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Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels Paperback – December 16, 2015
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About the Author
Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD, is the founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, which provides resources that help people rewire their mammalian neurochemistry. She's Professor Emerita at California State University, East Bay, and author of Beyond Cynical and I, Mammal. She also writes the blog Your Neurochemical Self: Getting real with a 200-million-year-old brain on PsychologyToday.com. She has been interviewed on NPR, The Matt Townsend Show, and the Askaltucher podcast, and her work been featured in Psychologies and Real Simple magazines.
Top Customer Reviews
Because as a fervent student and fan of anything/everything on neuroscience, I found this book did a better job than most others did of explaining how four key naturally-occurring substances - dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin - work in everyday life.
It all started on an amazon search. A very successful and quirky client told me he was motivated by three things:
I know a bit about creating more of the first two, but really, I knew little to nothing about the third. I searched for "dopamine" and I happened upon an earlier edition of this book. It told me, in plain, simple, knowledgeable and yet very-well-researched language, so much that was useful, applicable, and simply just interesting!
Including, ways my client could increase his dopamine levels without getting hooked on dangerous drugs or maxing out all his credit cards!
The author has gone deep into evolutionary psychology/biology to come up with her conclusions. But unlike many books in this field, hers is easy to follow and fun to read. Maybe she's a fan of Einstein's dictum: "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Check this book out. Very, very worthwhile.
The bad news is that these feelings of happiness can only last for a short while because in the wild we always need to be on alert for predators and other dangers.
The book goes on to describe how most bad habits are misguided attempts to feel good and how each neurochemical influences your behavior in a different way.
I especially enjoyed how you can use these neurochemicals to reinforce new habits and making changes in your life. The book provides a section on how to do just that.
Sadly the old adage that it takes 21 days to make a change doesn't hold true and it's closer to 45 days. That's why if you're going to spend the time and effort to make a change in your life, make it big!
Would you like to have more power over your own happiness? By understanding the ways a mammalian brain works in reality you will be much closer to your goal. I learned so much about myself and others through reading this fascinating book. What was interesting to me was how accurate Loretta Graziano Breuning is about the types of people who trigger greater amounts of happy chemicals in your brain.
The author does not talk a lot about cortisol, mostly only to tell us that it makes us feel bad. The goal is to strive for oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. Oxytocin appears during social bonding like holding hands. Serotonin can make you feel good when you win respect and feel you have social importance. Dopamine appears when a need is about to be met.
Loretta Graziano Breuning makes a good point about how we get happy when we think something we are doing is going to outlast us. This is why a lot of people have kids or fight for worthy causes.
Some of the interesting facts in this book explain things like why people are attracted to bad news and why belonging to a "herd" doesn't make you happy because what you really want is to be noticed. Also when you are noticed by someone who you think is important, your serotonin surges. This could explain our fascination with famous people and movie stars.
What this book seeks to do is to inform you of your choices and to give you ideas for how to improve happiness in your life. The author states that new behaviors have to be processed by the brain for 45 days. That sounds a little extreme. There are much shorter ways to happiness. So this book is more about long-term success. It might work for some people. Otherwise it is just a very interesting read.
~The Rebecca Review
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Habits of a Happy Brain does a great job explaining how dopamine, oxytocin, endorphin and serotonin work. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Rishi Mahalaha
Wow. We're animals, or at least remarkably like animals with regard to emotions. I don't know why I had never seen this connection before even though I'm a PhD psychologist. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Suzanna
Nice reminder that it's usually up to us to sort out the mess in our life, along with some helpful tips and insights into human neurophysiology.Published 20 days ago by Anna
Interesting approach to why we do what we do.
Very easy to read and entertaining.
Exercises are simple and clear.
Good information only she beats it to death. Very repetitive reading.Published 2 months ago by BRKroon
Just finished reading this book. I thought it was excellent. It explained the neurotransmitters well and their impact on the brain and human behavior. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Aquaflore
I really loved this book. A lot of wisdom here as well as practical advice for managing or at least understanding our constantly fluctuating feelings. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amy