Dr. Gillian Mandich has a Ph.D. from Western University in Health Science, and her primary areas of research are happiness and health.
She is the founder of The International Happiness Institute of Health Science Research, a top-rated keynote and TEDx speaker, appears regularly as the resident Happiness Expert on The Social and Breakfast Television, and writes for numerous print and online media.
Did you know that meditation can actually make you happier?
Yes, it’s true! My name is Dr. Gillian Mandich, and I have a PhD in Health Science and I research happiness. In both the research that I’ve done, as well as in the work of other scientists, it’s clear that meditation can play an important role in well-being, positive emotions, and happiness for a few reasons.
Additionally, meditation can shrink your amygdala (the part of your brain that controls fear and anxiety). When your amygdala shrinks, so do your fear and anxiety – and your happiness can increase because of that. Prolonged meditation is associated with diminished activation of the amygdala both in and out of the meditative state, which means that meditation can help to dial back the stress response, even before the cascade begins.
Meditation can lower cortisol (a stress hormone) levels in the body. Less cortisol = less stress = more capacity for happiness. Prolonged meditators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex (the happy, calm zone of the brain) as compared to those who don’t meditate.
A few tips to help with your meditation practice + happiness:
- Aim to mediate at the same time each day to help pattern it as a daily habit.
- What gets measured gets managed, so use tools (such as Muse) to track your progress and build momentum.
- Find an accountability friend to keep you on track.