The Neuroscience of Winning with Dr. Stephanie Estima


This week on the Better Show we are pleased to present Dr. Stephanie Estima’s speech at Changemaker 2022. Dr. Stephanie Estima has over 19 years in practice, she’s a best selling author, and ofcourse your host of the Better Show on this here channel. We begin by talking about the impact of dopamine and serotonin on our neurophysiology when we win. How and why it feels great to win, and how our brain remembers that joyous feeling, pushing us to win again. Dr. Stephanie explains the difference in longevity between winning and just missing out on winning by studies on Olympians, high level athletes, and on Nobel Peace Prize winners and runner ups life spans. We dive back into dopamine and how testosterone responds in accordance with its level. Winners and losers have different levels of testosterone, winning will set you up towards neurological momentum, and losing can send you into a neurological tail spin respectively. We continue with implementable strategies on how to increase your levels of dopamine, including chocolate, nicotine, the pursuit of sex, and exercise. Additionally when you think about something that is pleasurable to you, your brain will release dopamine as well as when you eventually engage in said activity. The dopamine and oxytocin increase we get when we are a part of a community is something we as a human species need and is great for your brain and longevity. Next we hear the pitfalls we can fall into by creating a reward system based around a future outcome, and how time seems to slow when we pursue that and will require a lot more dopamine to attain. We finish off this speech by discussing the mindset shift way from the outcome of winning and towards putting forth 100% effort. This change in approach can be drastically different and your brain will release dopamine during the process and not just at the end of the race.

Episode Overview:

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1:40 What it feels like to Win
  • 5:00 Winning’s Impact on Longevity
  • 6:30 Dopamine & Testosterone
  • 10:00 Ways to Increase your Dopamine Levels
  • 17:00 Dopamine’s Impact on Time
  • 19:00 Effort Reinforcement
  • 22:00 Conclusion

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I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!