Dopamine is the brain’s master “pleasure” chemical which can also be called the magic neuron. This single neurotransmitter is responsible for a plethora of mental and physical processes. By learning how to increase and control your own dopamine levels naturally, you can overcome depression, anxiety, apathy, fear and so on.
Dopamine Is the Body’s Natural Alternative to Heroin
Dopamine is the neuron behind the reward mechanism, which rewards certain behaviors in people and then we do them again and again. It is also why some drugs are very addictive, including heroin, cocaine and any other opiates that cause dopamine. The sad thing is that when the levels of these drugs run dry, the receptors cry out for more and more. And thus addiction so easily takes over the brain and causes drug addicts to go to extreme measure in some cases, just to get their next fix. This is because the need for dopamine is REALLY that strong!
There are indeed many non-destructive ways to maintain healthy dopamine levels in our body, such things as making love, getting paid, solving a puzzle, playing video-games and even teaching your dog a new trick, can regularly boost our “pleasure” neurotransmitter, without the risk of any addictive backlash.
Dopamine Brings More than Good Feelings
Dopamine does a lot more than just boost our happiness quotient, though. It is the substance that is behind regulation of movement of muscles; it helps to make improvements to cognitive function, keeps one focused and helps in decision making, evaluating problems and issues along with solving them and regulating prolactin secretion.
There is no getting away from the fact that Dopamine is extremely important when it comes to happiness and wellbeing. Without dopamine being present in high levels people feel depression, confusion, sadness, negative thinking, fear, rumination and many other emotional obstacles. Dopamine is undoubtedly, extremely important for our wellbeing and happiness. Without high dopamine levels, we tend to experience depression, sadness, confusion, fear, negative thinking, rumination, and other emotional obstacles.
So what this is basically saying is do what you love. Do whatever makes you happy enough in life to release that vital dopamine and make yourself feel good. It makes complete sense to enjoy aspects of life that you find pleasurable and give you a good feeling inside, providing, of course, you are not harming yourself or others by doing so.
Following are 10 Methods to Elevate Your Dopamine Levels 100% Naturally:
#1. Regular Exercise
Exercising is free, simple and natural way to elevate your D2 dopamine receptors in your brain. Regular exercise is not only good for your physical health, but can also help to relieve stress and reduce negative emotions – strengthening the mind as it strengthens the body.
#2. Set Goals and Make a ToDo-List
The brain dumps a little dopamine every time we successfully accomplish a task – no matter how big or small. It is the completion that really matters, so set big & small goals for a day or weeks then break up big tasks into smaller pieces. Then, simply check off your accomplishments one by one. This habit also has a tendency of keeping you moving toward your goals and clearing the mental clutter in your mind.
The Principles of Self-Management state that if a task represents a change of 25% (or bigger change) in your life routine, you will feel disinclined to finish it, and often end up self-sabotaging or giving up. Conversely, making small changes (around 10%) keep you going in the right direction, and increase your pleasure.
#3. Avoid Addictions
Any addictive medication or substance affects one’s brain chemistry entirely. Your base levels of dopamine will decrease and you will slowly become more and more dependent on the substance. If you avoid addictions, you will have a stabilized base level of dopamine. Most addictions, such as sex, alcohol, shopping, drug-addictions, etc., usually lead to an immediate gratification. However, it is an instant fix, which does not provide a long-term solution.
You can reduce your possibility of addictions by living a more fulfilling life. Start by filling your day with people, things, and activities that uplift or inspire you. Furthermore, you should also learn to love your job, go for walks, play with pets, read a good book, or have fulfilling conversations. You may also want to consult a life coach, therapist, or counselor.
#4. Eat Dopamine-Increasing Foods
The essential amino acid, tyrosine is a precursor for dopamine. By eating foods that contain tyrosine, you can naturally boost dopamine levels. Tyrosine can be found in foods such as;
- Green tea
- Dark Chocolate
- Root Vegetables
- Exotic fruits such as watermelon and kiwi
#5. Listen to Music
One of the easiest and quickest ways to get a beneficial dopamine dump in the brain is from listening to music. It is a well-known fact that listening to music helps raise the levels of dopamine in your brain and uplifts you. Music creates “peak emotional moments” by making our brains “sing”, making them feel truly uplifted and motivated.
#6. Reduce your Lipopolysaccharides
It’s a big word, but it is basically an endotoxin that messes with your immune system and stunts the release of dopamine. By eating foods which protect the gut, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, or taking probiotics, you can lower your lipopolysaccharides, and allow dopamine to be created with ease.
Detoxifying your liver will decrease the amount of harmful bacteria and toxins in your body. These toxins are known to affect your dopamine levels in your brain that can prevent dopamine production. There are myriad ways of detoxing, from green juicing, to taking activated charcoal, or doing a yogic master cleanse. The less toxic you are, the more super-charged your dopamine levels can get.
#8. Meditation and Yoga
Yoga and meditation make you feel good inside, calming you and helping you handle stress better. When all of this happens, the neurotransmitters in your brain are activated and there are huge dopamine dumps. Meditation and Yoga also release you from the conditioned neural pathways that block the release of dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters. Thus, they are excellent ways to relax your body and mind. They actually offer you an escape from reality, providing various psychological, physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.
Becoming more positive is a great way of boosting dopamine levels. Try starting a winning streak and closely follow it and make sure that you really try your best and not do anything unmotivated.
#10. Get Creative
The moment you start getting more creative, your dopamine levels increases. Creativity is not limited to just arts and crafts. It can be anything, starting from cooking, dancing, designing, writing, reading and so on. Creativity gives you an unparalleled dopamine high. So, find an activity that inspires you as well as uplifts you. Also, avoid judging yourself or comparing yourself to others for best results.
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