Hardwiring Happiness

  • by Rick Hanson
  • Narrated by Rick Hanson
  • 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

See through the lies your brain tells you
Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of feeling loved? Your brain was wired in such a way when it evolved, primed to learn quickly from bad experiences, but not so much from the good ones. It's an ancient survival mechanism that turned the brain into Velcro for the negative, but Teflon for the positive.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, October 2013 - It's hard to know what to expect with a book titled Hardwiring Happiness. Am I going to get a lighthearted self-help listen? Or am I going to be transferred back to my \"Biological Basis of Behavior\" course from college? Lucky for me, Hanson provides a delightful combination of both. Not only does he explain why people perceive similar events differently, he explains how. Hardwiring Happiness allows us to see what is really going on in our noggin, and to understand how our wiring pushes us to focus on some experiences over others. It's a quick listen, but Hanson packs in a lot of interesting information with very relatable examples. –Laura, Audible Editor

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What the Critics Say

"Rick Hanson is a master of his craft, showing us a wise path for daily living in this book. Based in the latest findings of neuroscience, this book reveals that if we understand the brain a little, we can take care of our lives a lot, and make a real difference to our well-being. Here is a book to savor, to practice, and to take to heart." (Mark Williams, PhD, Professor, University of Oxford, author of Mindfulness)
"The cultivation of happiness is one of the most important skills anyone can ever learn. Luckily, it’s not hard when we know the way to water and nourish these wholesome seeds, which are already there in our consciousness. This book offers simple, accessible, practical steps for touching the peace and joy that are every person’s birthright." (Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Being Peace and Understanding Our Mind)
"In this remarkable book, one of the world's leading authorities on mind training shows how to cultivate the helpful and good within us. In a beautifully written and accessible way, Rick Hanson offers us an inspiring gift of wise insights and compassionate and uplifting practices that will be of enormous benefit to all who read this book. A book of hope and joyfulness." (Paul Gilbert, PhD, OBE, Professor, University of Derby, author of The Compassionate Mind)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Creating & savoring positive experiences

In "Hardwiring Happiness," Rick Hanson, Ph.D. provides an easy and actionable "recipe" for giving positive experiences greater weight to enable an ongoing sense of peace and contentment. I'd learned of Dr. Hanson's books based on my interest in meditation and his articles about the benefits of using meditation in his psychology practice. I chose to listen to this book when I realized I'd become so focused on worries about loved ones' health issues that I wasn't appreciating happy events as much as I would normally.

Dr. Hanson's approach focuses on identifying (or creating) positive experiences and then extending and reinforcing the good feelings those experiences evoke. Wait, isn't this just taking the time to smell the roses? Absolutely, but it's all too easy to overlook stopping to savor positive experiences when one is feeling especially busy or preoccupied with day to day concerns... and not taking the time to savor positive experiences actually reduces one's ability to cope with stresses as they arise. I listened to the audio version in order to benefit from the guided meditations included within, and also picked up the kindle ebook as a handy reference. The author narrated the audio version and I found listening to his observations helpful in reinforcing the concepts he shared.

I recommend "Hardwiring Happiness" to anyone who feels they aren't appreciating life's gifts as much as they'd like, and wants to take effective steps to more fully savor the good.
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- Karen

Like a therapy session while I'm on the move.

Would you listen to Hardwiring Happiness again? Why?

Yes, I would and am listening to it again. I went through the book quickly the first time to get a feel for if this book could be helpful to me. Now, I am going back to more carefully take in the information. I can imagine going back over parts even a 3rd and 4th time in the future.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Hardwiring Happiness?

The general concept of taking in positive experiences, although it sounds and is simple, in today's world, it does not come automatically. Knowing that taking in experiences can benefit my brain and my well being gives me incentive to make the effort.


Any additional comments?

I heard the auther speak on a Jillian Michaels podcast. I found his line of thinking interesting. It is what prompted me to sign up for audible.com. But, before purchasing this audio book, I read a few of the reviews which sounded quite negative. It gave me pause before ordering. I'm glad that I gave it a try despite the negative reviews. The information is valuable to me in my life at this time. -- Not ignoring the bad, but more fully appreciating the good. Taking just a few extra seconds in my day to take in the positive and make it a part of me.

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- julie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-08-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio