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The Science of
Happiness
Loretta G. Breuning PhD
Inner Mammal Institute
innermammalinstitute.org
dopamine endorphinoxytocinserotonin
dopamine endorphin oxytocin serotonin
Good feelings come from
brain chemicals
inherited from earlier animals
These chemicals are NOT meant
to flow all the time for no reason
They evolved to do a job
When you know how they work
in the state of nature,
it’s easier to turn them on today
Brain chemicals are nature’s GPS
Happy chemicals
motivate a body to
approach a reward
Unhappy chemicals
motivate a body to
avoid a threat
Our brain
evolved to
promote survival,
not to make you
happy
all the time
Everyone has ups and downs
because:
1.
Happy chemicals
turn on in
short spurts,
so you always
have to do more
to get more
2.
Your mammal
brain cares
about the
survival of
your genes
3.
Our happy chemicals are
controlled by
neural pathways
built from past
experience
Whatever turned on your chemicals
in the past built pathways that

turn them on today
We keep trying to stimulate
good feelings
with the pathways we have
because that’s how our
brain is designed to work
Let’s see what triggers happy
chemicals in a young mammal
and how you can build
new pathways
to trigger them in new ways
dopamine endorphinoxytocinserotonin
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Dopamine
is the great feeling

that a reward is at hand
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Dopamine
releases energy for the chase
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
The good feeling of dopamine
motivates you to take steps that

meet a need
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Dopamine droops once you
get the reward, until you set
your sights on another reward
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Neurons connect when dopamine
flows, which wires you to expect a
good feeling when you see things that
stimulated it before
Your expectations & excitement
depend on the pathways built by
your dopamine past
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute
Oxytocin
is often called
the “love chemical” or the “bonding hormone”
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute
Oxytocin
creates the feeling that

it’s safe to lower your guard
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute
Oxytocin is stimulated by
trust,

touch,
birth,

and

sex
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Our brain evolved to make careful decisions
about when to turn on the oxytocin because
trusting everyone would not promote survival
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
A mammal longs for the dopamine of greener
pasture, but when a common enemy lurks, it
seeks the oxytocin of safety in numbers
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Oxytocin is soon metabolized so
you have to keep stimulating it to
keep enjoying that nice safe feeling
Whatever triggered oxytocin in
your past will turn on your trust
more easily today
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Serotonin
is the pleasure of
social dominance
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Serotonin
is not
aggression.
It’s the calm
sense that
“ I will get
the banana ”
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Serotonin is the mammal brain’s
signal that it’s safe to assert
yourself to meet your needs
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
It’s easy to see this in others,
but it’s useful to recognize your own
natural urge for social dominance
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Serotonin

is soon
reabsorbed,

so we are
always looking
for ways to
stimulate more
Your past serotonin experiences
built the pathways that turn on
your social exectations today
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Endorphin
is a euphoria that masks pain
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Physical pain is what triggers it
We are NOT designed to inflict pain on
ourselves. We are designed for survival.
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Endorphin means

“endogenous morphine”
It evolved for
emergencies,
not for pleasure
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Fortunately, you get a bit of
endorphin from vigorous exertion
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
The brain
built by
natural selection
rewards you with
a good feeling
when you do things that
promote survival
This gets confusing in daily life
because our brain defines survival in
quirky ways
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
You don’t choose old pathways
consciously, but…
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
The electricity in your brain

flows like water in a storm,

finding the paths of least resistance
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
The paths you built

before age 8 and during puberty are
the superhighways of your brain
because
that’s when
you have a
lot of MYELIN
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Myelin insulates neurons,

