Top Banner
Happy Brain Chemicals Loretta G. Breuning, PhD Inner Mammal Institute Re-wire Yourself to Turn Them on in New Ways dopamine endorphin oxytocin serotonin
71

Happy brain chemicals: Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphin

Jan 14, 2017

Download

Self Improvement

Welcome message from author
This document is posted to help you gain knowledge. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about it! Share it to your friends and learn new things together.
Transcript
  • Happy Brain Chemicals

    Loretta G. Breuning, PhD Inner Mammal Institute

    Re-wire Yourself to Turn Them on in New Ways

    dopamine endorphin oxytocinserotonin

  • Good feelings come from4 special brain chemicals

    dopamine endorphin oxytocinserotonin

  • Weve inherited these chemicals from earlier mammals

  • Your happy chemicals are not meant to be on all the time. They spurt when you

    see a way to promote your survival.

  • But our brain defines survivalin a quirky way:

    1. it cares about the survival of your genes

    2. it relies on neural pathways built in youth

  • When a happy chemical flows, neurons connect

    That wires you to repeat things that feel good

  • This is how our ancestors wired themselves to survive before there

    were schools, or even words

    dopamine endorphin oxytocin serotonin

  • Bad feelings are caused by cortisol.Its released when a mammal sees a

    threat to its survival.

  • Disappointment triggers cortisol,which leaves you feeling threatenedeven if youdontconsciouslythink that

  • Neurons connect when cortisol flows, which wires you toturn on the alarm when you see things relatedto past pain

  • We are always seeking rewards and avoiding painusing circuits built bypastexperience

  • The circuits built in youthbecome the superhighwaysof your brain

  • The electricity in your brain flows like water in a storm, finding the

    paths of least resistance

  • Old patterns tend to repeat unless we build new circuits

  • Thats hard to do for 3 reasons:

  • 1. Blazing a new trail through a jungle of neurons is much harder than flowing down a well-paved highway

  • 2. You feel unsafe when you leave your old highways because theyre what you know about rewards and pain

  • 3. The brain loses its highway-paving substance (myelin) after puberty

  • You can still build a new pathway, but it takes a lot of repetition just to build a small one

  • Repeat a new thought or behavior for 45 days without failand a new trail gets established

  • Its not a superhighway, but it frees you from an old pattern

  • You can wire yourself to feel good when you do things that are

    good for you

  • You can give your electricity a new place to flow

  • It helps to know what turns on each happy chemicalin the state of nature

  • Then you can choosenew thoughts and behaviors to

    stimulate them in new ways

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Dopamineis the great feeling

    that a reward is at hand

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Dopaminereleases energy for the chase

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute

    Oxytocinis often called

    the love chemical

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute

    Oxytocin is stimulated by

    trust & touch, which go together in nature

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Serotoninis the pleasure of social dominance

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Serotoninis not

    aggression but a calm sense that

    I will get the

    banana

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Endorphin masks pain so you can do whatit takes to survive

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Endorphin is endogenous morphine

    its meant for emergencies,not partying

  • Your happy chemicals turn on in short spurts.

    Then they droop , andyou have to do more to get more.

  • Ups and downs are natural because each happy chemical

    droops

  • Dopaminedroops once you get the reward

    untilyou set your sights on another reward

  • Oxytocin droops when youreseparated from the herd

    and it feels like your survival is threatened

  • Serotonin is reabsorbed quickly, which motivates people to seek another social advantage

    to stimulate more

  • Endorphin is endogenous morphine

    It droops 20 min.after an injury because painis vital survival info

  • A droop isnatures reset button

    You return toneutral so youreready for the nextopportunity tomeet your needs

  • But you may feel frustrated

  • Dopamine FrustrationDopamine stops once a need is met,

    so you have to keep finding new rewards to enjoy it

  • Oxytocin Frustration

    Following the herd is annoying but leaving

    the herd for greener pasture feels unsafe

  • Serotonin Frustration

    Your mammal brain cares about your statusas if your life depended on it, so a

    status threat feels like a survival threat.

