Dopamine is necessary for your happiness and well-being. It is a neurotransmitter that helps with the brain’s pleasure and gratification control center, with the regulation of emotional response and movement of your body, and allows you to take steps to move towards your dreams.
Increase dopamine levels so you don’t feel stressed and depressed.
Sounds great, right? Dopamine also affects your perception – healthy dopamine levels help you see life in a positive light. Low dopamine levels promote sadness, depression, negativity, and other emotional problems.
Luckily, there are 10 easy and natural ways that you can implement to increase your dopamine levels without medication.
1. Don’t get addicted.
Addictions, including drugs, gambling, alcohol, sex, shopping, and any other addictive behavior, often develop for instant gratification. But this instant fix doesn’t really solve your problems. For a time, addictive behaviors can ease your pain, but they don’t offer long-term solutions. Addictions lead to less rewarding lifestyles that have to do with seeking fulfillment from the source of your addictions.
To decrease the likelihood of addictions, make it your goal to live a fuller life, with more pleasures of rewarding life. Fill the day with things, activities and people that inspire. Have deep conversations, go for a walk, read a good book, get a job you like (or learn to love your job), play with animals, or buy flowers.
Since addictions often stem from past trauma, you must seek ways of emotional release, letting go, and forgiveness. If necessary, don’t be afraid to seek help from a therapist or counselor.
2. Small task checklist.
Have you ever wondered why you feel happy when you have finished your homework or got organized? It is because your dopamine levels increase when you have completed something. Your dopamine levels increase even more when you are able to check something on your list physically, rather than mentally.
According to the principles of self-management, if a task consists of 25% or more change in your routine, you will feel overwhelmed, unable to complete it, and may start to self-sabotage or give up. If the task involves less than 10% change, you probably won’t, because it will feel easy and pointless. The best way to balance the scale is to target 10-25% of new behaviors and actions in order to create the highest probability of success.
This is just a guide, but find a task that seems challenging and motivating, but not too difficult or doable. Break large tasks into smaller steps. Create a written list, and “tick” or check as you go through them to better help raise dopamine levels.
3. Create something.
When you are in a creative mode, you enter the beautiful flow of a new world. Creative activity creates more dopamine levels in the brain, which puts you in a hyper-concentrated state of happy flow.
You don’t have to be a professional artist to be creative. Writing, painting, sculpting, playing with Legos, drawing, coloring, dancing, singing, knitting, crafting, photography, repairing cars, cooking, baking, or anything else that seems fun and interesting so that it can become a creative activity.
Even designing a new program for your work, organizing your home, or planning a trip can be a creative endeavor. Find something that really inspires you and makes you happy. Don’t judge yourself or compare yourself to others. Allow yourself to enter the process of creation.
Exercising is, in a way, an art form and self-expression. But regardless of what type of exercise you choose, it is highly likely that it can increase your dopamine levels, as well as your endorphins and serotonin, relieve stress, and create joy. Although exercise is important, make sure it doesn’t become an addiction. Find a form of exercise that you like, but don’t overdo it. Don’t place value on exercise either. It is a part of healthy living, personal care and happiness, but it is not a way to measure your self-esteem.
Functional training is a good exercise option, as it is designed to help you with everyday life. Your body will get stronger and healthier, and you will be able to go about your day with a lot of energy.
5. Follow your routine.
Following your established routine is similar to creating a checklist and going through its steps. Increases dopamine levels and helps you feel good and fulfilled. Set a goal that can be:
- A new exercise routine.
- A habit that is part of a lifestyle or diet change.
- A self-love routine, or an activity with a loved one.
- Check all the Meatless Mondays you have achieved.
- Decide to take yoga or go for a run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Write in the mornings.
- Go out at night every second Saturday with your partner.
- Experiment with a new recipe every Sunday.
- Review your achievements and smile as you go.
Although having an established routine is something to celebrate, it does have some downsides. It can become so routine that you forget to celebrate. The routines are good, but don’t forget to mix things up, for example, mix up new recipes on a Meatless Monday instead of making the same old easy pasta marinara, try different types of yoga classes, use new books. of cooking recipes or new methods for your recipes, doing a variety of exercises daily, trying new things for date night, instead of a dinner or a movie.
Getting into a routine can become a problem if you take yourself too seriously. What if you get sick and have to skip a Monday or your partner has to be out of town to work on the night’s date, or the alarm didn’t go off, causing you to forget to write in the morning? It is not a big thing! Don’t worry if you have to skip the list from time to time. Get back up and plan a new routine. You are not training for the Olympics or competing for the presidency, you are simply creating happiness and health in your life.
