Dopamine is imperative to our mental state of mind and well-being.
A neurotransmitter, has the ability to control your pleasure and reward center, body movements and regulates emotional responses. It also helps you pursue initiative toward your ambitions. Dopamine has an effect on our perception, so if you are positive, your levels are good. Having low levels of dopamine can trigger depression, negativity, sadness and other emotional side effects.
Here are 10 all natural and simple ways to increase your dopamine levels without the use of pharmaceuticals.
1. Don’t Get Addicted
Addiction can be in the form alcohol, food, drugs, sex, shopping, gambling and other addictive behaviors. All for a sense of pleasure. This instant pleasure doesn’t fulfill any void or solve your issues. Addiction, at first, can be pain relieving, but will never provide a long term fix to the problem. Addictions are consuming, and consist mainly of searching for fulfillment by using the source of your addiction.
If you want to lessen the chances of addiction, live a life filled with fulfillment and purpose. Add activities, a hobby, and above all, people who encourage and inspire you to be positive. Aim for nature walks, learn to love your job, find a new hobby, read a new book you’ve never read before, or even immerse yourself around cute animals. Past trauma and abuse lead to addiction in most case. You will need to find ways of letting go, forgiveness and emotional release. Do not feel embarrassed, ashamed or scared as seeking help from a licensed therapist, life coach, and counselor.
2. Checklist Small Tasks
Have you ever wondered why you feel happy when you finish a task or get organized? It is because your dopamine levels increase when you’ve completed something. Your dopamine levels rise even more when you are able to check something physically off your list versus mentally.
According to the Principles of Self-Management, if a task involves 25% or greater change in your routine, you will feel overwhelmed, incapable or completing it and you may start to self-sabotage or give up. If the task involves less than 10% change, you will likely not do it, because it will feel easy and meaningless.The best way to balance the scale is to look for goals between 10 and 25% of new behaviors and actions in order to create the highest likelihood of success. This is simply a guide, but find a task that seems challenging and motivating, but not too difficult or doable. Break down larger tasks into smaller steps. Create a written list and check your boxes as you accomplish them to help better raise your dopamine levels.
3. Create Something
Taking on a creative pursuit such as sculpturing, singing, writing, drawing, coloring, dancing, baking classes, painting, making crafts, photography, ballet, making a vision board, auto repair and anything that sparks creativity. Even designing a new program for your job, organizing your home, or planning a trip can be a creative activity.
All exercise boosts your dopamine levels, as well as endorphins and serotonins, relieving stress and making you happy.
Find a form of exercise you enjoy, but don’t overdo it. Don’t place value on exercise either. It is a part of healthy living, self-care and happiness, but it is not a way to measure your self-worth. Functional training is a good choice of exercise, because it is tailored to help you with daily life. Your body will get stronger and healthier and you can go through your day with high energy.
5. Get A Streak Going
Getting a streak going is making a list of goals and accomplishing all of them. It increases dopamine and helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Set a goal: it can be a new workout routine, a habit that’s part of a lifestyle or dietary change, a self-love routine, or an activity with a loved one. Check off every Meatless Monday you’ve accomplished. Decide to take yoga or to to go for a run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Journal every morning.Go out for date nights every second Saturday with your partner. Experiment with a new recipe every Sunday. Check off your accomplishment and smile at your streak. Though having a streak is something to celebrate, it has some downsides to it.
It may become so routine that you forget to celebrate. Routines are good, but don’t forget to mix things up – mix in new recipes into Meatless Mondays instead of making the same old easy pasta marinara, try different types of yoga classes, use new recipe books or new cooking methods for you recipes, do a variety of journaling exercises, try new things for date night besides a dinner or a movie. Getting a streak can become a problem too if you take it overly seriously. What if you get sick and have to skip a Monday, or your partner has to be out of town for work on a date night, or your alarm didn’t go off, making you miss journaling?