  • Endorphin Frustration

    Inflicting pain on yourself to enjoyendorphin is a very bad survival strategy

  • It helps to know that monkeys had similar frustrations 50 million years ago

  • DopamineSerotoninOxytocinEndorphin

    What new circuits will you build?

  • Dopamine suggestion:

    Always have a short-term goal a long-term goal & a medium-term goal

    so you can always step toward meeting a need right now

  • Oxytocin suggestion: Build trust in many small steps

    Trusting everyone all the time is not a goodsurvival strategy.

    Our brain is designed to build trust gradually.

  • Serotonin suggestion:Enjoy the strengths you have instead of worrying about the strengths of others

    Insisting on the one-up position is harmful,but taking the one-down position automatically hurts you too.

    Its not easy to make peace with your mammal brain.

  • Endorphin suggestion:Laugh

    Find what makes you laugh and make time for it, often.

    Dont rush it, fake it,or expect yourself to laugh when others do.

  • It helps to know that yourups and downs are part of natures operating system

  • This operating system motivated our ancestors to do what it takes

    to survive

  • It helps to know that frustrating trade-offsare part of every mammals life

    When you step towardgreener pasture (dopamine),you move away from the safety of social bonds (oxytocin).

    When you step towardsocial importance (serotonin) you may get disappointment (cortisol)or a strain on social bonds (oxytocin).

  • It helps to know that making tough choices is the job our brain is designed to do

  • It helps to know that you can re-wire yourself to turn on your

    happy chemicals in new ways

  • Its not easy.Its the challengethat comes with the gift of life.

  • The Inner Mammal Institutehas free resources to help

    videospodcastsblogsinfographicstraining certificationslide shows (incl this)5-day Happy-Chemical Jumpstart

    www.InnerMammalInstitute.org

  • Habits of a Happy BrainRetrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin

    a fun step-by-step guide by Dr. Loretta Breuning

    $10.23 paper, $9.99 e-book

  • and remember

  • Dont compare yourself to others

  • Dont compare yourself to others

  • Dont compare yourself to others

  • Dont compare yourself to others

  • Dont compare yourself to others

  • Dont compare yourself to others

  • Dont compare yourself to others

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Dopamine

    Dopamine makes you jump for joy when you reach a goal or get a toy. In nature, it helps find food when you need it. Eureka, I got it! A memory gets created. Dopamine causes expectations. Correct predictions bring good sensations. Dopamine feels great so you try to get more. It rewarded our ancestors trudging through gore. Cocaine triggers dopamine. Caution to all: Joy without goal-seeking leads to a fall. Dopamine flows when you feel like Ive done it. When others do it for you, your dopamine will shun it.

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Endorphin

    Endorphin helps you mask the pain Of injuries that you sustain. Your ancestors escaped from predator attack Cause endorphin felt good while they ran back. Endorphin feels great when it eases your pains. But only real pain makes it flow in your veins. Exercise triggers it, experts alert you. But first you must do it til body parts hurt you. Endorphin receptors let opium in. So you feel like youre safe without lifting a shin. Laughing and crying can trigger it too. But just for a moment then the jobs through.

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Oxytocin

    Oxytocin makes you trust your mates. We love the bonds that it creates. Oxytocin flows when you stick with the herd. Not me! you may say, Im no bovine or bird. But without social bonds, your brain feels alarm. This protected our ancestors from all kinds of harm. Though the herd will annoy you, the pack hurt you so. When you run with a pack, oxytocin will flow. My pack is great and the other is nuts. This thinking prevailed since the first mammal struts. Youre above all this foolishness, obviously. But it feels good when I trust you and you trust me.

  • Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute 2015

    Serotonin swells your chest with pride When you get respect and neednt hide. Your brain feels good when you boost yourself higher. But when others do this, it provokes your ire. I dont care about status. Its other who do. But you spurt serotonin when the limelights on you. You are quite modest and dont like to boast. But no serotonin flows when you coast. Status doesnt depend on money. You can be clever or helpful or funny. But when others one-up you, your mind agitates. Cause serotonin droops til you lift your own weights.

    Serotonin