Dopamine is the most significant neurotransmitter in our body that contributes to our motivation, overall productivity and gives us the sharp focus on tasks.
It is also known as the “motivation molecule”, seeing as it is the most important chemical that provides us with the glorious, most desired “lust for life”. The real boss in charge of the brain’s pleasure center.
So naturally, whenever we take a certain action that helps us maintain our survival like eating, sleeping, drinking, having sex – dopamine is released by our brain and an exquisite feeling of pleasure rushes through our body.
However, this natural motivation booster can sometimes fail to perform due to a certain problem with the receptors in the brain or numerous mental health disorders. As a result, the low dopamine levels can leave you depressed, unfocused and lethargic.
Anyhow, the use(abuse) of caffeine, sugar, drugs, shopping, online porn, gambling, power, sex are all considered effective, yet temporary triggers of dopamine.
But, the real, uplifting effect of dopamine can be achieved only through healthier lifestyles and suitable goal-oriented methods.
That said, if you want to explore further and get to know the proper way to reach a “natural high” state in life, here are 8 ways you can boost your dopamine levels:
1. Start EXERCISING
If you haven’t already started, we suggest you do it now. Not only does exercising boosts the production of new cells, slows down brain aging, relieves stress but it is also considered as one of the most important and beneficial stimulants of our best friend, the dopamine.
More specifically, any form of activity, whether it’s running, hiking, meditating, tai-chi, swimming etc., has the power to increase the dopamine levels with both serotonin and norepinephrine levels (stress hormone and neurotransmitter that helps you in stressful states).
And here’s another thing: You needn’t suffer through arduous exercises. A physical activity like a simple stroll guaranties a good dopamine load.
2. Get busy crafting and CREATING SOMETHING
If you’re a writer, painter, photographer, musician, crafter of any kind, or a highly imaginative genius that exists to create, you will surely agree on this. Concentrating on creative tasks stimulates the brain work and sharpens our focus.
And in no time, with the help of the dopamine, we reach a sensitive hyper-state, also known as “the flow”. This is the dimension where all the magic happens.
We suggest taking up a hobby or any activity which applies the most to you. It doesn’t matter what it is, it should simply make you happy. Let those dopamine levels loose and crazy all over the place!
3. Listen to your FAVORITE MUSIC more often
You know the feeling when you get goosebumps while listening to a song that makes your soul spark up? Yep, it is the dopamine working.
Brain scans of the human’s brain have shown that whenever we listen to a music we love, the pleasure center in our brain lights up similarly to when we eat, make love, or take drugs.
And surprisingly, you don’t even have to hear it first to get this chemical boiling. Just the anticipation of listening has the power to do that.
4. Increase your TYROSINE
Another useful tip to boost your dopamine levels is through consuming certain foods. Dopamine is made from the amino acid l-tyrosine which is mostly found in high-protein snacks. Here’s a list of some of the beneficial and nourishing foods which contain your highly-needed dose of dopamine:
– All animal products; almonds, apples; avocados; bananas; chocolate; beans; olive oil; green tea; oregano; peanuts; rosemary; sea vegetables; sesame and pumpkin seeds; turmeric; soy products; watermelon; oatmeal; beets.
Make yourself a refreshing avocado/banana smoothie and get those dopamine levels up!
5. Establish a streak – Maintain a TO-DO list
A streak is a visual reminder of all your daily tasks. The simplest way to do it is to take a calendar and put an X on every date-box as the day passes (and the obligations are completed, OFC).
You’ll feel much lighter and satisfied after you fulfill all the obligations for the day. Maintaining an effective planner and organizer will ignite the dopamine production the same way completing a task does.
Despite the fact that you haven’t fully completed the desired goals, just knowing that you have a direction sparks up the dopamine fuel and keeps you going.
6. Start MEDITATING
While dopamine is also known as the chemical od addiction and pleasure, you really don’t need to resort to ‘sex, booze, and rock’n’roll’ in order to get your desired load.
Oftentimes, the best way to go through the day is by shutting off for a while. That’s why you should also put meditating on your list. Calming your body and achieving mindfulness is essential for maintaining a healthy, dopamine-infused life.
7. Get out of your comfort zone and DISCOVER new things
The production of our brain chemical- dopamine is also linked to the sheer fascination and delight of new-found things. Whether it’s a new hobby, a thrilling fresh adventure, road trip, a new book, fresh new album from your favorite band, you name it.
Just go out there, and experience the real life out of the circle you are most familiar with. Go on adventures, explore, discover all the possibilities and let that dopamine flow!
8. Take DOPAMINE ENHANCING SUPPLEMENTS
Alongside food, you can additionally rise those dopamine levels up by adding some dopamine enhancing supplements to your already planned nutritious diet.
Curcumin is the basic active ingredient of the spice turmeric. It crosses the blood-brain barrier where it boosts the levels of dopamine.
Ginkgo biloba is traditionally used for various brain-related problems, such as fatigue, concertation issues, depression, anxiety etc.
L-theanine is a special compound that is found in green, black and white tea. Improves learning, and positive mood and it increases the dopamine, serotonin as well as the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).