Habits of a Happy Brain by Loretta Breuning (Review, Summary & Quotes)

Biggest example : We have a mammalian brain that is designed to seek survival. Understanding serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin will explain why it ‘s natural to have aroused ups and downs. The writer explains how to use habit theory to rewire our genius and produce happiness from within. today I want to share my book notes of Habits of a felicitous Brain by Loretta Breuning. We have a mammal brain that is designed to seek survival. We ‘re not meant to be glad but reason emotional chemicals can help us become happier. In her reserve, Habits of a felicitous Brain, Loretta Breuning, Ph.D. explains how you can use the exponent of your brain to change your life for the better. Drawing on the latest scientific findings, Breuning shows how the brain chemicals in your heading truly affect your happiness levels. In summation, she explains how we can use our mind to change our brain, leading to better health, more energy, optimism and a better attitude towards life.

When you feel effective, your mind is releasing dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, or endorphin. You want more of these capital feelings because your mind is designed to seek them. Each felicitous chemical triggers a unlike good feeling :

  • Dopamine produces the joy of finding things that meet your needs- the “Eureka! I got it!” feeling.
  • Endorphin produces oblivion that masks pain – often called euphoria.
  • Oxytocin produces the feeling of being safe with others – now called bonding.
  • Serotonin produces the feeling of being respected by others – pride.

The homo limbic arrangement is surrounded by a huge cortex. Your limbic system and cortex are constantly working together to keep you alive and keep your DNA animated. Each of the happy chemicals motivates a different type of survival demeanor :

  • Dopamine motivates you to get what you need, even when it takes a lot of effort.
  • Endorphin motivates you to ignore pain, so you can escape from harm when you’re injured.
  • Oxytocin motivates you to trust others, to find safety in companionship.
  • Serotonin motivates you to get respect, which expands your mating opportunities and protects your offspring.

