1-page free summary of habits of a happy brain

Favorite quote:

“You can increase your pleasure if you’re willing to do things that don’t feel good at first.”

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For a detailed book summary, you can click here.

Habits of Happy Brain Book summary in 3 sentences.

The way happy hormones give us happiness, the sooner these hormones drop and we don’t feel that happiness again.

Each happy chemical triggers a different good feeling:

Additionally, it is crucial to experience sadness in order to understand what is right and wrong.

The five key takeaways from Habits of Happy Brain.


Dopamine: helps in obtaining desired outcomes.

Endorphin: help reduce the pain of an affliction

Oxytocin: helps in building good relationships with people

Serotonin: increases social security.


Dopamine: seek rewards

Endorphin: ignore physical pain

Oxytocin: build social alliances

Serotonin: get respect from others

You’re Unique . . . but You’re Human

Your feelings are unique, but the chemicals that cause your feelings are the same

as everyone else’s.

Notice the good feeling stimulated by the following opportunities to lower your guard:

Someone protects or supports you

You protect or support someone

The touch of someone you trust

The physical proximity of someone you trust

The Memory of Pain Has a Purpose.

Top 10 lessons from Habits of Happy brain book.

Even as it sees it’s young being eaten alive, a lizard never considers that there is something wrong with the world. Because it lacks the neurons to imagine the world being anything other than what it is, it does not tell itself that “something is wrong with the world.” It does not hold the world accountable for not living up to its standards because it does not anticipate a world without predators. It does not hold itself accountable for failing to raise its young. Humans demand more, and we act to meet those expectations. Because of this, we end up concentrating on our failures rather than celebrating our successes.

To feel safe, we look for signs of threats, and when we find them, our dopamine levels increase. The sense of being in the right can also increase serotonin, and connecting with others who perceive the same threat can increase oxytocin. This is why it seems strangely satisfying when evidence of impending doom is discovered. However, the joy is fleeting as the urge to “do something” reclaims your focus. Even if you are successful in your efforts to survive, you may still experience a lot of bad feelings.

It’s challenging to break the habit of blaming others for your unhappiness because it releases chemicals that make you feel good. When you fight perceived injustice, you feel important (serotonin), and you connect with other people who feel similarly deprived (oxytocin). When you look for and discover proof that your justifiable share of happiness has been withheld, you become ecstatic (dopamine). Endorphins may even be released if you accept physical discomfort as a sign of your deprivation. Feeling wronged causes you to keep creating a circuit for seeking happiness.

Dopamine: the happiness of discovering what you’re looking for. Endorphin: the pain-masking numbness. Oxytocin: the consolation of social connections. Serotonin: the assurance of social significance

If you’re willing to do activities that don’t feel good at first, you can enhance your level of pleasure.

Your constant creation of fresh expectations prevents reality from living up to your expectations.

Although repetition develops behaviors with fewer negative side effects, it takes time. Repeated exposure to something can cause it to “grow on you.” Even if you don’t like something right away, you can learn to like it with time. But if something doesn’t feel nice, who wants to do it repeatedly? People typically don’t, which is why we frequently rely on experience-related accident-built circuits. Unless you start repeating actions voluntarily, you will be molded by accident.

More esteem, more remuneration (dopamine), more safety (endorphin), more social support (oxytocin), and more physical security (serotonin).

Your sad chemicals draw your attention when dopamine levels drop. When the urge to “do something” strikes, you must choose what to do. Accepting the unpleasant chemicals and determining what causes them are two options. Another choice is to swiftly divert your attention to something else that you know will make you feel more dopamine. THINK ABOUT THIS When anything goes wrong, consider whether being unhappy may have prevented it.

An endorphin high is known as a “runner’s high.” However, a daily run won’t give you a daily high. Only when you go over your limits to the point of distress do endorphins begin to flow.

Action steps from Habits of Happy Brain.

When something is good for you, move toward it, and if something is bad for you, stay away from it,

You won’t experience the same level of pleasure you had at first, so you’ll need to find another way to satisfy your needs.

Create a daily schedule that you may follow to discover happiness.

Create a new habit that makes you joyful each day.

Try new things; your mind is naturally drawn to them, so constantly remind yourself that you are learning and doing something new.

Make a list of renovation initiatives that might be beneficial to you in each of the following categories:

Express pride in what I’ve done

Enjoy my social position in each moment

Notice my influence

Make peace with something I can’t control

Giving yourself the go-ahead to enjoy yourself can actually benefit other people.

It can trigger their mirror neurons and spark their happiness.


When anything goes wrong, consider whether being unhappy may have prevented it.

Make a list of the equipment that will make your new happy habit more convenient.

Thank you for your time.

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