How to Increase Dopamine levels…
We all want to be happy. To some, that feeling comes effortlessly, whereas others struggle daily to achieve real happiness. Hard times, bad situations and certain circumstances can make us feel blue. But when life gives us a break from the stress, all happiness starts with dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for pleasure. It regulates our moods, emotions, and empowers us with “desire” to seek out those rewards.
Addiction usually occurs with people who suffer from low dopamine levels. Through drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, binge eating, shopping, thrill seeking, and other addictive behaviors, they receive a “quick hit” of dopamine. However, these methods are never long term, and one of the reasons addictions can form. Those individuals will need to seek out another “quick hit” to keep that dopamine stream flowing; which isn’t a healthy way to live. If certain addictions get out of control, we can become slaves that could steal years from our life and hurt the ones we love in the process.
The puzzle you need to solve: What are the underlying issues that cause lower dopamine levels?― Then tackle these matters one by one in a healthy manner. It might be necessary to talk to a mental health professional if those low levels continue for extended periods of time. Remember: LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO FEEL MISERABLE!!!
In this article we list a few things you can do that will help raise dopamine levels naturally, take a look….
Tap into your creative side
Time to take on a new hobby or renew an old one like painting, writing, poetry, sculpting, singing, or dancing, etc… When you create or do something that truly inspires you, it activates your “flow state” where time and space seem to stand still. That hyper-focused state sparks dopamine levels to rise as you accomplish those tangible tasks. But do NOT fall into the trap of comparing your work to others, that can actually lower your dopamine levels by feeling inferior. Look at the positives of your accomplishments by realizing through practice (just like the pros did) your creations can compete with those you admire, making that time a rewarding and meaningful process.
Over and over again we hear how important exercise is for our health. We know it helps relieve stress, makes us more productive, and increases our overall health, and yes… it increases our dopamine levels too. It also stimulates other neurotransmitters into action that produce serotonin and endorphins. It’s simple to jolt dopamine into our brains by just walking around the block or jogging up and down the stairs a few times. If your time is limited, don’t allow exercise to become an extra stressor, instead, make it a part of your daily routine. Vacuum while jogging in place, or skip around the house when you’re loading or unloading your laundry baskets. Do anything that gets your blood pumping.
Setting achievable goals
Excellent studies have been conducted on why it’s easier on some to achieve their goals whereas others find it much more challenging. One case study showed that if a task took individuals out of their normal routines by 25%, they’d became overwhelmed and then found ways to self-sabotage in order to avoid it. If a task was under 10% of their regular routine, it was viewed as unworthy of the effort to tackle and therefore would not be achieved either. They found tasks that were set between 11%-24% of a person’s regular routine had a higher success rate than those who set unrealistic goals. When we self-manage our time and achieve the goals we have set for ourselves, we get rewarded which in turn raises those dopamine levels.
Listen to music
Get out your iPod or smartphone and listen to your favorite songs. Pick something that gets your blood pumping and your mind racing with creative thoughts. After a few songs, you should feel better. Music is another reward to our senses and can increase dopamine levels if its upbuilding. If you choose to listen to depressing music, you increase the risk of lowering dopamine. Stay clear of those unless you want to unwind with something relaxing.
Avoid high fats and sugary foods. When we ingest soda, for example, the high sugar gives us a temporary jolt but then it’s followed by that dreadful crash which sometimes can bring on what the experts call the “sugar blues”. Avoid that mess by eating healthy. For dopamine to run right, the body needs Tyrosine. Eating foods high in protein like almonds, watermelon, beef, chicken, chocolate, eggs, green tea, bananas and Greek yogurts, will help raise those levels.
If you are not happy, you need to find out why. Einstein explains it perfectly…
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
TIME TO MAKE THOSE NECESSARY CHANGES!