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Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die

Habits of a Happy Brain

written by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD August 29, 2018
Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die

Carrot sticks can make you as happy as donuts in 45 days.

If you have a bad habit, it’s because your brain thinks it’s good for survival. If you eat a donut when you’re annoyed, for example, it’s because your brain has experienced the donut’s ability to transform a bad feeling into a good feeling. Bad feelings equal survival threats to your mammal brain. Anything that chases away a bad feeling, promotes survival from your mammal brain’s perspective.

Of course, you know better than to eat the donut. But, if you feel ignored one day and a donut stops that feeling for a moment, the experience builds a connection in your brain. Feeling ignored is a survival threat in the state of nature because isolated mammals are soon eaten by predators. The donut saves you from the jaws of a lion. Resisting the donut leaves your brain feeling like you’re in urgent danger. “Do something!” it screams. This signal is so hard to make sense of, that people often give in and eat the donut.

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