Mindsight approach to happiness owes to the works of Daniel Siegel, who attributes the happiness we have in life to early activities of attachment. He acknowledges the fact that the human brain is hardwired, but attributes one’s happiness to results of these early attachments (Siegel, 67). On the other hand, hardwiring approach to happiness owes to the works of Rick Hanson (Hanson, 05). He proposes that an individual is capable of conquering the negative biases of the brain, to obtain happiness. The two approaches involve experiencing the moment to seek happiness, but hardwiring approach seems more promising than mind sight approach. The aspects that make it promising can be enumerated in details as in the ensuing analysis.
As purported in mind sight approach, emotions such as happiness are aspects of brain functions, and the way the brain works is largely dependent on our childhood attachment experiences (Siegel, 67). As opposed to the mindsight approach, hardwired approach focuses on conquering the dictates of early attachments and the mindset towards realizing happiness (Hanson, 09). In this sense, hardwiring is promising on the basis of its efficiency. This is attributed to the fact that it focuses on the current situations and how to make them better as they happen. In contrary, mind sight draws more from childhood attachments that greatly reduces it efficiency in seeking happiness.
The second supporting factor of the appropriateness of hardwire approach over mind sight approach is the ease of application. As Rick purports, the negative biases of life are simply replaced with the positive attitudes towards life where there is the willingness (Hanson, 12). The purposes of these biases that dominate our lives are geared towards helping animals, including human beings, survive (Hanson, 12). It is only through the knowledge of handling such situations that one can obtain peace. This knowledge is well provided in the hardwired approach as opposed to mind sight approach. This is so because it guides an individual on how to obtain happiness in simple things such as accommodating the positive side of any situation and ignoring the negative side of it.
Since happiness cannot be achieved when one holds on bad past experiences, Rick proposes small tricks that make an individual forget about the negatives, and helps him or her focus on the positive. Such tricks include drafting jokes’ email to a friend, seeking the warmth that comes from a friend’s smile among other tricks. This is explicitly one of the factors that make hardwired approach easy to implement. One is guided on how to accommodate experiences of his or her core needs by ignoring the negative and embracing the positive things.
This is in contrast of the mindsight approach, in which an individual is not explicitly guided on how to achieve the happiness. One is just required to relate the early attachments to establish happiness that is very hard for individuals to carry out successfully (Siegel, 69). The simplicity of achieving results using hardwiring approach can be discerned from the research done on students. These students were fragmented as the summer and the spring sessions of research samples. It was proved that, in fact, there was improvement on the level of happiness and satisfaction in lives of both groups. The satisfaction level when they were ending the two sessions was higher compared to when they were starting the sessions (Hanson, 28).
Owing to the above results of the two studies, it is evident that the hardwired approach is simple and very realistic in application. Hardwiring approach to happiness is greatly practical and is full of lucid application techniques and practices that are well guided (Hanson, 21). These techniques simply facilitate the growth of stable well-being, inner tranquility, and self-worth. With these three attributes, an individual ultimately achieves happiness in his life
The simplicity in application of hardwiring approach helps individuals in managing their old negative experiences. This way, they can nurture a new perspective of life experiences. The approach advocates learning and knowing how to ignore the bad side of life, and to embrace the good side of it (Hanson, 23). Through this approach, a person can leave the danger zone by the name fight-flight-freeze stress. The person thus enters in a green zone of the brain where fulfillment, perpetual ease and unconditional love are eminent. As such, the individual achieves happiness even at the times when he or she is experiencing life challenges. In mindsight approach, there is no guidance on how to let go of the negative past experiences attributed to childhood attachments (Siegel, 70).
In hardwiring approach, an individual should first acquire the ability of applying the four letter basic formula, so as to achieve happiness in life. This process advocates taking in the good things only, and leaving the bad. This is done through a “Take in the Good” course or simply following the steps of the process that are available in the literature (Hanson, 27). In mindsight approach, it is purported that the happiness in one life depends on how childhood emotions developed. These emotions are registered in the mind a situation that does not provide for how one can improve his happiness, if his or her early attachments were rough (Siegel, 75).
In the hardwiring approach, the acronym of the formula for taking only the good in one’s life is HEAL. In practice, applicants learn how to transform transitory experiences into enduring inner powers using the four steps process. Having a positive experience, Enriching the positive experience, Absorbing the positive experience and Linking the experience to negative ones (Hanson, 32). The fourth step is optional and is aimed at soothing and replacing the negative experience with a positive one. The application of these skills is done on a daily basis. To apply these skills, an individual requires a dozen or several dozens of seconds, which involves taking a moment of relaxation (Hanson, 32). The session may also involve a sense of triumph in finishing an assignment or the warmness in an acquaintance’s smile.
In mindsight approach, there are no such simple guidelines on how to achieve happiness in simple things. There is no such formula as HEAL that is used in achieving daily satisfaction and happiness. The approach only outlines the brain in relation to early attachment, and how happiness comes about as opposed to searching for it (Siegel, 78). It also gives more emphasis on early relationships to establish the level of happiness of an individual in life. Where there is a rapture in relationships, there is highly likelihood of unhappy life and vice versa.
The simplicity in application of this approach makes it more acceptable. The research has proven its profound positive results regardless of its simplicity. It, therefore, beats logic that an individual would prefer it over mindsight approach. This approach is also flexible in application. There is a variety of simple things that one can undertake in a trial to change the bad experiences into good ones. Such methods are as simple as taking some few seconds at work or home to meditate. Through techniques as simple as meditation, tranquility is achieved. With the use of other techniques such as drafting of enthusiastic emails to friends and making a colleague smile, individuals achieve other elements (Hanson, 45). Examples of such elements are joy, love, and delight. It is a collection of these elements that bring about the grand element of happiness.
In conclusion, the two approaches to happiness are profound, but hardwiring seems to be the most promising in bringing happiness. This is attributed to several factors such as its simplicity in application, practicality, flexibility and limited time consumption in application. This approach is a genuine replica of a lucid theory that does not necessarily require training for application. One only needs to follow the available literature, and perfect its application with time. For these and reasons, hardwiring approach is the highly promising of the two approaches.
Hanson, Rick. Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. , 2013. Print.
Siegel, Daniel J. ‘Toward an Interpersonal Neurobiology of the Developing Mind: Attachment Relationships? Mindsight? And Neural Integration’. Infant Mental Health Journal 22.1-2 (2001): 67-94. Web.