6. Increase Tyrosine
Tyrosine is dopamine’s main energy source. It’s one of the 22 amino acids used for building proteins around the body. It not only increases dopamine levels, but norepinephrine as well. This makes it important for you to get enough proteins. There are a variety of foods that increase tyrosine levels in your body. Plant-based varieties of these tyrosine enhancing foods include almonds, bananas, avocados, green tea, watermelon and dark chocolate. Once again, food is medicine and it can also creates happiness – lasting happiness.
7. Listen To Music
Listening to music works to increase dopamine levels making you feel relaxed. Listening to music can temporarily help, but will not lead to lasting fulfillment in life (unless you are 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 your brain – just like substance addiction. Of course, being addicted to music is safer than having an addiction to junk food, drugs, shopping or alcohol, but it is still not healthy. Stay aware that music is only a part of your life, a source of inspiration or a kickstart to a good day. Be sure to have many other sources of dopamine in your life as well. Look for fulfilling activities, create goals and go for your dreams.
If you are leading a 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 impulses of needs and wants. With so many options, it can even be overwhelming to select a box of granola or to pick up a healthy apple. Your brain is puzzling about the past and already working on the future. Overthinking may even be more of a compulsion that you cannot seem to stop.
Through meditation, you can learn to be present. Meditation increases your dopamine levels, but differently than cardiovascular exercise. It calms your mind, helps you feel relaxed, produces more mental energy and helps you to reach more fulfillment in life. If you practice mindful meditation regularly, eventually you will be able to apply your skills to real life and get back to the present moment in times of tremendous distress.
9. Take Supplements
There are many great ways to increase your dopamine levels. If you’ve been facing feelings of sadness, lack of motivation, lack of energy, or an illness that’s holding you back, you can use help to cope. Some days you may also simply be facing a time crunch to get in all your dopamine-friendly activities.
Here’s some great natural supplements that can help you increase your dopamine levels.
• Acetyl-l-tyrosine is a building block of dopamine and a healthy dose can help make your brain’s job of dopamine production easier.
• Ginkgo Biloba is a popular supplement that is believed to increase dopamine levels and keep them up for longer.
• L-theanine increases neurotransmitters – such as dopamine – in your brain. Green tea is a wonderful source of l-theanine.
• Curcumin – this one is my favorite. It is the active ingredient of turmeric that is not only a potent anti inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral superspice, but it also increases dopamine levels in your brain.
Taking a supplement is helpful and beneficial, but it is not a replacement for dopamine. Life is tricky, but also magical, it is much more than simply taking a pill.
10. Toxic Cleaning
When your body is loaded with toxins and bacteria, everything gets out of whack. Your immune system weakens, your body becomes acidic, giving opportunities for disease to grow and your dopamine production can be constrained too. In other words, if you are filled with junk, you will feel like junk too. First, it is very important what you bring into your body. You have enough toxin build-up already – stop taking in more. Focus on nourishing, organic, whole foods, mostly plants. Reduce – or preferably stop – eating processed foods.
Organic vegetables and fruits are definitely your friends. Green juices and green smoothies are excellent ways to bring in a large amount of nutrients into your body quickly. If you are on the go, use Green Juice Powders, or simply add them to your juices or smoothies for extra benefits.
It is important to keep your gut healthy. Eat fermented foods and take probiotics to help create healthy bacteria balance in your body. A healthy gut is the basis of a healthy mind and a healthy body. Try our Biotic Balance Probiotics with 50 billion beneficial bacteria!
Overall, be sure to get enough sleep. Sleep allows your body to recover and your mind to rest. It is super important, don’t let yourself forget about it. Besides sleep, find time to relax, laugh, nap and do all the fulfilling activities you need to in order to keep yourself lifted, happy and positive.
Avoid the use of turmeric spice in your cupboard as a health supplement. Many spices contain carcinogens, GMO corn, dyes, and sawdust!