From fatigue and mood swings to addictive tendencies and memory loss, low dopamine levels are associated with a range of negative consequences. Finding ways to boost your dopamine naturally provides you with a barrier to many of these debilitating challenges.
In this blog, we uncover what dopamine is, what it does, and share four ways to boost your dopamine naturally.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or brain chemical that plays a significant role in our motivation and concentration levels. It also influences our abilities to engage in social activities, look after our health, and follow through with plans. In addition, dopamine has been found to play an integral role in our reward system and can help give us a positive outlook on life.
Out of the billions of neurotransmitters in our brains, dopamine is among the most commonly researched. It is believed that this is because of the extensive links it has to human behavior, such as addiction, pleasure-seeking, and stimulation.
Furthermore, dopamine plays an integral role in fundamental aspects of our lives, including concentration, memory understanding, sleep, activity, and pleasure. It additionally contributes to our abilities to interact in complex ways, use language, plan strategically, and fulfill goals.
Dopamine gives you the drive to complete tasks. As dopamine provides a feeling of satisfaction when an individual achieves something they’ve worked hard at, it also offers an increase in motivation and concentration. With this brain chemical, we can plan for the future, resist an impulse, feel joy, contentment, and, at times, euphoria.
Conversely, low dopamine levels are the root of many mental health conditions, including depression and Parkinson’s disease, which arise when the dopamine-producing cells in the body deplete.
Lifestyle habits, diet, and sickness can decrease dopamine levels, leaving you lacking life energy. However, there are some healthy and natural ways to boost your dopamine levels.
Dopamine is often found in high-protein foods, such as chicken and eggs. However, if you eat a plant-based diet, many other foods contain dopamine. Here is a list of some of the most dopamine-rich food sources:
Exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your mind and body. Through exercise, we can boost the production of new brain cells and create a better flow of nutrients into the brain.
Research by the American Psychological Association shows that physical exercise increases dopamine and serotonin levels. This happens by encouraging new receptors to develop. Though many people believe that exercise must include high-intensity workouts to boost dopamine, this is not true. Gentle exercise such as yoga, walking, or tai chi can motivate the mind and body.
As dopamine is responsible for the phenomenon known as ‘runner’s high’, it has also been found that exercising in the fresh air and sunshine has more benefits than exercising indoors. Sunlight can create new dopamine receptors and increase vitamin D levels in the body.
A study conducted by the John F. Kennedy Institute found that people who regularly meditate have a 65% increase in dopamine levels, which is described as a natural high.
Listening to music is known to release dopamine naturally. Research has found that engaging in music practice, or simply listening to it, lights up every area of the brain, including the pleasure system. This determines that music can make you sharper, happier, healthier, and motivate you in every stage of life.
Often people will describe listening to music as giving them goosebumps. This sensation is associated with a significant dopamine boost.
Dopamine is a crucial brain chemical that improves your mood and feelings of satisfaction and motivation. Usually, our bodies regulate our dopamine levels, but some diet and lifestyle changes can boost your levels naturally.
As touched on above, a balanced diet containing protein, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, and healthy fats helps your body produce the dopamine it needs. Good lifestyle choices, such as adequate sleep, exercise, listening or making music, meditating, and getting plenty of sunshine, are also important.
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