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When resilience is discussed, we are often told to look at the bright side, i.e. optimism helps to lift you up and you can be more resilient. I always wonder about this generalized statement. For some, looking at the bright side is not that easy.

In his new book “You, Happier”, Daniel G. Amen, M.D. explains happiness in a way that resonates with me.  He asserts that there are different ways to make one happier based on one’s brain type. Therefore, there is no one size fits all approach.

Five brain types:

  1. Balanced: Happy brain systems and balanced neurochemicals
  2. Spontaneous: can be associated with lower levels of dopamine, which may cause people to be more restless and willing to take needless risks
  3. Persistent: often associated with lower levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, tend to get stuck on thoughts or behaviors.
  4. Sensitive: tend to be low in a combination of chemicals, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Can think and feel deeply.
  5. Cautious: tend to have low levels of the neurotransmitter GABA and high levels of cortisol.
    – Low levels of GABA can show up with anxiety, panic attacks, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, tremors, and epilepsy.
    – High levels of cortisol are associated with anxiety, depression, irritability, grief, headaches, memory loss (shrinks the hippocampus), and weight gain.

To conclude:

*Learn to love your brain, engage in brain-healthy behaviors, and avoid things that hurt your brain.

*Proper food and supplement intake to balance brain chemicals, exercise, meditation, and sleep all help your brain to be more balanced and happier.

A balanced brain brings clarity.

With clarity, we can set boundaries, manage time, and exercise self-control better.

With clarity, we are able to reframe our narratives for peace of mind and toward a more resilient outcome.

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