The mammal mind motivates a body to go toward things that trigger felicitous chemicals and things that trigger unhappy chemicals. You are constantly looking for a way to feel good, deciding whether to act on it, and them looking for the future best way of feeling dependable. nature tends to build on what ’ south there rather of starting over with a blank sheet. Mammals built onto the reptile brain and humans built onto the mammal brain. We humans have a bombastic stock of extra neurons ready to wire in new know. You can keep building new neural pathways and therefore keep fine – tuning your efforts to meet your needs. But world does not live by lens cortex alone. You need your limbic system to know what ’ s good for you. Each fourth dimension you have an experience, your senses take in the world and trip electricity on your brain. That electricity flows in your mind like water flows in a storm – it finds the paths of least resistance. The paths you ’ ve already built give your electricity a seat to flow, and that shapes your reception to the know. Because we ’ ra designed to store experiences, not to delete them. Most of the prison term, experience holds significant lessons. When you were young, you built fresh circuits easily. In adulthood, building a new circuit is adenine hard as slashing through a dense rain forest. Each time a nerve pathway is activated, it fires more easily. Repetition develops a nervous trail lento, the way a dirt path hardens from years of use. You can stop a evil cycle in one instantaneous. Just protest that “ do something ” feeling and exist with the hydrocortisone. This is unmanageable to do because cortisol screams for your attention. You can do that forty-five days if you repeat a modern think or behavior very day without fail. If you miss a day, startle over with Day One. In humans, everything from holding hands to feeling support triggers oxytocin. orgasm does excessively. sex triggers a bunch of oxytocin at once, yielding a set of social trust for a very curtly time. Oxytocin is related to love in so many ways that it is much called the bond hormone or the cuddle chemical. Serotonin is stimulated by the status expression of love – the pride of associating with a person of a certain stature. Endorphin is stimulated by physical pain, but you get a morsel from laughing and crying besides. Something angstrom small as failing to get a smile from the person you smile at can trigger surprise neurochemistry because your mind relates it to the survival prospects of your genes. The urge for more did not start with “ our society ”. In fact, our ancestors never stopped seeking either. When their bellies were full, they looked for modern manner to meet their needs by making better arrows and stronger shelters. “ Euphoria ” is a common description of the endorphin feeling. But this neurochemical did not evolve for good times. physical pain is what triggers it. You may have taken a bad descent and got up thinking you were finely, only to discover that you ’ re badly injured. That ’ s the world power of endorphin. The larger a creature ’ sulfur brain, the longer it remains helpless after give birth. It takes time to fill a brain with utilitarian connections. With each social interaction, they update their circuits with oxytocin or hydrocortisone. Over time, you “ know who your friends are ” because your neurochemicals react to individuals as “ good for your survival ” or “ bad for your survival ”. Animals lone fight when both individuals believe they are stronger. Conflict is normally avoided because animals are skilled at assessing their relative potency, and the weaker individual submits to avoid harm. We scan for ways to enjoy the good feel of social importance without the bad find of conflict. Each brain builds expectations that tell it when to forge ahead to meet its needs and when to hold spinal column to avoid trouble. Every brain longs for the good feeling of serotonin, but the motivation is easier to see in others and can be difficult to see in yourself. When you worry about the SATs or looking fat, hydrocortisone creates the physical sense of at hand annihilation. Each generation of humans can learn about danger from its own hydrocortisone surges. We learn about risk from our elders a well, but each generation trends to sneer at the fears of its elders and construct fears of its own. Your brain is a central clearing-house that links past pain to electric potential future annoyance. Watching an action stimulates the same neural chase as executing the natural process. We do not mirror everything we see in others. Mirror neurons alone fire when you watch person get a reward or face a threat. Mirror neurons allow us to feel early people ’ second pain. This has a benefit, as often suggested by empathy researchers, but it besides has a cost. You can get wired to suffer barely by being around people who suffer. tied if your life is fine, mirroring builds a nerve pathway to your hydrocortisone. For case, if your knead is criticized at a performance review, you know your survival is not literally threatened, but hydrocortisone makes it feel that way. To make matters worse, equitable belonging to the ruck doesn ’ t make your mammal brain happy. It wants to be noticed. No other animal is born sol far from being able to survive on his own. You may say you don ’ triiodothyronine care about condition, but when a high-status person notices you, your happy chemicals soar. The recommend for particularity might seem annoying in others, but in yourself, it good feels like comeliness. In the state of nature, comparing yourself to others promotes survival. It protects you from getting into fights that you are probably to lose. We are designed to scan for inputs we ’ ve already experienced as crucial preferably than wasting our attention on whatever comes along. Your dopamine surges at first, but continued rewards don ’ thymine trigger continued dopamine. When your dopamine droops, it feels like something is wrong with the populace, or with you. Starving yourself stimulates endorphin, but you have to starve more and more to keep getting that feeling. Starving triggers endorphin because it helped our ancestors forage in lean times. The ability to seek on an vacate stomach promotes survival. If you ’ ve always missed a couple of meals, you may have started feeling fiddling high. The good feeling stopped ampere soon as you ate something, but you ate anyhow because you know that nutrition is necessity for survival. But when you decide to get control of your habit, you may be shocked to find that these allies do not support you. They may even undermine your efforts to conquer your habit. many people end up continuing an unhealthy habit preferably than risk their friendships. Animals stick with groups that are entire of inner conflict because they are therefore threatened by external conflict. The more endanger you feel by life outside the group, the more annoyance you tolerate from within it. distraction can make you feel good precisely by interrupting the electricity in a bad closed circuit. You can stop a barbarous hertz in one instantaneous, just by doing nothing. That teaches your brain that you will not actually die without the erstwhile habit. You learn that threatened feelings do not kill you. The first gear step to happier habits is to do nothing when your hydrocortisone starts giving you a threaten feeling. Doing nothing goes against your body ’ randomness deep impulse, but it empowers you to make change in your liveliness. You were born with a lot of neurons but very few connections between them. Connections built as you interacted with the worldly concern around you, and they make you who you are. Old brains build modern learning only when a person engages in a lot of repetition. A synapse is the col between one nerve cell and the following. The electricity in your brain only flows if it reaches the end of a nerve cell with adequate force to jump across that grap.

