“Get more of the happy brain chemicals: Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin. In the sales world, you have to motivate yourself, and these are exactly the chemicals that cause motivation.” – Loretta Breuning in today’s Tip 163
How do you manage your brain chemicals, motivation & social trust?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Loretta Breuning. Dr. Breuning is the Founder & Principal of the Inner Mammal Institute and the host of the Happy Brain Podcast. Here she is with today’s tip:
Loretta Breuning: Hi, I’m Loretta Breuning. I like to explain how you can get more of the happy brain chemicals, Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin. In the sales world, you have to motivate yourself, and these are exactly the chemicals that cause motivation.
In the human world, we think of them as pleasure, but in the animal world, they motivate animals, these exact same chemicals to take that next step, to get the resource that they need to survive. Each of these happy chemicals has a very specific job to do. They’re not designed to be on all the time, so it’s very useful to know there’s nothing wrong with you. They’re meant to go up and down. You’re meant to get spurts when you take a step toward a goal and not just flow for no reason.
So, dopamine is the chemical that tells you I can get it and I’m just about to get a reward that meets my needs. If you have big dreams, it’s not really the best way to stimulate your dopamine because your brain only releases that when you see that you’re actually getting closer. Like if you imagine a monkey climbing closer to the fruit, each step closer is more dopamine. So, divide your big challenges into small chunks and you will give yourself steady dopamine and you’ll also build that dopamine pathway that expects to get more rewards in that particular way and know that once you get the reward, you see your dopamine stops and you have to do more to get more.
So instead of driving ourselves crazy, it’s really useful to know that that’s how it works and to be at peace with not having had a dopamine spurt every minute.
Now Serotonin, that’s the difficult one. Serotonin is that natural competitive urge. It’s not usually what you hear about serotonin. We always hear that it’s calm. But in the animal world, the individual who’s dominant is calm because they have first priority over the resources. And that calmness reduces conflict within a group of mammals. So the mammal and the dominant position gets a little spurt of Serotonin and then that spurt is soon gone and you have to do more to get more. That’s how our brain evolved to work. Now you can’t just push yourself to be dominant every minute because that will annoy other people because they are also trying to be dominant every minute. So basically finding small ways to give this to yourself is much more useful. And again, small steps work because big dreams just lead to more ups and downs. Whereas small steps, you can continually remind yourself that you have the survival skills necessary. And that’s what it takes for your inner mammal to feel safe and release the Serotonin. But you have to keep doing it because it evolved to just give you a little bit at a time. Now, of course, it’s nicer to have real hardcore results, but the complicated thing is that our brain always habituates to the rewards that have, like if you’re thirsty, water is valuable, but if you’re not thirsty, water doesn’t excite you. So whatever you achieve, your brain is going to start taking it for granted and wanting more. And the better you know that the more you can just relax and know that there’s nothing wrong with you and our brain is not evolved to zoom all the time. Finally, oxytocin is the chemical that creates social trust. Now, social trust, we liked to idealize it. Animals seek hurt because it protects them from predators. So they have a lot of conflict in their heads and it’s a protection from predators that motivates them, which is why any group of people you’re with, what do they talk about? All they talk about is their common enemy and that creates that nice bonded feeling that causes in-group trust at the expense of the awkward. So people often bond by talking about a common enemy. But if you don’t go along with that, then they may see you as the enemy. Now once again, the way to get oxytocin is in small steps. So reciprocity is the way things work in the state of nature. And animal makes a gesture of trust and waits for another animal to respond with a gesture of trust. You cannot control other people’s trust. So every day make a small gesture of trust and the next day make another small gesture of trust. And over time other people will reciprocate when their trust has built. But we have to keep investing in those small steps. Don’t make huge gestures because again, you’ll just get that disappointment, but keep taking small steps towards social trust and you will build that pathway and stimulate more oxytocin. A lot more on that in my book. Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin Levels
Scott Ingram: Such interesting stuff. As always we’ve got links to more resources from Dr. Breuning at DailySales.Tips/163 She has also been generous enough to offer 1 copy of two different books that she’s written to listeners of this show. Those books are titled, Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphin Levels and the other is Tame Your Anxiety: Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness. To win a copy just send me an email at [email protected] with the title of the book you’re most interested in.
Thanks so much for listening. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip!