As fabulous as our brains are, they have their blind spots to happiness. Our brains are wired to chunk data and make things routine so we can handle more complex tasks. But what happens when it applies this method to other human beings or even the people who are dearest to us? When we feel connected, we feel balanced and happy. When we feel disconnected, we feel imbalanced and often unhappy. A little while ago New York Rescue mission tried out a little experiment to see just how invisible the homeless are to most of us. What they found will touch your heart and has implications for all our relationships. 

Here is a short 3-minute video of their experiment:

In the video you’ll see:

  • People agreed to pose as a homeless person.
  • Then, they had their unsuspecting relatives (wife, sister, cousin, grandson) walk by.
  • The relatives didn’t even notice their loved ones.

Underneath every human being is a need for belonging.

We all have a need to feel cared about, to be understood, to be accepted.

Whether it’s someone who is homeless, a friend, a cousin, a sister, a brother, parents or grandparents, our brains begin to objectify them and often times forget the common humanity that binds us.

Right now, break out of this routine and open your mind to these three questions:

  1. Who are you grateful for?
  2. Why are you grateful for them?
  3. How do you express your gratitude? (This is the part that is often left out, yet the most critical).

Make a commitment right now or at some point today to express it and see if you notice feeling a bit happier.

Our brain’s greatest blind spot may be that it is wired to make everything in object. But we have to remember that everyone is worthy of love and belonging (including ourselves). Choosing that is a conscious choice and that starts with mindfulness.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

PS – For fun, if you want to try out a little experiment to see beyond the object and experience the commonalities behind you and other people in your life, even a homeless person,  try the 2-minute “Just Like Me” practice.



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

    Last reviewed: 1 May 2014

APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2014). Your Brain’s Greatest Blind Spot to Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from


Mindfulness & Psychotherapy

Subscribe to this Blog:

Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner



Books and CDs by Dr. Elisha Goldstein:
Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind

The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change The Rest of Your Life
A Mindfulness-Based
Stress Reduction Workbook

Subscribe to this Blog:

Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner

Recent Comments
  • Awm: I too wonder about the term “joy of life”. When I remember to live in the moment, life is a little...
  • Kumara: Oh dear, Elisha, you got the 2nd question wrong again: 2) Is it absolutely true? “Is it possible that it’s...
  • David Cummins: Love it. Thanks for sharing.
  • LJM: I came online looking for news as I heard about his being in the hospital. It is a good idea to hold this...
  • RenzoB: Sara – I would recommend finding some materials on Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) which...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!