making them super efficient
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Whatever you do with your
myelinated neurons feels
natural and normal and easy
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
When you
try
something
new
it feels
difficult,
wrong
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
even dangerous
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Fortunately,
you can build new pathways
to turn
on your happy
chemicals
in new ways
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Repetition is what it takes
after your myelin years
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
So choose a new behavior or
thought pattern and repeat it
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
To build
a new
dopamine
circuit,
focus on
a goal
and take a
small step
each day
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Build a new
oxytocin
circuit by
taking a
small step
toward
social trust
each day
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Build a new
serotonin circuit by
taking a small step toward
social importance each day
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
It’s HARD
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Blazing a trail through a jungle of
neurons takes tremendous effort
But if you slash the same
trail every day, a new path
gets established
Your electricity has
a new place to flow
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Small steps are enough if
you repeat them consistently
You will build a pathway that
expects good feelings
Habits of a
Happy Brain
Retrain Your Brain to
Boost Your Serotonin,
Dopamine, Oxytocin,
and Endorphin
$11
The Science
of Positivity
Stop Negative
Thought Patterns
By Changing Your
Brain Chemistry
$11
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
books
podcasts
videos
infographics
training certification
slide shows (incl this)
5-day Happy-Chemical Jumpstart
all free except the books
innermammalinstitute.org
The Inner Mammal Institute
has the resources you need
to make peace with your
inner mammal
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018
Loretta@InnerMammalInstitute.org
contact me
I, Mammal
$12
How to Make
Peace With the
Animal Urge for
Social Power
ANXIETY
What Turns It On
What Turns It Off
$5
Replaced in 2019 by
Tame Your Anxiety
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2015
Dopamine
Dopamine makes you jump for joy
when you reach a goal or get a toy.
Innature,ithelpsfindfoodwhenyouneedit.
“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 “I’ve done it.”
Whenothersdoitforyou,yourdopaminewillshunit.
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2015
Endorphin
Endorphin helps you mask the pain
Of injuries that you sustain.
Yourancestorsescapedfrompredatorattack
‘Causeendorphinfelt goodwhile theyranback.
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 you’re safe without lifting a shin.
Laughing and crying can trigger it too.
But just for a moment– then the job’s through.
Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2015
Oxytocin
Oxytocin makes you trust your mates.
We love the bonds that it creates.
Oxytocinflowswhenyoustickwiththeherd.
“Notme!” youmaysay,“I’mnobovine orbird.”
But without social bonds, your brain feels alarm.
This protected our ancestors from all kinds of harm.
Thoughtheherdwillannoyyou,thepackhurt 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.
You’re 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 needn’t hide.
Yourbrainfeelsgoodwhenyouboostyourselfhigher.
But when others do this, it provokes your ire.
“I don’t care about status. It’s other who do.”
Butyouspurtserotoninwhenthelimelight’s on you.
You are quite modest and don’t like to boast.
But no serotonin flows when you coast.
Status doesn’t 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
one more thing
Don’t compare
yourself to others
Don’t compare
yourself to others
Don’t compare
yourself to others
Don’t compare
yourself to others
Don’t compare
yourself to others
Don’t compare
yourself to others
Don’t compare
yourself to others

