Davidson would agree. He has studied the brains of Buddhist monks, men who spend their lives deliberately forcing positive emotions, and their happiness is off the charts. His new data claims that if a person sits quietly for a half-hour a day just thinking about kindness and compassion, their brain will show noticeable changes in just two weeks.
"In many ways, this is the most important idea in neuroscience in the last decade," he said. "Our brains are just waiting to be transformed, and they're always being transformed. But we can take responsibility and change the brain in more positive ways."
"Research is showing pretty convincingly now that happiness is really within us, it's not outside of us," said Lyubomirsky. "It's in what we do. It's sort of how we act, how we think every day of our lives."