The chemical elements of the brain that determine our well-being

The chemical elements of the brain that determine our well-being

  • 20 NOV, 2019

Oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins operate in our brain to fulfill specific tasks, i.e. they flow for a certain purpose. As mammals, these chemicals are administered by our brain structures and motivate us to move forward for rewards or alert us to potential danger situations so we can escape in a timely manner.

The specific action of the main chemicals of our brain and how they influence our day to day, was the centerpiece of the conference offered by Dr. Loretta G. Breuning in the spaces of Impact Hub Madrid.

Dr. Breuning, one of the leading experts in brain chemistry, is the founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, professor emeritus at California State University, researcher and author of various books, such as Habits for a Happy Brain.

In her presentation, Dr. Breuning explained the impact of dopamine, serotonin, endorphin and oxytocin as chemicals that help us be happy and cortisol as a chemical that influences the opposite.

The findings of her research, methodically documenting the behavior of animals, have allowed her to establish relationships between the functioning of our brain symbes and the creation of recurrent behaviors, depending on the chemical substances that are generated by our organism.

In her studies, Breuning argues that dopamine rewards the effort needed to achieve goals, Serotonin is segregated by gaining respect from others, oxytocin by the confidence and safety of the support that others provide us and endorphin to alleviate the effect of wounds and traumas.

The challenge is to build new patterns of happiness

Brain chemicals create neural pathways in early ages, until adolescence, thus they build patterns that tend to mark the lives of each of us. These patterns are more powerful than we can first imagine.

Each of us strives to decipher the good, using the patterns we have already set. However, at some point in our lives we go back to those we would like to abandon.

For Dr. Breuning, building new patterns is an arduous but not impossible path. She believes that one of the simplest ways is developing discipline to generate many repetitions of some desired thought or behavior, and consequently the one we had preset is invalidated.

If this new pattern of behavior and thought is created and is systematically repeated every day strictly for 45 days it is possible to achieve it. With this exercise, the brain's electricity is guided to allow it to flow into new pathways, which will make it even easier to trigger the chemistry of happiness and increase that pleasant feeling of satisfaction, just when it is needed most.

In concluding her presentation, Breuning made it clear that we should not compare ourselves to others. He stated that if we want to create a more pleasant environment we must begin with our own well-being, since that purpose is available to each and every one of us.


For World Happiness Fest, it is a matter of satisfaction to have the input and research of Loretta G. Breuning. Her knowledge and experience are added to the goal of our forum to achieve ever higher states of happiness and that one we will be celebrating from March 16 to 22, through agoras and events around the world.