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The Science of Happiness

  • 1. The Science of Happiness Loretta G. Breuning PhD Inner Mammal Institute innermammalinstitute.org dopamine endorphinoxytocinserotonin
  • 2. dopamine endorphin oxytocin serotonin Good feelings come from brain chemicals inherited from earlier animals
  • 3. These chemicals are NOT meant to flow all the time for no reason
  • 4. They evolved to do a job
  • 5. When you know how they work in the state of nature, it’s easier to turn them on today
  • 6. Brain chemicals are nature’s GPS Happy chemicals motivate a body to approach a reward Unhappy chemicals motivate a body to avoid a threat
  • 7. Our brain evolved to promote survival, not to make you happy all the time
  • 8. Everyone has ups and downs because:
  • 9. 1. Happy chemicals turn on in short spurts, so you always have to do more to get more
  • 10. 2. Your mammal brain cares about the survival of your genes
  • 11. 3. Our happy chemicals are controlled by neural pathways built from past experience
  • 12. Whatever turned on your chemicals in the past built pathways that
 turn them on today
  • 13. We keep trying to stimulate good feelings with the pathways we have
  • 14. because that’s how our brain is designed to work
  • 15. Let’s see what triggers happy chemicals in a young mammal
  • 16. and how you can build new pathways
  • 17. to trigger them in new ways dopamine endorphinoxytocinserotonin
  • 18. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Dopamine is the great feeling
 that a reward is at hand
  • 19. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Dopamine releases energy for the chase
  • 20. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 The good feeling of dopamine motivates you to take steps that
 meet a need
  • 21. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Dopamine droops once you get the reward, until you set your sights on another reward
  • 22. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Neurons connect when dopamine flows, which wires you to expect a good feeling when you see things that stimulated it before
  • 23. Your expectations & excitement depend on the pathways built by your dopamine past
  • 24. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute Oxytocin is often called the “love chemical” or the “bonding hormone”
  • 25. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute Oxytocin creates the feeling that
 it’s safe to lower your guard
  • 26. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute Oxytocin is stimulated by trust,
 touch, birth,
 and
 sex
  • 27. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Our brain evolved to make careful decisions about when to turn on the oxytocin because trusting everyone would not promote survival
  • 28. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 A mammal longs for the dopamine of greener pasture, but when a common enemy lurks, it seeks the oxytocin of safety in numbers
  • 29. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Oxytocin is soon metabolized so you have to keep stimulating it to keep enjoying that nice safe feeling
  • 30. Whatever triggered oxytocin in your past will turn on your trust more easily today
  • 31. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Serotonin is the pleasure of social dominance
  • 32. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Serotonin is not aggression. It’s the calm sense that “ I will get the banana ”
  • 33. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Serotonin is the mammal brain’s signal that it’s safe to assert yourself to meet your needs
  • 34. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 It’s easy to see this in others, but it’s useful to recognize your own natural urge for social dominance
  • 35. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Serotonin
 is soon reabsorbed,
 so we are always looking for ways to stimulate more
  • 36. Your past serotonin experiences built the pathways that turn on your social exectations today
  • 37. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Endorphin is a euphoria that masks pain
  • 38. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Physical pain is what triggers it We are NOT designed to inflict pain on ourselves. We are designed for survival.
  • 39. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Endorphin means
 “endogenous morphine” It evolved for emergencies, not for pleasure
  • 40. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Fortunately, you get a bit of endorphin from vigorous exertion
  • 41. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 The brain built by natural selection rewards you with a good feeling when you do things that promote survival
  • 42. This gets confusing in daily life because our brain defines survival in quirky ways
  • 43. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 You don’t choose old pathways consciously, but…
  • 44. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 The electricity in your brain
 flows like water in a storm,
 finding the paths of least resistance
  • 45. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 The paths you built
 before age 8 and during puberty are the superhighways of your brain because that’s when you have a lot of MYELIN
  • 46. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Myelin insulates neurons,
 making them super efficient
  • 47. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Whatever you do with your myelinated neurons feels natural and normal and easy
  • 48. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 When you try something new
  • 50. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 even dangerous
  • 51. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Fortunately, you can build new pathways to turn on your happy chemicals in new ways
  • 52. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Repetition is what it takes after your myelin years
  • 53. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 So choose a new behavior or thought pattern and repeat it
  • 54. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 To build a new dopamine circuit, focus on a goal and take a small step each day
  • 55. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Build a new oxytocin circuit by taking a small step toward social trust each day
  • 56. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Build a new serotonin circuit by taking a small step toward social importance each day
  • 57. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 It’s HARD
  • 58. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Blazing a trail through a jungle of neurons takes tremendous effort
  • 59. But if you slash the same trail every day, a new path gets established
  • 60. Your electricity has a new place to flow
  • 61. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Small steps are enough if you repeat them consistently
  • 62. You will build a pathway that expects good feelings
  • 63. Habits of a Happy Brain Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin $11
  • 64. The Science of Positivity Stop Negative Thought Patterns By Changing Your Brain Chemistry $11
  • 65. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 books podcasts videos infographics training certification slide shows (incl this) 5-day Happy-Chemical Jumpstart all free except the books innermammalinstitute.org The Inner Mammal Institute has the resources you need to make peace with your inner mammal
  • 66. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2018 Loretta@InnerMammalInstitute.org contact me
  • 67. I, Mammal $12 How to Make Peace With the Animal Urge for Social Power
  • 68. ANXIETY What Turns It On What Turns It Off $5 Replaced in 2019 by Tame Your Anxiety
  • 69. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2015 Dopamine Dopamine makes you jump for joy when you reach a goal or get a toy. Innature,ithelpsfindfoodwhenyouneedit. “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 “I’ve done it.” Whenothersdoitforyou,yourdopaminewillshunit.
  • 70. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2015 Endorphin Endorphin helps you mask the pain Of injuries that you sustain. Yourancestorsescapedfrompredatorattack ‘Causeendorphinfelt goodwhile theyranback. 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 you’re safe without lifting a shin. Laughing and crying can trigger it too. But just for a moment– then the job’s through.
  • 71. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2015 Oxytocin Oxytocin makes you trust your mates. We love the bonds that it creates. Oxytocinflowswhenyoustickwiththeherd. “Notme!” youmaysay,“I’mnobovine orbird.” But without social bonds, your brain feels alarm. This protected our ancestors from all kinds of harm. Thoughtheherdwillannoyyou,thepackhurt 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. You’re above all this foolishness, obviously. But it feels good when I trust you and you trust me.
  • 72. Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD, Inner Mammal Institute © 2015 Serotonin swells your chest with pride When you get respect and needn’t hide. Yourbrainfeelsgoodwhenyouboostyourselfhigher. But when others do this, it provokes your ire. “I don’t care about status. It’s other who do.” Butyouspurtserotoninwhenthelimelight’s on you. You are quite modest and don’t like to boast. But no serotonin flows when you coast. Status doesn’t 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