You didn ’ thymine decide consciously which synapses to develop. It happens in two ways :

  1. Repetition, which develops a synapse gradually
  2. Emotion, which develops a synapse instantly

Emotions are chemical molecules that can change a synapse immediately and permanently. lavishly interconnected networks are the source of our intelligence, and we create them by building raw branches onto old trunks rather of building modern trunks. so by the clock time you are seven, you are good at seeing what you have already seen and hearing what you have already heard. Five ways experience changes your mind :

  1. Experience insulates young neurons with myelin, so they’re superfast conductors of electricity.
  2. Experienced synapses are better at sending electricity to neighboring neurons, so you’re better at lighting up a path you’ve lit up before.
  3. Neurons atrophy if they’re not used, so you rely more heavily on the neurons you’ve used.
  4. New synapses grow between neurons you use, so you make connections.
  5. Receptors grow and atrophy, so it’s easier to process the feelings you experience repeatedly.

Your attention is limited. If you invest it in one place, you have less to invest in alternatives. It takes little attention to follow a familiar path, but shifting to the unfamiliar makes fleshy demands on your attention. The two strategies much work in concert because we feel good when we master a skill with conscious intent. We feel bad when we fall short of a goal we consciously pursue. Experiences that are neurochemical or repeated build circuits that digest. Experiences in young person build supercircuits. Our cortex is huge because we are designed to fill it with acquired cognition. We are not meant to run on preloaded programs. Animals with curtly periods of early addiction need connatural survival skills, so they can only survive in the ecological recess of their ancestors. They typically die outside that niche. Humans are born fix to adapt to whatever recess they ’ re born into. Of all the ways to feel dear in the world, the ones you ’ ve already connected are the ones that get your care. We all end up with far-out circuits like mine because we build on the connections that are already there. Our happy chemicals pathways feel crucial so it ’ south hard to realize that they are just accidents. Anything that turns on your glad chemicals feels cherished, which can lead to behaviors that are arduous to make common sense of. If can even lead to behaviors that are destructive. Anything that works gets wired in, flush behaviors that could be counterproductive in the farseeing melt. If a bad demeanor gets a reinforce, young mind tags that behavior as useful for survival. emotion is a Catch – 22. Anything that feels good now will have side effects belated. If you expose yourself to something over and over, it can “ grow on you ”. You can come to like things that are good for you tied though you don ’ thymine like them instantaneously. But who wants to repeat something over and over if it doesn ’ thymine feel well ? normally, people don ’ t, particularly when they ’ ra already feeling bad. This is why trust on the circuits built by accidents of have. Your accidents will shape you unless you start repeating things by choice. A substance abuse that will feel good subsequently is hard to start now. Celebrating small steps triggers more dopamine than saving it up for one big accomplishment. boastful accomplishments don ’ t make you felicitous everlastingly, so if you always tie happiness to a far – off goal, you may end up frustrated. You can decide to be worthy of your own applause and enjoy the feel, even if good for a split seconds. Laughing stimulates endorphin as it spontaneously convulses your innards. Find out what makes you laugh, and make time for it. Laughter is a unblock of fear. Imagine laughing with relief after a airless bid with a hydra. Crying releases endorphin because of the physical effort. I do not suggest making a habit of crying – it comes with a lot of hydrocortisone excessively. Varying your exercise routines is a commodity manner to trigger endorphin. It takes striving to trigger endorphin, and if you keep straining the same place, you risk injury. If you work new places with raw drill, moderate effort can stimulate endorphin. free yourself from performance anxiety for forty-five days. You may like it so much that you want to try another variation for another forty-five days. Endorphin is besides stimulated when you stretch. Mild stretching brings circulation into constricted areas. Tai chi and Qi Gong are so slow that you may thing they ’ re not real exercise. Every time you feel good about an animal, a crowd, or a digital relationship, tell yourself “ I am creating this good feel. ” For forty-five days, craft multiplicative inverse exchanges that build stepping stones towards trust with difficult people. You can ’ t predict the results since you can ’ t restraint others. When other people trust you, it feels good whether or not you trust them. You can enjoy more oxytocin by creating opportunities for people to trust you. You could applaud yourself, but the brain is not well tricked by hole dignity. It wants respect from others because that has serotonin boots. Social recognition is unpredictable and fleeting. Whether you get a batch of social regards or a little, your brain will keep longing for it. That ’ s what your mammal brain does. Without criticizing or controlling, you can notice when others mirror your goods example. Don ’ t expect credit or evening a thank you. just softly enjoy. This may sound arrogant, but every mammal brain longs for social meaning. Everyone wants to have an impingement on the global and fears dying without a trace. Getting rid of the clock is a capital way to experiment with control condition, because you can ’ t command time. We all have habits for managing the harsh reality of time .

