Sustainable happiness means triggering your happy chemicals in ways that don’t hurt you in the long run. It’s harder than immediate and familiar pleasures, but it’s easier when you track down your old dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin circuits and update them. Here’s how to do that in 14 daily lessons.
You have power over your emotions, but it’s limited, so you need to understand it. Here is a simple explanation of the chemicals that make us feel good: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. You’ll find out what turns them on in animals, and how you manage them with the animal part of your brain. Then you’ll learn to rewire your happy chemicals by feeding your brain new inputs. We’ll rewire your unhappy chemicals too!
This is a step-by-step method with no jargon, which makes it perfect for young people and people in recovery. It’s based on the work of the Inner Mammal Institute. A fuller presentation of the science is in the companion book, Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels.
One lesson a day for fourteen days will lead you to your power over your happy brain chemicals. This is NOT a checklist of activities. It’s a way to discover your unique wiring and how to tweak it. We humans get wired by early experience, so we all need updates. You can learn to blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons to reach your happy chemicals in natural, healthy ways.
Realistic expectations are key. Our happy chemicals are not designed to flow all the time for no reason. They evolved to reward you for taking steps that meet your needs. Your brain defines “needs” in a quirky way, alas. Knowing these quirks helps you design realistic paths to your happy chemicals. There is no free happy chemical! Everybody has to work for them! There are fast, easy ways to trigger them, but suffering is often the long run result. Fortunately, there are sustainable ways too.
You cannot rewire your whole brain in 14 days. You can build one new neural pathway at a time. You will learn to target the new pathway you want and the steps that will build it. You will learn to repeat a new choice until the pathway builds, and you flow there as smoothly as you now flow into your old happy-chemical strategies. You can replace an unsustainable habit with a new habit designed by you. You’ll be glad you did!
Day 1 Your Power Over Your Brain
Day 2 The Joy of Dopamine
Day 3 The Safety of Oxytocin
Day 4 The Pride of Serotonin
Day 5 The Challenge of Endorphin
Day 6 The Pain of Cortisol
Day 7 Your Dopamine Past
Day 8 Your Oxytocin Past
Day 9 Your Serotonin Past
Day 10 Your Cortisol Past
Day 11 Your Dopamine Future
Day 12 Your Oxytocin Future
Day 13 Your Serotonin Future
Day 14 Design Your Sustainable Path
PDF of worksheets (companion to audiobook)
Spanish translation available now!
If you want to translate the book into your language, contact me.