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Neuroscience of Joy: Key Lessons with Dr. Mellin

Welcome to The Joy of Living Podcast where joy and connection are at the forefront of today’s conversation. In this episode, host Barry Shore sits down with Dr. Laurel Mellin, author of “1-2-3 JOY,” to explore the transformative power of joy as a natural medicine grounded in neuroscience and emotional brain training (EBT).

Join us as we delve into the health benefits of joy, including its biochemical effects and its ability to increase energy and purpose in our lives. Discover the importance of sustainable joy and how to avoid artificial highs, such as caffeine, while learning to differentiate between homeostasis and allostasis in body chemistry and stress management.

Show Notes:

[10:39] Dr. Laurel Mellin’s Latest Book: “1-2-3 JOY

  • Discussing the concept of JOY as a natural medicine based on neuroscience and emotional brain training (EBT).
  • Highlight JOY’s health benefits, including biochemical effects and increased energy and purpose.

[12:11] The Pursuit of JOY and Connection

  • The importance of sustainable JOY and avoiding artificial highs like caffeine.
  • Differentiating between homeostasis and allostasis in body chemistry and stress management.
  • The process of processing emotions and returning to a state of JOY through EBT.
  • Overcoming past hurts and traumas by staying connected to JOY and processing emotions effectively.

[22.14] Building Resilience and Presence 

  • Discussing the importance of resilience and presence in overcoming emotional challenges.
  • Highlighting the role of unconditional self-love and gratitude in managing negative emotions.
  • Exploring the concept of emotional circuits in the brain and how they can impact behavior and emotional health.
  • Sharing a personal experience with forming a survival circuit related to overeating and emotional stress.
  • Emphasizing the power of emotional processing to rewire circuits and reduce stress and overeating tendencies.

[31.33] Immediate Rewards and Brain Circuits 

  • Introducing the acronym “LAUREL” for letting awareness, understanding, reward, emotional liberation.
  • Discussing the immediate and guaranteed rewards of emotional processing in rewiring brain circuits.
  • Exploring the role of the prefrontal cortex in managing stress and making JOYful choices.
  • Sharing examples of individuals experiencing effortless weight loss and improved health through emotional processing.
  • Emphasizing the ease and JOY of rewiring brain circuits and the importance of choosing joy and presence in daily life.

[35:35] The Importance of Mindset

  • Barry and Laurel discuss the importance of mindset in business and life.
  • They emphasize the role of mindset in overcoming challenges and achieving success.
  • Barry shares his experience of shifting from a fixed to a growth mindset and how it transformed his life.
  • Laurel talks about the mindset shifts she made to succeed in competitive BBQ and business.
  • Laurel highlight the need for a positive attitude and resilience in the face of setbacks. 

[48.01] The Journey to Becoming a Visionary

  • Guest introduces the concept of the four-step journey to becoming a visionary.
  • Step 1: Clarity – Define your vision and purpose.
  • Step 2: Certainty – Develop unwavering belief in your vision.
  • Step 3: Creativity – Use creativity to solve problems and innovate.
  • Step 4: Contribution – Make a meaningful impact on others and the world.
  • Laurel shares his insights on each step and how they apply to his own journey.
  • Barry and Laurel discuss the importance of aligning your actions with your vision and values.

Insider Tips:

Oday joined IBM Consulting as the Global Sustainability leader in August 2023, bringing extensive experience in scaling businesses and a background in management consulting. Before joining IBM, Oday was the Founder & CEO of Better All Round (BAR), a B-Corp certified, innovative, ESG-focused diversified fiber-based business.

Under his leadership, BAR launched Ora Household Towel, a revolutionary product developed from initial concept to market within a year. Prior to launching BAR, Oday worked for over 20 years as a management consultant, starting his career at KPMG before moving to Accenture, where he held various leadership roles. At Accenture, Oday served as Global Head of Media & Entertainment, Global Head of Business Consulting for Communications, Media & High Tech, and Global Go-to-Market Lead of Accenture’s Analytics business.

Throughout his career, Oday has built strong teams and alliances while serving clients worldwide. In addition to his professional achievements, Oday has served as an advisor to several innovative start-ups and as a founding mentor for Henkel X.

Topics Covered:

  • What is generative AI and how can it help scale sustainability?
  • What will it take to bridge the gap between sustainability aspirations and action?
  • What are three things every business leader should know about generative AI?
  • How does generative AI help organizations collaborate better?
  • Where can our listeners go for more information?

For more information please visit:

About Laurel Mellin

Laurel Mellin, is a health psychologist, New York Times bestselling author, and founder of Emotional Brain Training (EBT), which she developed as a professor at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. EBT gives people the power to switch off stress chemicals that cause chronic diseases, mental health problems, and obesity and activate the joy chemicals that promote optimal health. Instead of grieving and living in the past, the tools empower people to stay present in their power to give back, be of service, and make their world and the world better places.