EPISODE 186: Habits of a Happy Brain

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When you experience happiness, your brain releases dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and/or endorphin. The curious things is that our brain doesn’t release a happy chemical without very particular (and often counter-intuitive) triggers. On this week’s Yoga Talk Show, Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD, talks about how you can boost your happiness by retraining your brain to turn on the chemicals that make you happy.

Loretta 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 Ask Altucher podcast, and her work been featured in Psychologies and Real Simple magazines.

Her most recent book is called, Habits of a Happy Brain and can be found on Amazon or any major bookseller.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why a “no CNN diet” might be the best way to feed your happy brain
  • How dopamine, is released when you anticipate of a reward and have a future-focused attitude
  • How endorphins are triggered from physical pain and are short-lived, and perhaps not so healthy in your pursuit of happiness
  • How oxytocin distinguishes mammals from reptiles and can be clearly seen at birth with baby-mother bonding, and as adults with tribal behavior of all types
  • How serotonin is released from “one-upmanship” behavior, social rivalry, and the urge to feel special and distinguish oneself
  • How the happy patterns of our youth get myelinated into our nervous system

Nutritional Tip of the Week:

  • Is Himalayan salt a superfood?

Links & References from the Show:

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