6. Increase tyrosine.
Tyrosine is the most important of all the chemicals that make up dopamine – in fact, it is the main building block of dopamine. Tyrosine is one of the 22 major amino acids that are used for building protein throughout the body. It not only increases dopamine levels, but norepinephrine as well.
This makes it important for you to get enough protein. There are a wide variety of foods that can increase tyrosine in your body. The best plant-based foods for tyrosine are almonds, bananas, avocados, green tea, watermelon, and dark chocolate. Again, food is your medicine and it can also create happiness – lasting happiness.
7. Listen to the music.
You know that feeling of yours, where the world stops and all you want to do is dance and sing? It feels good, right? Guess what! listening to good music increases dopamine levels and creates a good feeling.
This is, however, only a temporary increase. Listening to music may temporarily make you feel good, but it won’t lead to lasting fulfillment in life (unless you’re a musician, singer, DJ, music producer, or music is your passion in a similar way). Popular music today is created in a way to create chemical dependency in the brain – much like substance addiction.
Of course, being addicted to music is much better than being addicted to drugs, alcohol, junk food, or shopping, but it is still not necessarily healthy. Make sure music is just one part of your life, a source of inspiration, or a quick start to a good day. Make sure you have plenty of other sources of dopamine in your life as well. Find activities that fulfill you, create goals and go for your dreams.
If you are leading a very busy life in today’s world, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There is so much to do, your to-do list is endless, and there are so many other spontaneous urges of needs and wants. With so many options, it can even be overwhelming to select a box of granola or choose a healthy apple. Your brain is looking for past clues and is already working on the future. Overthinking can be more than a compulsion that you just can’t seem to stop.
One of the benefits of meditation is to slow down your “monkey mind.” Even if it’s only for a few minutes, it can help slow down your thinking, or better yet, stop thinking. Through meditation, you can learn to be present. Meditation increases dopamine levels, but in a different way than cardiovascular exercise.
This calms the mind, centers your being, helps you feel good, creates more mental energy, and helps you reach more fulfillment in life. If you practice meditation regularly, over time you will be able to transfer your skills to real life and in touch with the present moment in stressful situations.
9. Take supplements.
There are many great ways to increase your dopamine levels, be it through lifestyle, daily activities, and food. However, if you’ve been dealing with sadness, lack of motivation, lack of energy, or an illness that is holding you back, you can use all the help you can get. Some days too, it may simply be that you face a shortage of time to get involved in all of your dopamine-friendly activities.
Fortunately, there are some natural supplements that can help increase your dopamine levels.
- Acetyl-L-tyrosine is a building block of dopamine, and a healthy dose can help your brain make the job of making dopamine easier.
- Ginkgo Biloba is a popular supplement that is believed to increase dopamine levels and maintain them longer.
- L-theanine increases neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, in your brain. Green tea is a wonderful source of L-theanine.
- Curcumin. It is the active ingredient in turmeric that is not only a powerful anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral superspecies, but also increases dopamine levels in the brain.
Remember that while taking a supplement is helpful and beneficial, it is not a substitute in options for enhancing dopamine with a happy, healthy lifestyle and diet and dopamine. Life is complex, it is also magical, it is much more than just taking a pill. Take your turmeric or other supplements, but practice all the other 9 tips in this article, for ideal results.
When your body is full of toxins and bacteria, everything gets out of control. Your immune system weakens, your body acquires an acidic pH giving opportunities for the disease to grow, and dopamine production can be limited as well. In other words, if you are full of garbage, you will feel like garbage too.
- First of all, what you bring into your body is very important. If you have enough toxin buildup already – stop consuming more.
- Focus on whole, organic, nutritious foods, mostly plants.
- Reduce – or preferably stop – your consumption of processed foods.
- Organic fruits and vegetables are definitely your friends. Green juices and green smoothies are great ways to get a lot of nutrients into your body quickly.
- It is important to keep the intestine healthy. Eat fermented foods and take probiotics to help create the healthy balance of bacteria in your body. A healthy gut is the foundation of a healthy mind and a healthy body.
- In general, make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep allows your body to recover and your mind to rest. In addition to sleep, find time to relax, laugh, nap, and do all the rewarding activities you need to stay awake, happy, and positive.
What do you do regularly to increase dopamine, to create more joy and satisfaction in your life?