He shares his practice of "installing the good," a simple method he claims may gently adjust the amygdala—the brain's alarm bell—set point to soften reactivity, stress, and negativity bias. By staying with beneficial experience or memories an extra 30 to 60 seconds, we can reinforce a healthier landscape in our mind.
Positive experience not only feels good, he's observed, but also helps to shape our brains. Being happy can accelerate personal growth and human evolution by installing and "transforming temporary positive states into lasting neural traits." While negative experience or mood disrupt our capacity to recognize, recall, or reinforce neural connections, positive events and exposure make us more attentive, cognizant, and productive. He reminds us that, while many of us may presuppose that our thoughts are random and unmanageable, we can, in fact, decide which thoughts to keep, reinforce or "install" and which to deemphasize, minimize, or neutralize. Circulating happy, optimistic thoughts reduces cortisol and increases dopamine and serotonin (and the reverse is true, too). This helps your brain to function at peak capacity, supporting more mental alertness, creative problem-solving, and an overall sense of well-being.
Awareness is key to rebalancing this predisposition to negative experience that can distort reality and undermine quality of life. Research shows that simply labeling with a single word a negative state of mind—pain, anxiety, irritation—calms activity in the amygdala. And, by intentionally and repeatedly registering beneficial experience, we can actually slant our amygdalas in a new direction.