Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is a big fan of emotion. For over thirty years, he has been researching and writing about the relationship between the brain and emotion, and how certain types of mental activity, such as meditation, have the ability to induce changes in the brain.
In his book on the emotional brain, Davidson outlines how we can make better sense of how we feel and what we can do to change the way our brain processes emotion. As the brain is plastic (it has the ability to rewire itself through experience, stimulation and learning) we can use specific training strategies to change how we feel in particular situations. “We can take responsibility for our own brain,” says Davidson in an interview. “Often, we leave our emotional patterns to happenstance and we don’t intentionally cultivate them. But we shouldn’t think of emotional style as any different than cognitive skills, or activities with a tradition of intentional training.”