Look for the Micro-Moments of Happiness to Ward Off Depression


[Excerpted from You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type by Daniel G. Amen, MD]

You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type is written by psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and brain health expert Daniel G. Amen, MD. In this book, he reveals how to discover your brain type and tailor happiness strategies best suited to your brain type. This book also shows how to improve your overall brain health to consistently enhance your mood, protect your happiness by distancing yourself from the “noise” in your head, and make 7 simple decisions and ask 7 daily questions to boost your happiness.

The big “H”— happiness—doesn’t require major life-changing events, accomplishments, or milestones. Start finding joy in the smallest things you can: hearing a bird sing outside your window, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face when you step outside, petting your dog or cat, taking that first sip of your favorite brain healthy smoothie, or cracking open a new book (like this one!).

I call these micro-moments of happiness.

Most of us gloss over these little things, searching instead for the big experiences. I want you to savor these precious times because, when your brain pays attention to them, they add up to more overall contentment and satisfaction with your life. The more micro-moments you cherish, the greater your sense of joy.

The big “H”— happiness—doesn’t require major life-changing events, accomplishments, or milestones. Start finding joy in the smallest things you can. I call these micro-moments of happiness. Click To Tweet

If you were one of my patients, I’d ask you to do my 4 Circles of Happiness exercise to identify the little things that make you happy in each of the following 4 circles.

  • Biological Circle: how your physical body and brain function
  • Psychological Circle: developmental issues and how you think
  • Social Circle: social support, your current life situation, and societal influences
  • Spiritual Circle: your connection to God, the planet, past, and future generations, and your deepest sense of meaning and purpose

Let me show you some of my own micro-moments of happiness in each of the 4 Circles:

  • Biological Micro-Moments: the first sip of a brain-healthy cappuccino or hot chocolate, the first bite of an orange from my late father’s ranch, guacamole made from his avocados, my dog Aslan getting excited when I put on my sneakers to go for a walk, holding my wife Tana’s hand when we walk, having eye contact with her, seeing the fireplace come on or watching it, hearing a song I love
  • Psychological Micro-Moments: making a great play in a Sudoku puzzle, laughing at a joke or funny scene in a movie or TV show, listening to a cool plot twist in an audiobook, putting words together to make someone laugh
  • Social Micro-Moments: hearing my mother’s voice on the phone when she first recognizes it’s me, thinking of the grandkids, getting a fun text from a friend or patient, petting/cuddling the dog and cat
  • Spiritual Micro-Moments: saying a prayer each night, randomly remembering a Bible verse that applies to a situation I am in, being grateful for another day, remembering my grandfather and father

Throughout my book, You, Happier, I will introduce you to more of my own micro-moments of happiness and will offer suggestions to look for your own based on your brain type. Let’s get happier, one micro-moment at a time!

If you want to join the tens of thousands of people who have already learned how to have a happier brain and a happier life at Amen Clinics, speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.  


  1. Is there any recommendations in the Houston area for treatments / brain scans etc.

    Comment by Sharon — January 17, 2022 @ 6:49 AM

  2. Hello Sharon, thank you for reaching out. While we do not have a clinic in the Houston area as of now, we do have 9 clinics across the US, including one in the Dallas Metro area: https://amenclinics.com/locations/dallas-metro-area/

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 17, 2022 @ 9:14 AM

  3. Is there any help for an old person with depression who is on a fixed low income budget?

    Comment by Linda — January 19, 2022 @ 3:16 AM

  4. So, how much is the book?? I’m very cautious and suspicious on offers that do not tell you the price until you are FINISHED IN THE ORDERING PROCESS.

    Comment by Jeanne Hillman — January 19, 2022 @ 4:04 AM

  5. How difficult is it to get in for a brain scan in the Chicago? I would like myself, my husband and two teen kids to all be scanned and evaluated.thank you

    Comment by Heather Piceu — January 19, 2022 @ 4:54 AM

  6. It sounds absolutely wonderful. My biggest struggle with all these things is following through and having accountability. But I’m willing to give it a try. I’m so excited. Thank you for sharing your wisdom

    Comment by Martha Krech — January 19, 2022 @ 6:21 AM

  7. I loved your micro moments of happiness to ward off depression examples. Thanks for inspiring me.

    Comment by Louisa Gomez — January 19, 2022 @ 6:55 AM

  8. This was so helpful– especially the examples of each “circle”. Thank you! (Looking forward to the new book.)

    Comment by Deb — January 19, 2022 @ 8:37 AM

  9. I lost my mom November 2 2021 I had her for seven and a half years no help from my family at all, dr said I had burn out I never ever heard of that , I’m recovering still , and I do feel down often when that happens I start to really cry hard and after I do that I most of the time start to feel better, is this a concern fir me or is the normal Pls let me know thank you 🙏

    Comment by Katherine walters white — January 19, 2022 @ 1:46 PM

  10. Hello Heather, thank you for reaching out. We would be happy to contact you directly with more information regarding scheduling an appointment with our Chicago clinic. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 19, 2022 @ 2:23 PM

  11. Hello Jeanne, thank you for reaching out. The pricing is dependent on which version of the book you order (i.e.: hardcover, kindle, etc.). Here’s a link to the book preorder on Amazon which contains some pricing: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09F842N1L/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 19, 2022 @ 4:37 PM

  12. Hello Linda, thank you for reaching out. Amen Clinics offers consultations and different types of evaluations based on the needs of the patient. For information regarding pricing, insurance, and financing options, please contact our Care Coordinators: https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 19, 2022 @ 4:41 PM

  13. Please help me to sleep at night have you any ideas how i can drift off

    Comment by Valerie — January 23, 2022 @ 3:56 PM

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