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Home » The Happiness Control Panel: Your Key To A Joyful Life: Dr. Joan Neehall (Transcript)

The Happiness Control Panel: Your Key To A Joyful Life: Dr. Joan Neehall (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Dr. Joan Neehall’s talk titled “The Happiness Control Panel: Your Key To A Joyful Life” at TEDxTrinityBellwoods conference.

In this talk, clinical psychologist Dr. Joan Neehall introduces the concept of a happiness control panel, a metaphorical tool allowing individuals to access happiness on demand. She emphasizes that happiness is not determined by DNA alone, advocating for the active choice and cultivation of joy through various methods. Neehall discusses the importance of flow, a state where one is fully immersed in an activity, and the concept of time affluence, which prioritizes meaningful activities over work.

She shares personal experiences, including her transformative journey while hiking in Tanzania, illustrating the power of determination and the infectious nature of happiness. The talk also highlights the impact of habits, gratitude, and social interactions on mental well-being. Neehall concludes by citing William James, stressing the significance of choosing one’s thoughts and habits to alleviate stress and lead a purposeful life.

Overall, her talk is a compelling blend of personal anecdotes and psychological principles, offering practical advice on achieving sustained happiness.

Listen to the audio version here:


Understanding DNA and Well-being

What if I told you that DNA does not in any way determine your well-being? And what if I also said to you that you can be happy every day of your life? Imagine, if you will, that we have a happiness control panel and that we can access our happiness on demand. And that is the motherboard on your computer, if you will.

It resides in the prefrontal cortex in the brain. And when you use any of those options, it releases dopamine. And as you were saying to me, oxytocin, the love hormone, now I got your attention. Optimism is like a muscle; we’ve got to train it.

And what better way to do it than using the happiness control panel? Now this panel is built on solid research. It’s based on positive psychology. It finds supports from the works of people like Marty Seligman, Norton, Lubomirsky, Achor, Gilbert, and a lot more.

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