Loretta Graziano Breuning

Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin

You can feel good more often by stimulating the brain chemicals that cause happiness. It would be nice if they just spurted all the time, but they were not designed for that. They evolved for survival, though your brain defines survival in a quirky way. The experiences of youth and the survival of your genes are important to our mammal brain. That's why we do quirky things to stimulate our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphin, despite our best intentions. You can build new neural pathways to turn them on in new ways. It starts with knowing the job they were meant to do. Dopamine is the good feeling of approaching a reward. Serotonin is the feeling of getting respect. Endorphin is a euphoria that masks physical pain, and oxytocin is the feeling of trust. All mammals have the same basic happy chemicals managed by the same basic brain structures. They are powerfully motivating…for a short time. Then they droop, and you have to do more to get more. If you run from these droops, bad habits will result. Accept these droops and your bad habits ease. It's not easy being a mammal. Managing your quirky brain is the challenge that comes with the gift of life. Your ups and downs will make sense once you read this book.
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