Dr. Loretta Breuning on How to Find Happiness & Discard Negativity Thru the Science of Positivity!

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If you’ve ever wondered why it seems so hard to be positive despite mantras, affirmations and meditations, then do we have the Science of Positivity Show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Loretta Breuning, PhD, Professor Emerita of Management at California State University Easy Bay, and author of several fantastic books on Happiness including Habits of a Happy Brain and her latest, The Science of Positivity: Stop Negative Thought Patterns by Changing Your Brain Chemistry.

And that’s just what we’ll be talking about today, how to stop negative thought patterns by changing your brain chemistry.

That plus we’ll talk about elephants and watering holes, monkeys and spinach, birthday cakes for pacaderms, what wildlife documentaries and love songs have in common, why mandrills have it better than baboons, what in the world’s the dog poop rule, and what you need to do when another monkey’s eyeing your banana.

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Loretta Graziano Breuning is founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, which helps people manage the ups and downs of their mammalian brain chemicals. As a professor and a mom, she was not convinced by prevailing theories of human motivation. She learned that our brain chemicals are inherited from earlier animals, and they evolved to reward survival action, not to make you happy all the time. The world suddenly made sense, and she wanted to help others make peace with their inner mammal. She created a wide range of resources, all available at

Dr. Breuning is Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay. She spent a year in Africa as a United Nations Volunteer, which lead to a global lecture series on her book “Grease-le$$: How the Thrive without Bribes in Developing Countries.” Now she volunteers at the Oakland Zoo, where she gives tours on mammalian social behavior. And she still marvels each day at the overlap between a wildlife documentary and the lyrics to a country western song.


Dr Loretta Breuning Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter  | YouTube

Key Topics:

  • How to have great luck parking!
  • How positivity relates to our childhoods.
  • How Nature videos, particularly from David Attenborough can help us crank up the positivity
  • How did Dr. Breuning get into Positive Psychology
  • Why do our brains go negative because our brains expect negativity to feel good
  • What’s the benefit of saying “the world is going to hell in a handbasket”
  • What does dopamine have to do with negativity
  • Why getting disappointed can make us happy
  • What are the happy chemicals and how do they effect us?
  • Why are we trying to be first by being last
  • What does cortisol have to do with the extreme desire that “I’ve gotta do something”
  • Why we want to focus on something dangerous, no matter how far away it is
  • Why we feel it’s important to scare ourselves with the evening news
  • What moral superiority has to do with the news
  • Why looking for negativity makes us feel so good, and what that’s really doing to us
  • What’s the dog pool rule?
  • What’s it mean to habituate and how does this effect me?
  • What happens when you give an elephant a giant birthday cake
  • What are habits of a happy brain
  • How we take the negatives and turn them into positives
  • How to keep the negativity from coming up on autopilot (particularly with politics)
  • What’s the difference between gratitude and positivity exercises
  • Once we recognize we’re going negative, what do we do?
  • Why you want to watch Mark Marin –
  • What is the movie October Sky?

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #432: HOW TO CRANK UP THE POSITIVITY! + Meditation! (Mitch Horowitz)

INSPIRE #337: Your Game Changer for Happiness & Success – Play!!! (Jessica Lee & Michael Sandler)


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