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5 Activities That Increase Dopamine In Your Brain

Dopamine is made naturally in the body. It plays a vital role in our health and wellbeing. When our bodies are low on dopamine, it can result in the development of many different health conditions. Fortunately, there are several activities we can participate in that will increase the level of dopamine in our systems. In this article, we will look closer at what dopamine is, how it interacts within our bodies, and review a handful of the best activities that will naturally increase the production of this hormone.

What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a naturally occurring compound that is known as the feel-good hormone. That is because dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends signals from parts of the body to the brain. It is the chemical responsible for making you feel happiness and joy from something you have done or experienced. Maintaining the right balance of dopamine in the body is important as it assists in controlling emotional reactions and motor skills. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why dopamine is essential in our mental and physical health. But dopamine does a lot more than just make us happy or give us the warm fuzzies when something good happens to us. It impacts far more than our moods. Dopamine influences sleep, concentration, learning, and studying. When there is a deficiency of dopamine in the body, it reduces one or more of these responses. Low levels of dopamine essentially scramble the signals going to the brain.

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Where Dopamine Comes From

Two primary parts of the brain synthesize dopamine. A location that exists at the midbrain level is called the substantia nigra. This region controls body movement. When cells within the substantia nigra either die or are damaged, the body may respond with uncontrollable body movements. Dopamine assists in stimulating motor skills. The other place in the brain where this neurotransmitter is produced is the ventral tegmental. The brain will secrete dopamine as a response to receiving a reward. Rewards that trigger the ventral tegmental can be anything from doing something we enjoy, to eating favorite foods, to participating in an activity we are developing an addiction to. Anything that produces a feeling of joy or euphoria has triggered the ventral tegmental.

How To Increase Your Body’s Dopamine Level

Now that we have a better understanding of what dopamine is, how it is produced, and what it does to the body, let’s look at ways to increase that hormone through the things we do regularly.

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Food and Beverage Consumption

Although too much saturated fat and sugar will negatively affect dopamine production in the body, eating protein has the opposite result. Two amino acids (tyrosine and phenylalanine) produce dopamine and are present in proteins. This is why a well-balanced diet includes regular amounts of protein. As for beverages, coffee is a well-known stimulant, and drinking protein coffee can tweak dopamine production. Speaking of diet, ensuring that you are ingesting enough antioxidants and supplements, where necessary, all contribute to healthy dopamine levels.

Health Activities

We’ve pointed out that dopamine is often released from the brain when we do things we enjoy. Some great activities that will put our minds into our happy place include exercising, meditation, and listening to music. Exercise releases many hormones into our body and reaching new fitness goals, it will trigger dopamine. Music is an interesting choice as songs tend to bring good memories flooding back to our minds. When we engage in relaxing activities, the reward we receive is dopamine for taking care of ourselves and doing something positive for our mental health.

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Sunlight Exposure

We already know the importance of sunlight in the production of Vitamin D in our bodies. Studies have also concluded that sunlight has a direct correlation to mental health. Who doesn’t find some joy when walking somewhere on a sunny day? This is why it is so important to maintain exposure levels to sunlight in the Winter. Box lights with wide spectrum bulbs assist in mood elevation simply through the stimulation of dopamine production. Whenever you are feeling blue, the quick solution is to get outside and feel the sun on your face.

Gambling

Gambling is an activity that has been extensively studied concerning dopamine production. Each time a player hits a jackpot, the brain releases a dose of dopamine. The feeling of euphoria eventually builds to such an intensity, that gamblers who are unable to control their behavior become addicted to casino activity. The addiction comes from the need to continue to feel that intense euphoria. When COVID closed many gambling operations, bettors turned to the internet to get their gambling fix. Online casinos continue to be popular providing a gambling outlet that can be accessed from home. To learn more about gambling online, visit Casinos Analyzer.

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Sleep

How much uninterrupted sleep do you get on average? A lack of sleep impacts concentration and can result in accidents or injuries. This is of particular concern if you operate heavy machinery or have a job that requires you to be on the road or is detail-oriented. Without a good night’s sleep, the body is not as sensitive to dopamine. This can result in fatigue and sleepiness on the job. Participating in relaxation techniques each night before bedtime can assist in calming the body down to where sleep comes easy. Other tricks can assist with relaxation. They include taking a hot bath, drinking a hot cup of tea, or diffusing essential oils in your bedroom.

Final Thoughts

Dopamine makes us feel good. It is because of something we did that elevates our mood or something that has happened to us that we experience through our senses. Regardless of what the stimulus is, dopamine is responsible for giving us that feeling of happiness, joy, and euphoria. If the body does not produce enough of it, we can be proactive and do things to help trigger the brain to produce more of the compound. With a good balance of dopamine in our system, we can lead healthy and happy lives.

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