Supressing negative thoughts is impossible; replacing them is a practical strategy
I’ve found a couple of Dr. Breuning’s strategies particularly useful for modulation of my neurochemistry. One is the elevation of serotonin by replacing negative thoughts rather than pursuing the impossible goal of their suppression. The other is the art of visualizing of what you want to achieve in order to elevate dopamine levels. The Inner Mammal Institute ties evolutionary psychology in with modern neuroscience in a way that is extremely engaging. Every article is full of practical strategies that one can immediately apply to overcome the tyranny of our primitive reptilian complexes and limbic systems.
Can analyse my own emotions
I could see the flow and analyse my own emotions after gaining understanding of different neurochemicals and their impact on our brains. Amazing work by Ms. Loretta.
Strength-based change for inmates, clients and self
I teach conflict resolution and include information from “Habits of a Happy Brain” in organizational workshops and in my work with inmates. The information is clearly presented, applies to all of us, and has helped me on a personal level. I have referred this book to several clients and feel confident that it will provide personal and professional insight. It’s time we start becoming aware of our selves and what we can do to make changes in a positive, strength-based manner. Habits of a Happy Brain does that and more. Thanks, Dr. Breuning!
Sleeping without drugs
I am sleeping for four weeks now without drugs, which was impossible before. Your work saved my life. Brain chemistry is like God’s keypad where I am allowed to press a button now with your help. It’s so great when you know how it works 🙂 Thank you very much! Really.
Social stress just passes through me now
These hugely entertaining books have completely changed the way I see myself and others. Now, when I find myself fretting and feeling the unpleasant flood of cortisol, I see a picture of the unhelpful well-trodden chemical feedback loop that’s going on. I understand that it’s just my mammalian brain helping me to survive by alerting me to social threats of all kinds. When I see unpleasant emotions as an unfortunate survival quirk I stop making judgements about my feelings, forgive myself, understand (and forgive others) and let the feelings pass through me rather than taking them so personally. You made the complicated world of brain chemistry accessible. I now see my neural pathways can be changed rather than simply be at the mercy of them.
My wife is memorizing it
As I write this, my wife has a dog-eared copy of your book in front of her, which she tells me she plans to read until she memorizes it. I think you made something of an impression on her.
Training trainers on the brain’s role in pleasure-seeking and pain-avoiding
I first read “Habits of a Happy Brain” while preparing for an educational talk on the brain’s reward center and its role in obesity. It was an exceptional read – wonderfully organized and clearly described the happy chemicals. This education is necessary for myself and coworkers (personal fitness trainers) because we deal in the realm of behavior change. We get zero education on the brain and its role in pleasure-seeking and pain-avoiding behavior.
For this we must consult other sources. Dr. Breuning’s book was an outstanding resource to provide this education in simple, understandable, and witty terms. Her examples of the chemicals in action are memorable and powerful, and they have helped us as fitness professionals better understand the often-challenging behavior of our clients (struggling and successful clients alike). I would highly recommend this book to anyone in a service industry, leadership position, or team atmosphere.
Inner Mammal Disapora
Getting to know stimuli that trigger or block our neurotransmitters
A huge part of personal growth is incorporating the “unchangeable” and the “changeable” in a new and improved structure. Getting to know about our neurochemical dynamic can make us more aware of the stimuli that trigger or block our neurotransmitters, so that later on we will be able to select environments, situations and social interactions that work in our neurochemical advantage, thus improving our well-being.Loretta’s work can be seen as a great stepping stone on the road of our individual and common becoming. I think that learning more about our inner mammal (what drives its actions and makes it happy) is what’s going to make us better humans in the end.
Easy-to-understand appeal to everyone
Loretta help us make sense of our behaviors and the behaviors of others. We may be human but we are mammals too. Even though the subject matter is based in neuroscience, Loretta’s easy-to-understand explanations means that this a book that will appeal to everyone.
Brilliant simplification while holding strong to fundamentals
In the vast world of brain sciences there is an abundance of information from scientists and academicians who are well-versed in their craft but sadly cannot easily transfer their knowledge and findings to the common person. It takes authentic brilliance to be able to bring out a complex topic and simplify it (all while holding strong to the fundamental premise). This is what Loretta does in her writings and teachings. If you want to have a deeper understanding of how your mind works and how you can use this information to live better, you must get involved with Dr. Breuning’s work. Many happy chemicals will come your way when you delve into her work on happy chemicals and the mammalian brain.
How evolutionary psychology is manifested in modern human societies
I was fortunate to find Loretta Breuning’s books on mammalian impulses that influence human behaviour in groups. Her independent mind throws a new light on the complexities of human behaviour. The profound insights I found in her research helped me to shape my understanding on how evolutionary psychology is manifested in modern human societies.
Not preachy, balance between naturists and nurturists
These books are informative, accessible, and helpful without being preachy. Dr. Breuning finds a balance between nurturists (socialization is all) and naturists (genes are destiny). She explains how mammals are capable of learning a wide range of behaviors, but in a manner patterned by their inherited mammalian brains. She identifies basic drives that motivate and deter mammals, including ourselves. She even tells us how to acquire better habits by exploiting our own natural neurochemicals and laying down new neural pathways for ourselves.
Just enough technical details to be more humble to my inner mammal
I needed an introduction to the brain through something I could relate to, and I can relate to the havoc cortisol wreaked in my life. I could very easily relate to the quest for status (not the absolute kind, but an unobtainable relative status: there always someone better than you and/or I’m never good enough). I learned from these books to be more humble to my inner mammal €“ to listen and pet my inner mammal at times.
This was a great introduction into the inner workings of the brain. Just enough technical details of the main building blocks of the human brain and a very detailed and fascinating description how it is wired to seek success. In my own experience, when I derive absolute status from myself I become happier in myself. The quest for status is still the same (can’t escape that) but I can choose to seek it from a place of Love (not the romantic kind) but rather than fear which seems to be the case for many mammals (fear of death). Thank you for this book. It has made a significant impact on my life and I look forward to reading the next one. 🙂