Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D.: Genuine Teamwork – Empowering Well-being | Doing Well #44

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Loretta Graziano Breuning, the founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and professor emerita of management at California State University, East Bay

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Dr. Loretta Graziano Breuning as they explore the connection between chemical releases in the brain and overall well-being. Dr. Loretta dispels misconceptions about constant happiness, emphasizing the natural ups and downs of the human mood. Additionally, she dives into the concept of teamwork, drawing parallels from the animal kingdom to shed light on effective collaboration.

Meet Dr. Loretta Graziano Breuning 

Dr. Loretta is the founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, which helps people manage the ups and downs of their mammal brains. As a professor emerita of management at California State University East Bay and a mom, she was not convinced by prevailing theories of human motivation. She learned that happy brain chemicals swing up and down because they have a job to do. 

Dr. Loretta is the author of Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin Levels; The Science of Positivity: Stop Negative Thought Patterns By Changing Your Brain Chemistry; and I, Mammal: How to Make Peace with the Animal Urge for Social Power. 

She is a Docent at the Oakland Zoo, where she gives tours on mammalian social behavior. Dr. Loretta spent a year in Africa as a United Nations Volunteer after graduating from Cornell and Tufts University. She learned about the corruption pressures that undermine foreign aid efforts, and she was determined to teach her students an alternative. 

She wrote the book Grease-le$$: How to Thrive without Bribes in Developing Countries and has lectured on the subject in China, Armenia, the Philippines, and Albania. Dr. Loretta loves to help people discover their power over their mammalian operating system. 

About the episode

Join us as Dr. Loretta discusses the relationship between brain chemicals and well-being. She highlights the roles of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin in creating feelings of pleasure and happiness while emphasizing that they are not meant to be constantly active. By understanding the natural fluctuations of these chemicals, listeners can cultivate a healthier perspective on achieving well-being.

Dr. Loretta also dives into the concept of teamwork, drawing parallels from the animal kingdom. She explores how animals strategically collaborate for survival and highlights the importance of individuals confidently weighing the costs and benefits of conformity. Through real-life examples and discussions, Dr. Breuning underscores the significance of teamwork and its positive impact on individual well-being.

Dr. Loretta’s expertise shines throughout the episode as she provides valuable insights and practical examples. Listeners will better understand brain chemicals, well-being, and the importance of promoting a collaborative environment. Tune in to discover how embracing natural mood fluctuations and prioritizing teamwork values can enhance your overall well-being.

In conclusion

Key takeaways from this thought-provoking episode include understanding your mood’s natural ups and downs, dispelling misconceptions about constant happiness, and recognizing the importance of effective teamwork in promoting well-being. By embracing the natural fluctuations of brain chemicals and prioritizing genuine teamwork values, listeners can enhance their mental and emotional well-being.

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