The faculty of the brain to reconfigure itself becomes the key to happiness and wellbeing

The power of brain recovery after neurological damage is known empirically for centuries, although the concepts and scientific models to explain the improvement of the nervous system are much more recent.

The scientific basis

What is brain plasticity? From a medical standpoint, is the functional adaptation of the central nervous system to minimize the effects of structural or physiological changes. This is possible thanks to the ability of the nervous system to undergo structural-functional changes at any time of life.


According to the article by Rosa M Carmen Redolat and Carrasco Journal of Psychology, “plasticity is the term used to describe various types of change associated to the neuron and its connections. Plasticity is defined as the ability of a neuron to adapt to changes in internal or external environment, previous experience or injuries. ” In this sense, the ultimate goal of neuroscience has been progress in brain plasticity research in order to successfully apply to neurodegenerative diseases in areas such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.

How the brain is reconfigured

According to the article by Marguerite Holloway Scientific American Magazine The brain was built to change. Evolves in one direction or another as push the experience. This idea may seem obvious in itself points to a conclusion much more important, the brain can undergo extensive remodeling in the course of life without drugs or surgery. For example, it is possible to teach new tasks brain regions. If an area suffers from brain dysfunction or is injured, another can compensate and take over their duties. With an intense physical and mental exercise is achieved by neutralizing the effects of the injury. A point in favor of the old theory that it is not used is lost.

Plasticity, welfare and happiness: Matthieu Ricard theories

But beyond the scientific and medical field in recent years a school of thought according to which brain plasticity can be applied on a daily basis in our lives with the goal of achieving happiness. There is no shortage proponents of this theory, which postulated that happiness is within us and can be learned and trained. So says Matthieu Ricard, The Buddhist monk who has achieved fame thanks to his successful books on happiness and that is claimed to be the happiest man in the world. The basic premise of this theory is simple: the mind is a constantly evolving body and therefore malleable. That is the plasticity of mind. The idea behind this concept is that happiness is something you can learn, train, develop and maintain fitness.

Anyone can transform their lives through changes in the way you manage your thoughts and perceive the world around him, or whatever it is, anyone can achieve happiness if you change the mental chip often makes stop at negative aspects of existence. It is, ultimately, to work the activity of the left hemisphere of the brain, which is where the joy, think more often about the good things and try not to think about the problems. Everything in what is thought much ends up becoming something great and what they do not think it will minimize to disappear.

According to a scientific study, the greatest happiness records have been found in Buddhist monks. Ricard explained by the daily practice of meditation and the ability of the monks of brain plasticity to exploit the negative thoughts away and concentrate only on the positives. That’s why it recommends daily practice of meditation, along with some tips as simple as speaking well of oneself, never say you can not do something and be content with what one has, always straining to see positive side of things.

The new psychology

The well-being is closely linked to understanding the way our minds work and depends on how we interpret the world because, although it is difficult to change, however it is possible to transform the way you perceive it.
You can learn to be happy. So says the new psychology. This requires training the brain in the optimism. We can train to be happier. The brain is plastic, it changes throughout life, so we always have time to teach to enhance positive thoughts and good feelings.

And look for a meaning to life beyond self

Matthieu Ricard’s book In defense of freedom (Ediciones Urano), Considered a veritable treatise on the subject, gives us the keys to this thought: the pursuit of happiness through external things is doomed to fail, just search yourself without worrying about others. We must learn to look within ourselves, but to look at ourselves a little less to ourselves, and become familiar with a view to the more meditative and more altruistic world.