  1. Start an activity without having an exact time you need to stop. Finish the activity without ever checking the clock the whole time. It’s over when you feel like it’s over.
  2. Set aside a time each day to spend with no plan.
  3. Designate a day you can wake up without looking at the clock and continue through your day with no time – checking.

We are constantly trading off the condom of the known against the promise of the stranger. Appreciating what you have is difficult to do because the mind naturally seeks what it doesn ’ t have. At the menagerie where I volunteer, animals often break in, and rarely break out. You may have the illusion that happiness is just handed to a golden few, while others are incorrectly deprived of it. You don ’ t realize that suffering is just a circuit your mammal mind build because it was rewarded in your past. We mammals naturally compare ourselves to others. But we never very know the inside history about other people ’ mho lives. even if you did, it wouldn ’ t make you happy. If you don ’ thyroxine look for the good in the universe, it will easily escape your attention. When you blame your frustrations on abstract institutions, it helps you avoid blaming substantial people you know in person. so I faced the inevitability of human frustration. Each brain sees itself as the center of the universe, though it is just 1 of 7 billion. Mirror people who already have the habits you want. Find person with a habit you ’ d like to create, and watch them. Your mirror neurons will light up and spark your circuits. This is a bang-up way to overcome the inactiveness of those virgo neurons. Your genius only has a limited sum of energy. You can enhance it with exercise, sleep, and good nutrition, but it will still be limited. New behaviors consume more energy than you expect. Mental energy is a bunch like forcible energy. It depends on glucose, and it takes time to restore once depleted. Anything connected to your deoxyribonucleic acid triggers felicitous chemicals. I know reaches the top of a mountain by mentally dividing it into quarters. He focuses his attention on the adjacent quarter-post and mentally celebrates when he reaches it. This makes no coherent feel, because the mountain is just angstrom high. But chunking can trick your brain into feeling good even when you ’ ra not very fooled. When I find it hard to stop optimize, I remind myself that the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to a mathematical validation that “ satisficing ”, is better than optimizing. Herbert Simon showed us why embracing a satisfactory solution is better than investing in an endless analysis. I would not be alive today if it weren ’ t for antibiotics, so I was surprised to learn that they did not even exist a ten before I was born.

Your brain builds expectations about what will make you happy and it sees the populace through the lens of those expectations. If you decide to be glad, your genius will find things to be happy about. You will hush have frustrations and disappointments, but you will find ways to make yourself felicitous anyhow. It ’ s not easy to manage this brain we ’ rhenium inherited from our ancestors. It ’ s the challenge that comes with the endow of life .

source : https://nutritionline.net
Category : Healthy