The researchers conducted the same experiment afterward but also scanned their brains using an fMRI. Those who thought about happy memories had increased activity in the regions of the brain associated with emotional regulation and cognitive control, as well as those linked to processing rewards.
“These findings highlight the restorative and protective function of self-generated positive emotions via memory recall the face of stress,” Delgado and Speer said.
Now we know the value of happy thoughts is much greater than a platitude. Put it on a motivational poster with an asterisk that says, “Backed by the scientific method.”
Link original – http://www.menshealth.com/health/happy-thoughts-stress