In this podcast (episode #387) and blog, I talk to world-renowned psychiatrist, brain specialist, 12 times N.Y. Times best-selling author and founder of Amen Clinics Dr. Daniel Amen about his incredible new book You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type, feeling good based on your brain type, how to discover your brain type, improving your brain health to improve your mood and enhance your happiness, how to become 30% happier in just 30 days, and so much more!
In You, Happier, Dr. Amen shows us how happiness is a brain function. With a healthier brain always comes a happier life! After studying more than 200,000 brain scans of people from 155 countries, Dr. Amen discovered 5 primary brain types and 7 neuroscience secrets that can influence happiness. In You, Happier, he explains them and offers practical, science-based strategies for optimizing your happiness. This amazing book walks you through neuroscience-based habits, rituals, and choices that will boost your mood and help you live each day with clearly defined values, purpose, and goals.
The key thing to understand is that happiness will look different for different people. There is no one thing or trick that will make everyone equally happy—we are all different. Knowing your type of brain can really help you understand what will make you happy and what will stress you out. The question you need to ask yourself is “Am I doing something today that makes me uniquely happy?”
Moreover, understating the brains of your partner, children, friends and colleagues and what makes then happy can improve your communication and relationships. This, in turn, can positively impact your own happiness and mental wellbeing.
This will also help you notice what you like about other people more than what you do not like, which will enhance your social circle and contribute to your happiness. To be happy, you have to give happiness away.
In You, Happier, Dr. Amen also describes how it is also important to optimize the physical function of your brain. A healthy brain is more likely to be a happy brain. One great way to start optimizing your brain health is to ask yourself daily “is this good or bad for my brain?”.
Supplements can also help us feel happier by supporting our brain and body health. Some important nutritional supplements that research has shown have the potential to enhance happiness are:
This is why it is also important to love food that loves you back. Your diet has a direct and indirect impact on your health and level of happiness, which is why it is important to not only pay attention to what you are thinking, but also what you are eating and how your food choices impact you as a unique individual with unique life context. Our lifestyle choices can have a profound impact on how we feel!
Getting more things or doing more stuff will not necessarily make us happy—this is a myth. Things such as sex, food and money can contribute to our enjoyment, but the idea that we need “more, more, more” is simply not true. “More, more, more” overwhelms the pleasure centers of the brain, and can actually make us less happy in the short and long term.
If we want to be happier, it is also important that we manage our minds on a daily basis. One great way to do this is giving your mind a name, which creates psychological distance between you and your thoughts, so you can step back and “watch” your thoughts and not let them control you.
Another important part of being happy is having meaning and purpose. A lot of people are unhappy because they don’t know what they truly want in life. If you are struggling to find purpose or direction, think about how you want your life to turn out. On a piece of paper, write down want you really want. Ask yourself everyday if your behavior is getting you what you want? Does it fit with what you desire? What are things you can do that will get you where you want to go? How can you do these things? What are things that will prevent you from getting where you want to go? How can you stop doing these things?
For more on happiness and the brain, listen to my podcast with Dr. Amen (episode #387), and check out his amazing work and his latest book You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
You can now also join me on Patreon for exclusive, ad-free content! Sign up for a membership level that suits you, and receive access to ad-free exclusive bonus podcasts. These episodes will include more targeted, step-by-step guides for specific mental health issues AND some fun, more personal podcasts about topics like my favorite skincare products and favorite books, as well as live Q&As, fan polls and requests, and exclusive digital downloads!
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3:20 Why Dr. Amen wrote his new book
4:00 Why it is important to understand the neuroscience behind happiness
5:00 How the pandemic affected our ability to be happy
6:20 Different things make different people happy
9:30 The neuroscience behind happiness
10:05 A healthy brain is more likely to be a happy brain
11:20 Supplements, the brain & happiness
12:30 Happiness myths you should stop believing
15:00 Why you should give your mind a name
15:50 Community & happiness
16:30 How meaning & purpose are connected to happiness
21:00 Why the pleasure centers in the brain wear out
26:40 Where the happiness industry went wrong
30:00 Mental health & happiness
This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.
Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact email@example.com.