14 Feb

Daily DOSE of happiness

One of the most interesting moments from  gSummit 2014 was Nicole Lazzaro’s talk. She is the founder and president of xeondesign and the author of the 4 keys to fun model.
In this presentation Nicole explained the relationship between the 4 neurochemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin) and happiness, and how we can train our brain to make us happier.

She identified 3 happiness problems:

  • Happiness problem 1: sometimes good feels bad, like eating a chocolate knowing is’t not good for our health
  • Happiness problem 2: emotions are fleeting – they come and go
  • Happiness problem 3: the cortex and the limbic system don’t communicate with each other. The part of the brain (the cortex) that is responsible for thinking, remembering, making decisions, assessing the world doesn’t have anything to do with actual feeling of happiness; this is the responsibility of the limbic system.

But how can we solve these problems through games?

We know that games are fun in 4 ways:

Hard Fun or Challenges – > Goals, Obstacles, Strategies
Easy Fun or Novelty -> Exploration, Creativity, Role Play
People Fun or Friendship – > Cooperation, Competition
Serious Fun or Meaning – > Real World, Change

Each of these types of fun triggers different emotions, and one can unlock the human potential through games and neuroscience – the daily DOSE of happiness!

  • Dopamine is generated by the anticipation of reward and the path to learning. It is associated with hard fun and serious fun; the key is to take small steps in achieving your goal and to celebrate them.
  • Oxytocin creates a feel of social bonding, creates and amplifies trust, reduces fear; it is associated with people fun
  • Serotonin relates to social dominance, hierarchy, general good mood, social ranking, recognition and respect from people you admire; it is associated with people and serious fun
  • Endorphin is about masking pain, being able to laugh and cry

Therefore, there are 3 actions you have to take daily in order to put these chemicals from your brain to work and accomplish your dreams:

1. Celebrate small goals
2. Connect with others
3. Get respect from those you admire

For more info you can check this interview.