This Man Is the Happiest in the World and He Says You Can Be Too!

Ashabi Azeez
Writing on a path pointing to happiness.
Unsplash | D Jonez

A French Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard has been labeled the world's happiest man known to science. Ricard participated in a brain study on meditation and compassion. The conclusion came up after a scientist wired his brain with 256 sensors. Here is why scientists came to such a conclusion.

Buddhist Monk Declared Happiest Man By Scientists

Ricard is a monk and confidant of the Dalai Lama. He credited his happy state to meditation. The research was carried out by Professor Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin. The brain study was done almost two decades ago as research on hundreds of advanced experts on meditation.

Details Of The Scan Done on Ricard's Brain

According to SCMP, scans showed that Ricard's brain generated a high level of gamma waves when meditating on compassion. The gamma waves were linked to attention, memory, learning, and consciousness. The excess activity was found in Ricard's left brain prefrontal cortex, unlike the right.

The Explanation Behind The Conclusion

Mattheu Ricard
youtube | Ted Talk

Researchers believed that gave Ricard an exceptionally large mass for happiness. Hence, giving him a reduced inclination toward negative feelings. Davidson said there were remarkable results with practitioners who did 50,000 rounds of meditation. However, the same was for those who meditate 20 minutes a day for three weeks.

Get To Know The World's Happiest Man

Ricard was born on February 15th, 1946. He is the son of abstract watercolor painter Yahne Le Toumelin and French libertarian philosopher Jean Francois Revel. He spent his childhood among Paris's intellectual elite. In 1972, Ricard got his Ph.D. in cell genetics in Paris from the Institute of Pasteur.

Journey Through Buddhism

Image of the Buddha
Unsplash | Jose Luis Sanchez Pereyra

After that, he moved to India to study Buddhism. He wrote a dialogue on the essence of life with his father titled, The Monk and The Philosopher. Twenty-six years later, Ricard became well-known thanks to the dialogue. All the proceeds from Ricard's books are donated to 110 humanitarian projects. These projects have provided health care for about 100,000 patients yearly. It has also built schools for 21,000 children. 

Ricard Advises Others On How To Be Happy

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ricard discussed with Business Insider the way to be happy, which he points down to selflessness. This was because always thinking about one's self could lead to stress and unhappiness.

Ricard Says Happiness Entails Benevolence

Mattheu Ricard
youtube | RTS

He explained that by being selfish, "you instrumentalize the whole world as a threat,"  He continued that to be happy and make others happy, one should be benevolent. 

However, he warned that it does not mean letting others take advantage of you. Instead, people should be kind within reason. He said being filled with benevolence will put you in a healthy state physically and mentally.

Ricard's Preferred Way Of Training The Mind

Ricard believes everyone has the potential for goodness and happiness if they train their minds. Meditating is the way he prefers to train his mind. Ricard explained the level of happiness could be increased with mental training

Happiness Can Be A Trained Emotion

Smiley face on a manhole cover
Unsplash | Yuyeung Lau

He continued that just like attention and emotional balance, happiness was a skill that can be trained. Ricard advises others to think happy thoughts for 10 to 15 minutes daily.

There's Also A Need To Block Out Negativity

Blocking out negativity and being focused on positive emotions for two weeks could bring positive mental results. Enduring happiness can be achieved if meditation was practiced for 50 years like Ricard. Neuroscientists also back up Ricard's claim on meditation.

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