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Why Your Brain Is Not Designed To Make You 'Happy'.

Updated: Jan 5

It's easy to think that our brain is made for happiness. After all, if you're happy, you're more likely to live longer and have better relationships than if you're not.

But the truth is more complicated: our brains are designed to keep us alive at all costs. So what does this mean?

When our brains think we are at risk of being harmed, it releases a cocktail of stress hormones to kick us into defence mode, until we are safe again.

This sounds like a tremendous evolutionary strategy as our brains are attuned to finding external threats (like sabre-toothed tigers) and internal threats (like feelings of regret). However, it's not so helpful when your brain thinks attending an interview is just as scary as being confronted by a hungry sabre-toothed tiger!

A Brain Under Attack

Feeling stressed, anxious or burned out at work is an indication that your brain has interpreted it as a threat and is making sure you stay away from anything that might 'hurt' you. And over time if our brain gets into a habit of looking out for negatives, it can be very difficult to notice the positives in life.

Those struggling with mental health issues can therefore understand why the world suddenly appears a much bleaker and unhappy place when your mental health deteriorates.

This is one of the reasons why we must practice regular mindfulness and consciously work to "override" our innately negative thoughts to the more positive aspects of our lives.

Prioritising your physical and mental well-being with regular self-care activities reduces stress, anxiety, and burnout—and promotes self-awareness.

In turn, this downregulates our heightened nervous system and trains our brain to shift from reactionary to proactive thinking.

World Mental Health Day 2022

The theme for #WorldMentalHealthDay2022 is 'make mental health and well-being for all a global priority'

Here at What The Doctor Recommends, we are on a mission to show the world the evidence-based benefits of travelling for stress reduction, burnout prevention and improving overall wellness.

Our trailblazing travel consultancy combines wellness travel with high-impact coaching to help our professional clientele detox from technology, recover from occupational burnout and implement fundamental well-being practices through wellness-based activities and mindful destination exploration abroad.

As a holistic service, Prescribed Wellness Travel™️ can be an effective, low-cost stress management measure for individuals and companies seeking a novel solution that increases workplace resilience and reduces the rising rates of occupational burnout seen in the global workforce.

We partner with carefully selected local tourism partners to create personalised wellness experiences for our clients, bringing to life the true meaning of #TravelTherapy.

The positive life coping skills reinforced during the individualised trips are both long-lasting and transferrable to the workplace.

The innovative wellness travel prescriptions have already garnered national and international press attention in the likes of The Telegraph, Metro and Good Housekeeping magazine.

Following unanimously positive reviews from our beta coaching clients, it's clear travelling abroad can be more than just a holiday; it can also be a life-changing experience.

Our vision is for Prescribed Wellness Travel™️ and wellness travel coaching to gain formal recognition as a holistic therapy and form of social prescribing by the College of Medicine and Integrative Health by 2024, with What The Doctor Recommends leading the #TravelTherapy movement.

Read more about What The Doctor's Recommends mission here.


How does knowing your brain is NOT designed to keep you happy affect the way you view your mental health and current mindset?

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