Habits of a Happy Brain - Summary and Key Ideas

This book delves into the world of brain chemicals and their impact on happiness. Loretta Graziano Breuning offers insights and practical advice on how to retrain your brain to produce more serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, ultimately improving your overall sense of well-being.

Individuals looking to enhance their emotional health and well-being through a better understanding of their brain. Suitable for those interested in personal development, psychology, and self-improvement.

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Habits of a Happy Brain

Key ideas


Rewiring the brain for happiness requires 45 days of focused habit-building.


Our evolved survival instincts often lead to irrational adult reactions.

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Our unique experiences stem from shared universal neural chemistry.

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Human brains, evolved from reptiles, often feel threatened by perceived dangers.

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Sustainable well-being arises from savoring the present, not chasing novelty.

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Brain wiring, shaped by experience, makes change difficult but achievable.

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We can rewire our brains for happiness through consistent positive actions.

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Commitment to an action plan fosters transformative change through small steps.

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Happiness requires effort and conscious choice over habitual negativity.

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Trust your brain's adaptability during uncertainty for growth.

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Summary & Review

Final Summary: "Habits of a Happy Brain" by Loretta Graziano Breuning explores the brain chemicals that influence our happiness including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. It delves into how these chemicals work in our minds and bodies and offers practical ways to create new, positive habits that can increase these happy chemicals. By understanding and leveraging the brain’s natural processes, we can replace old habits with new ones that promote wellbeing. The book emphasizes the importance of repetition and commitment over forty-five days to effectively wire new habits into our brains.

Loretta Graziano Breuning

Loretta Graziano Breuning is an expert in the field of neurochemistry, focusing on the impact of brain chemicals on mood and behavior. She is the founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and a Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay. Dr. Breuning holds a PhD from Tufts University and a BS from Cornell University.

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