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Oxytocin and Special Guest Paul Zak

  • Broadcast in Self Help
Happy Brain

Happy Brain


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Research perspectives on boosting oxytocin with Paul J. Zak, Center for Neuroeconomic Studies and Loretta Breuning.

Happiness is caused by four special brain chemicals: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin. When you know how they work in animals, you can find your power over them in daily life. The happy chemicals are not designed to flow all the time for no reason. They evolved to reward behaviors that promote survival in the state of nature. They are only released in short spurts, so you always have to do more to get more.

Our chemicals are controlled by neural pathways built from life experience. Neurons connect when your happy chemicals flow, which wires you to repeat behaviors that felt good before. Fortunately, you can re-wire yourself, but it’s not easy. That’s why we keep discussing and asking questions.

The Inner Mammal Institute has resources that help you make peace with your inner mammal: books, videos, blogs, graphics, and podcasts. You’ll find out what turns on your happy chemicals in the state of nature, and how you can turn them on today. It’s not easy being mammal! But you can build your power over your mammalian brain chemicals.

Music from Sonatina Soleil by W.M. Sharp. Hear more of it at