Most of us have probably heard in the past that we have chemicals in our brains which make us “feel good,” and we’ve all likely heard the name “dopamine” being thrown-around on many different occasions. However, have we put forth the time and effort which is required to properly comprehend the significance of dopamine—and to properly understand all the minor steps which all of us can take in order to genuinely experience happier, healthier, and longer lifetimes? Low-levels of dopamine can cause depression, which is enough reason on its own to scrutinize the information below.
It’s entirely possible to increase your dopamine levels without having to get a prescription.
#1: Get moving.
Getting an adequate amount of exercise increases your dopamine levels, and it will also strengthen you physically and reduce your stress levels. Remaining immobile for long periods of time is usually only beneficial when you’re sleeping (or trying to).
#2: Move-past addictions.
They cause your dopamine levels to remain low in the short-term and in the long-term, and this in turn causes addictions to worse or to become more intense.
Many types of toxins and bacteria prevent your body from creating dopamine—so keep your body clear of these things regularly.
#4: Ingest more Tyrosine.
This amino acid is vital for creating dopamine, and you can ingest more of it by consuming more almonds, bananas, dark chocolate, and/or green tea.
#5: Listen to more music.
As long as you genuinely enjoy listening to it, music will increase your dopamine levels.
#6: Organize yourself.
This means formulating goals, writing them down (or typing them), and checking them off once you’ve achieved them. Each time you do, you will experience a bump in dopamine.
#7: Be more creative.
Not only does it boost dopamine levels, but making a conscious effort to be more creative whenever possible in life is—well—just way more fun!
#8: Be a “streaker.”
No, not one of those people who run naked across a baseball field (sorry). To branch-off of “organizing yourself,” keep track of how many tasks you’ve managed to complete in a row, and keep of track of each time you break a record (or are on pace to do so). This is a great way to piggyback onto “achievement generated” dopamine in order to generate even more.
#9: Research supplements.
It’s best to avoid any form of “medications,” but it’s also best to look into natural supplements which could end up topping your levels of dopamine off. Spend some time and effort researching Curcumin (in turmeric), Ginkgo Biloba, Acetl-l-tyrosine, and L-theanine (in green tea).
Exercise is amazing and essential—but it shouldn’t (and can’t) take the place of meditation. In order to maximize dopamine production, you need to take special care to remain calm, relaxed, and focused.
#11: Be in love.
“Any kind of novelty or excitement drives up dopamine in the brain, and dopamine is associated with romantic love.”—Helen Fisher
#12: Don’t be shy.
“Attention is the way social primates measure status. It is highly rewarding because it causes the release of brain chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins.”—Keith Henson
#13: Enjoy dessert (every once in a while).
“We love salt, fat and sugar. We’re hard-wired to go for those flavors. They trip our dopamine networks, which are our craving networks.”—Michael Pollan
#14: Enjoy old-fashioned comfort food.
“Food is a lot of people’s therapy – when we say comfort food, we really mean that. It’s releasing dopamine and serotonin in your brain that makes you feel good.”—Brett Hoebel
#15: Tweet (a little).
“Every time my Tweet Deck shoots a new tweet to my desktop, I experience a little dopamine spritz that takes me away from . . . from . . . wait, what was I saying?”—Bill Keller
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.