Loretta Breuning’s classic posts
are below. Her new posts are at:
The Positive Psychology People

Control the World or Control Yourself?

I wouldn’t need self-control if the world would just shape up. In a perfect world, ice cream would have no calories, I would win every tennis match I played, and everyone I loved would love me back. Then I wouldn’t need self-control. I wouldn’t need to practice. And unconditional love would follow me around. Alas, the world…

Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die

Carrot sticks can make you as happy as donuts in 45 days.   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…

Nature Gave Us Four Kinds of Happiness: A balanced diet of happy chemicals nourishes your brain.

Happiness is just a neurochemical spurt. Four different brain chemicals create happy feelings, and you need all of them to feel good. You miss out when you rely on one or two old familiar ways of triggering your happy chemicals. You can enjoy a balanced happy chemical diet. if you know the distinct kind of happiness each brain chemical evolved for. Endorphin…

What a Let-Down! When your happy chemicals dip, your brain concocts failure.

Your brain evolved to look for problems. You get a break while your happy chemicals are surging, but when the surge ends your brain goes back to looking for problems. For example, the first bite of an ice cream cone feels fabulous. When you eat the last delicious bite, there's a sudden sense of loss….

The Animal Urge to Leave a Legacy: Planting seeds stimulates your happy chemicals

  You are hard-wired to care about what you leave behind when you're gone. Animals focus on making babies, and humans, until recently, focused on creating grandchildren who would carry on their ways. Today, people are open to other kinds of legacies, as birth control freed us to decide where to invest our energies. Instead…