the family I had and the friends I had, but it was the fact that I was meant to be happy based on what other people saw I had. I usually say “I’m content” because the truth is, I am. My situation could definitely be better in terms of financial/mental/emotional health etc., but it also could be horrendously worse so therefore, I am content.

    I loved this video because of the what she says about happiness – “the idea of happiness is one of the greatest conundrums of human kind…we like to think of it in terms of cause and effect”. This is so true! We think ah (seemingly) good situation + you = happiness but no, “Happiness comes from our experience of the event” – this struck me because we (humans) like to take our personal ideas of healing and happiness and apply it to everyone else with a broad sweep, but people cannot truly understand what makes us happy because they did not experience it with is. Her analogy using the mouse was interesting because it’s almost as if it is easier to sponge up negative emotions than happiness. So now I wonder what grumpy mouse I have been caged in that has “caused my brain to shrink” (question: could I be my own grumpy mouse?)

    The realisation I have been coming to recently is that I am also afraid of *being* happy, because I fear that the moment I admit such an emotion, everything will come crumbling down, revealing that happiness is just a capitalist scam pushing us to want with greed. But maybe I am happy. I should not be afraid to say that. I should be able, after completing my Isha Kriya, to breathe and let my body relax – since that is what the exercise is teaching me. With doing the IK, I have found that afterwards I am more open with myself, which in turn allows me to be open with others. I am able to do it four times a week (Tues/Wed afternoon, Fri/Sat evening) and lately I have been trying it out in front of my mirror; in class, when we were asked to find our eyes in the mirror, I did not want to because I did not like my face. But now, by doing the IK with a mirror, I find my eyes easily and I speak positive things to myself and my face.

    Also, this video has strengthened my belief that overall happiness should not be the general goal in life; the goal should be YOUR PERSONAL happiness; find your happiness even if it’s in things that seem small to other people.

    – M. A. Audu

    • Wonderful that you have explored your own personal experiences and write so honestly. Sometimes when we see life filled with positives and negatives, new and old, ups and downs, lefts and rights, then we can appreciate the moment knowing it will change like the dark moonlit sky follows the golden sunshine of the day. Using our yoga and self help projects with Finger Holds can help us adjust our emotions to be balanced. Namaste

  47. The one quote that stood out to me the most during this video was this in particular: “Happiness is never the consequence of an event. Happiness comes from the experience of an event.” In a way, that rings itself to be true,
    to an extent. The more I thought about this quote, the further I brought myself to think back on what truly gave me joy. It may not have been what exactly was the last time I was happy, but really the intensity of said happiness. Even now, I try as much as I can to locate the things that truly give me joy this semester, however rare those chances are. Sometimes I find it at the Namco arcade machine at the stood; moreover, other times it exists when I’m with my friend while he monitors the photo lab in the Visual Arts building. There is a form of it even as I meet new, like-minded people and encounter creative experiences that were once alien to me.

    Looking back even further does make me realize that, unfortunately, I haven’t been as happy as I used to be. As complex as a life this is, that can be attributed to a multitude of things that may take longer than desired to explain. Those of which I can list include that of our current social climate and some homesickness on a personal level. It does, however, teach me to cherish the experiences and individuals that bring me joy even more for however time any of us have left. Practicing my Isha Kriya, I find, does help in identifying and assessing what emotions I harbor overall (including that of happiness). With the recognition of said emotions, I become more self-aware as to how I can attain and enjoy those moments of happiness to their fullest intensity.

    An aspect of the video that I also found particularly intriguing was the notion of each of us housing a child inside of our souls. It does bring the question of whether we actually grew from our experiences, or if we’ve merely adapted coping mechanisms to protect the child inside. Depending on the individual, as each and every one of us are different, I find both instances to be valid as long as there is a balance in order to not have one overtake the other.

    • Well stated, please do the Finger Holds practice regularly to balance the emotions and hopefully clearing the decks so you may find more joy and happiness regularly, best wishes OM

  48. We are much more in control of our emotions then we think we are. The human mind is so powerful and being able to learn how to control how our thoughts come and go is so powerful.
    This is something I have been trying to do for a while. It is extremely difficult, but I think it is an important thing to know how to do. We often let ourselves go, both physically and emotionally. We must develop healthy habits and lifestyle choices. It was interesting to learn the physiological effects of stress and happiness on the brain. Happiness effects not only our mind but our body and organs. The video talked about an experiment that was conducting on a happy mouse’s brain when it was in the presence of a grumpier mouse which then led to social stress. I can relate this a lot to my own life and being around people who are not on the same energy level that I am on. It can often bring you down. It is important to make sure you keep your mindset straight and maintain a positive attitude.

    • Your writing is on the short side of being adequate for satisfactory grade, remember to follow the outline with at least 3 paragraphs to include review of the content, add comparative information and your experiences.

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