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Practice Makes You Feel Good

Wiring in Good Feelings is a Learned Skill

written by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD January 11, 2019
Practice Makes You Feel Good

When I’m good no one remembers.  When I’m bad no one forgets.

This lament rings true for most people. What if you fed your brain with appreciation for yourself? It may sound like cheating, but it works. It won’t win you a Nobel Prize, but it triggers brain chemistry akin to winning. Appreciating yourself is different than something like sending yourself flowers; appreciating yourself builds positive neural pathways that last longer than flowers.

Feeling good is no substitute for action, of course. They’re two separate skills that are both essential. Acting like a good person doesn’t always make you feel good. This is because good feelings depend on the neural pathways you’ve built to the happy neurochemicals (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins). More-developed links to your “happy chemicals” turn on the faucets more easily.

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