You can manage your happy brain chemicals when you know how they work in the state of nature

The Inner Mammal Institute offers free resources, books and training to help you make peace with your inner mammal.

Dopamine

Dopamine is the good feeling that a reward is at hand.

Oxytocin

Oxytocin creates the good feeling of social trust.

Serotonin

Serotonin is the good feeling of social power.

Endorphin

Endorphin masks pain with a euphoric feeling.

About the
Inner Mammal Institute

The Inner Mammal Institute was founded in 2013 by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD. As a Professor of Management, and a parent, she was disappointed by prevailing models of human emotion. So she went back to basic biology and found that our happy brain chemicals are inherited from earlier mammals.

Our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin evolved to motivate survival behavior, not to make you happy. Suddenly, everything made sense and she started creating resources to help people build their power over their mammalian brain chemicals.

The Inner Mammal Method

Your happy brain chemicals are controlled by neural pathways built from past experience. You can build new pathways by feeding your brain a new experience, repeatedly. If you don’t, you’ll keep defaulting to old impulses because those pathways are so efficient.

I am responsible for my own brain.

My brain evolved to promote survival, not to make me happy.

My happy chemicals are designed to do a job, not to flow all the time for no reason.

Happy chemicals pave neural pathways that turn them on faster in similar future contexts.

I can build new neural pathways by feeding my brain new experiences.

The Inner Mammal Method

Your happy brain chemicals are controlled by neural pathways built from past experience. You can build new pathways by feeding your brain a new experience, repeatedly. If you don’t, you’ll keep defaulting to old impulses because those pathways are so efficient.

I am responsible for my own brain.

My brain evolved to promote survival, not to make me happy.

My happy chemicals are designed to do a job, not to flow all the time for no reason.

Happy chemicals pave neural pathways that turn them on faster in similar future contexts.

I can build new neural pathways by feeding my brain new experiences.

Problems the Method
can help you with

Anxiety

You will learn to redirect your threat response into a new neural pathway that you design and build in simple steps.

Addiction

You will wire in a new “happy habit” that’s more sustainable than the happy habit you learned from early experience.

Parenting & Teaching

You will learn to reward behaviors you want instead of behaviors you don’t want. And you’ll use mirror neurons to help.

Relationships

Love is a neurochemical roller coaster, and managing your own chemicals works better than blaming your partner for them.

Business & Career

Your brain rewards you with happy chemicals when you take a small step toward a goal. Small steps are enough if you repeat.

Problems the Method
can help you with

Anxiety

You will learn to redirect your threat response into a new neural pathway that you design and build in simple steps.

Addiction

You will wire in a new “happy habit” that’s more sustainable than the happy habit you learned from early experience.

Parenting & Teaching

You will learn to reward behaviors you want instead of behaviors you don’t want. And you’ll use mirror neurons to help.

Relationships

Love is a neurochemical roller coaster, and managing your own chemicals works better than blaming your partner for them.

Business & Career

Your brain rewards you with happy chemicals when you take a small step toward a goal. Small steps are enough if you repeat.

What people say about
Inner Mammal Institute

Our books

Habits of a Happy Brain

Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels

Your happy chemicals are inherited from earlier mammals. When you know how they work in the state of nature, you can design sustainable ways to turn them on today. Here's a plan to do it in 45 days, tailored to your unique brain. Free yourself of unwanted habits and find healthy ways to enjoy dopamine, serotonin, & oxytocin.

READ MORE

Status Games

Why we play and how to stop

People seek status because animals seek status, and we've inherited the brain system that does this. It rewards you with serotonin when you see a way to raise your status, and alarms you with cortisol when you see a threat to your status. When you understand these ups and downs, you can rewire them. This book makes it fun.

READ MORE

Tame Your Anxiety

Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness

Anxiety is natural. Calm is learned. If you didn’t learn yesterday, you can learn today. Animals stay calm in a world of potential threats because they focus on their next step. Humans have a big cortex designed to anticipate threats. It terrifies your inner mammal. Instead, you can focus your big cortex on the joy of your next step. Here's how.

READ MORE

The Science of Positivity

Stop negative thought patterns by changing your brain chemistry

Negativity is natural because our brain evolved to scan for threats. Past frustrations wired your brain to find new frustrations. You can rewire yourself to find positives to balance this natural negativity. You can do it in 6 weeks with just 3 minutes a day, no matter where you are in life. You will train your brain to find the good as skillfully as it now finds the bad.

READ MORE

Our books

Habits of a Happy Brain

Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels

Status Games

Why we play and how to stop

Tame Your Anxiety

Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness

The Science of Positivity

Stop negative thought patterns by changing your brain chemistry

Blog Highlights

Five Ways to Boost Your Natural Happy Chemicals

Five Ways to Boost Your Natural Happy Chemicals

You can trigger more happy chemicals naturally. Here's how.  You can stimulate more happy chemicals with fewer side effects when you understand the job your happy chemicals evolved to do. Here's a natural way to stimulate each, and to avoid unhappy chemicals....

read more
Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die

Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die

If you have a bad habit, it’s because your brain thinks it’s good for survival. If you eat a donut when you’re annoyed, for example, it’s because your brain has experienced the donut's ability to transform a bad feeling into a good feeling. Bad feelings equal survival...

read more
Why It’s Always High School In Your Brain

Why It’s Always High School In Your Brain

Your teen self is still the core of who you are Does life sometimes seem like a high school cafeteria? It's not your imagination. Our brain is designed to wire itself in adolescence. Our emotional brain is inherited from earlier mammals, who struggle for status in...

read more
Why Love Is a Neurochemical Roller Coaster

Why Love Is a Neurochemical Roller Coaster

Love makes your happy chemicals surge, but they always dip Love triggers dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. That's why it's so motivating. But happy chemicals come in spurts. They do their job by turning off after they turn on. When your happy chemicals dip, you might...

read more

Blog Highlights

Five Ways to Boost Your Natural Happy Chemicals

Five Ways to Boost Your Natural Happy Chemicals

You can trigger more happy chemicals naturally. Here's how.  You can stimulate more happy chemicals with fewer side effects when you understand the job your happy chemicals evolved to do. Here's a natural way to stimulate each, and to avoid unhappy chemicals....

read more
Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die

Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die

If you have a bad habit, it’s because your brain thinks it’s good for survival. If you eat a donut when you’re annoyed, for example, it’s because your brain has experienced the donut's ability to transform a bad feeling into a good feeling. Bad feelings equal survival...

read more
Why It’s Always High School In Your Brain

Why It’s Always High School In Your Brain

Your teen self is still the core of who you are Does life sometimes seem like a high school cafeteria? It's not your imagination. Our brain is designed to wire itself in adolescence. Our emotional brain is inherited from earlier mammals, who struggle for status in...

read more
Why Love Is a Neurochemical Roller Coaster

Why Love Is a Neurochemical Roller Coaster

Love makes your happy chemicals surge, but they always dip Love triggers dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. That's why it's so motivating. But happy chemicals come in spurts. They do their job by turning off after they turn on. When your happy chemicals dip, you might...

read more