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The neurology behind India's declining happiness index

Did you know India ranks behind from Iraq and Pakistan on the World Happiness Index? Know why exactly India is unhappy, despite the highest economic growth!

According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Happiness is what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Seems, India is going wrong somewhere and thus has dropped its place in the happiness index since 2013.

Did you know India ranks behind from Iraq and Pakistan on the World Happiness Index? According to the latest UN reports, India ranks 122nd in the happiness quotient. Looks like the entire nation, entrepreneurs and innovators have to buckle up their shoes to make the country prosperous and a happy place to live in.

So, exactly why is India unhappy, despite the highest economic growth?

A happiness index offers insight into what’s on the minds of the people today and reflects the state’s affairs in the country. While India is one of the fastest growing economies with evolution on the technical and scientific front, this well-being is not translated into an improvement in overall happiness.

According to my personal observation within the recent times, a significant rise in the diseases, superstitions, religious gurus, blind faith etc. can be one of the reasons for this downdrift. As demonstrated by other happy countries, happiness is a result of creating social foundations and healthy living.

4 decades as an expert neurologist, I had the chance to interact with countless individuals and examining their brains and minds. On the premise of my study, in-depth analysis on ‘The Decade of the Brain’ interagency initiative and MacLean brain model in ‘Triune Brain Evolution’, I can make a statement explaining the present Indian scenario of the inverse relationship between growth and happiness or health.

In his book the ‘Triune Brain Evolution’, Mc clean has delineated how a brain is composed of three neural substrates that represent the human evolution. As per him, the brain is categorized into the reptilian, the oldest, the emotional, the middle, the advanced and the cognitively advanced neo-mammalian or the new brain. While each one of them is interconnected, yet each has independent bio computerized, unique, and genetic programming. The human behavior relies upon 3 different components of the larger human brain.

Here are some interesting facts about the human brain:

• The oldest reptilian brain is a housekeeping brain with animal instincts of fighting, fleeing and understanding the basic characters of reproduction and rituals.

• The second level evolutionary brain known as the limbic system is responsible for different emotions like greed, selfishness, jealousy, social attachments, love, hate, fear etc. essential for the preservation of family and society.

• Individuals whose brain controls their emotions are more likely to be addicted to seeking material pleasures, obsession for moneymaking and all kinds of other socially unacceptable behaviors.

• The newest or the neocortical brain is in the front of your head and have the potential to acquire a self-intellectual, spiritual thought, store, receive information for decision making and remembering. Higher the evolution within the neocortical brain, greater the chances of becoming compassionate, altruistic, and spiritual.

• The greatest gift by Almighty to humans is an electrochemical, neurocircuitry brain which has the potential of influencing each other.

According to me the complex mind of humans today can be the reason for the declining happiness index of India. To tune into and resonate with the rhythms of the brain systems, a day-to-day schedule needs to be orchestrated to achieve the desired realms of health and happiness!  

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A bibliophile by birth, and a writer by passion, Ritika loves to whisk up tales on anything from technology to fashion and entertainment. A freelance content writer, with a dream to make it big in the media industry, she indulges in art, music, literature and watching TV series when not writing.

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