Loretta is the author of Habits of a Happy Brain and others. Her latest book is Tame Your Anxiety, which is all about the brain chemicals that cause uncomfortable feelings when you feel under threat – real or imagined. In this episode, she helps me understand an episode of financial fear I experienced, along with other topics.
Loretta explains why she decided to write her newest book, Tame Your Anxiety.
Mental health is a skill that has to be developed.
We talk about how natural it is to compare yourself to others.
If what you’re doing doesn’t feel good, you can change your habits.
We build neural pathways from early experience, but you can build new neural pathways (thus new habits), but it’s more difficult as you grow older.
The urge to be special is universal.
Autopilot is natural because it forms in early childhood.
During early childhood and again during teenage years, patterns are set.
Loretta explains the difference between adrenaline and cortisol.
Cortisol lasts about an hour. It has a half-life of 20 minutes.
I share an experience I had where I felt a rush of financial fear and ask Loretta to explain it in terms of cortisol.
Children pick up the behaviors and emotions of their parents because of mirror neurons.
The goal when you have a cortisol response is to create an alternative pathway.
The idea is to take a step in a new direction immediately.
Loretta shares her 3-step processes for taming anxiety.
Fears are not necessarily logical or rational.
We talk about disappointment.
Loretta wants to talk about how to counteract the fear circuit, which she does in the part of the interview that posts next week.
Part 2 Highlights
Positive feelings come from the “happy” brain chemicals, which include dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.
Dopamine is about the anticipation of reward. But it stops as soon as you get what you want. Then you keep going after what got you the dopamine hit.
Having big dreams gives you a dopamine hit as long as you see that the reward is possible. So, set small goals and continually reach them, and you can continually stimulate dopamine.
When people see their big dreams are out of reach, they switch to saving the world, which is a grandiose dream.
When saving the world is also out of reach, a person will become bitter, which puts them in a one-up position and this stimulates serotonin.
You have to applaud your small steps in order to release serotonin.
Focus on what you want in the moment.
Loretta talks about her social anxiety and feeling at risk of criticism – and how she overcame it.
You can train yourself to understand that other people are not going to fill your needs.
It’s not realistic to expect “the applause of the world.”
You have to tell yourself something realistic that you can get.
We talk about how people can divert their attention when they worry about money.
Ask, how can I feel better in a moment of stress?
The animal brain has confidence that it can solve problems.
Loretta’s site: www.innermammalinstitute.org
Loretta’s new book: Tame Your Anxiety
Loretta’s books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Loretta’s other interviews on this podcast:
How to Activate and Enjoy Your Happy Brain Chemicals
The Brain Science of Positivity