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What Is Dopamine And How Can You Use It?

What Is Dopamine And How Can You Use It?

Make dopamine your best friend and live a happier life using these five tips

When you aren’t feeling like yourself, there may be several causes, but one of them may be low dopamine levels. You may have heard of dopamine as our happy harmony, but it's so much more than that. It's more like our motivation, drive and craving hormone. The good news is, that there are ways to increase it and use it to our advantage. 

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a hormone and a kind of neurotransmitter that sends messages between the nerve cells in the brain. It is a brilliant chemical messenger that has a huge role in how we perceive pleasure. Being a happy hormone, it helps us focus, enjoy a better sex life, improve movement and have a good mood and sleep. Dopamine is a neurohormone that is released by your hypothalamus and makes for 80% of the catecholamines in the brain.

How can dopamine improve your quality of life?

1. Boosts motivation and creativity

Dopamine is the reward-seeking hormone in our body. That said, dopamine is responsible for motivating us to work and strive forward, toward our goals so we can feel the sweet bliss of success. When levels of dopamine D-2 receptors are high, people are motivated to complete all tasks. It is also connected to your creativity. So, to get your creative juices flowing, you must increase your dopamine levels by consuming foods rich in tyrosine, such as bananas, peanuts, almonds, avocado and probiotic cottage cheese. Studies suggest that the gut produces dopamine and serotonin, so eating gut-friendly food will help balance the dopamine levels in the body.

2. Reinforces reward and pleasure acceptance

Continuing on the reward note, pleasure and reward are two essential components of the dopamine hormone. This hormone is secreted when you feel a rewarding stimulus, such as when you are about to play a game, carry out any of your hobbies, have sex, etc. People with higher histamine levels or H1 receptors feel more pleasure than others. Pay attention to the fact that fluctuations in dopamine do not ruin pleasurable experiences for you. Instead, higher levels of dopamine make a person pursue pleasurable activities. It further enhances the overall production of happy hormones and reduces cortisol levels.

3. Helps with Parkinson’s Disease

Dopamine is associated with movement. This neurotransmitter enables nerve cells to communicate messages related to movement in the body effectively. The degeneration of such nerve cells can lead to tremors, poor balance, coordination difficulties and other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Increasing dopamine levels can help with the symptoms. 

4. Stimulates happy emotions

Dopamine and oxytocin are the two love hormones that stimulate romantic feelings, both emotional and physical. Dopamine is released when acts of love like hug, touch, sex or romantic gestures are performed. Increasing the dopamine secretion in the body also helps women enjoy better maternal instincts. Acts like breastfeeding or simply holding the baby can release dopamine and strengthen the mother-child bond naturally. 

5. Enhances memory and attention

Dopamine is directly connected to your short-term and long-term memory. Recollections associated with actions that prompted motivation and creativity are stored using dopamine. Serotonin receptors track your important memories and improve cognitive abilities by getting dopamine released in the prefrontal cortex. Reduced production of dopamine in frontal lobes can cause a low attention span. Ensuring required levels of dopamine in the body will keep you alert and active and enhance your memory and attention. 

How can you naturally increase and balance your dopamine levels?

  • Keep an eye on your diet. Increase protein and probiotics and reduce saturated fat and processed food and sugar. 
  • Listen to the music of your choice and indulge in hobbies that make you happy.
  • Eliminate stressors to naturally secrete dopamine at moderate levels.
  • Get high-quality sleep every night.
  • Move your body
  • Compete in competitive tasks or tasks that have levels

If you want a step-by-step guide on how to achieve your goals using dopamine, use my Dopamine Journal, which gives you frequent prompts, support and ideas throughout your journaling experience using dopamine. Try it here!