**Dopamine- more like Dopa-Please be-Mine. **
Everyone loves dopamine. Dopamine is the boyfriend/girlfriend who goes the extra mile just to make you feel happy. If you had to marry a neurotransmitter, you’d surely go for dopamine.
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals across the brain. In simple words, dopamine can be described as the body’s ‘feel good’ chemical. Elevated levels of dopamine in the body are essential for happiness, motivation and a sense of fulfilment. However, low levels of dopamine can lead to anxiety, depression, and fear alongside other symptoms like fatigue, procrastination, low libido, lack of motivation and inability to concentrate.
A study conducted on dopamine deficient lab mice showed that the mice became so apathetic and lethargic that they lost their motivation to eat and starved themselves to death. (Yeah! Dopamine is that important.)
Fine fine! The chances of you starving yourself to death are considerably weak but the other symptoms can take a heavy toll on you if you choose to ignore the lovely and selfless, dopamine.
Here’s how you can naturally raise up your dopamine levels:
1. Dopamine and Tyrosine are like Pablo and Gustavo:
Confused? Hold up! Let me break it down for you. Tyrosine is considered to be the building block of dopamine. Tyrosine is also one of the 22 key amino acids that are used to build proteins in the body. The tyrosine in the body is converted to L-DOPA by the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) which in turn raises the levels of dopamine. Some tyrosine-rich food items are Cheese, Soyfoods, Roasted beef, Pork, Eggs, Seafood, Almonds, Chocolate, Chicken, Coffee, Yogurt, etc. You can read the full list here. .
2. Exercise and Dopamine faithful lovers:
Dopamine and exercise have had a strong relationship since the beginning of time. Some people label their relationship as ‘the runner’s high.’ Dr. John Ratey, renowned psychiatrist and author of Spark says that “Exercise raises the baseline levels of dopamine by promoting the growth of new brain cell receptors. Research suggests that even moderate exercise like jogging or yoga is sufficient to release dopamine into your system.
**3. Good music strums all your dopamine chords: **
You’d be lying if you say that you don’t smile and jump in joy when your favorite song accidentally plays on shuffle. In a study conducted by McGill University, Montreal, researchers found that the levels of dopamine were 9% higher when people were listening to the music they enjoyed. This feeling is caused by the activity in the caudate, a subregion of the striatum, which starts creating an anticipatory response up to 15 seconds before the actual emotional climax of a song.
4. Meditation is the silent pathway to dopamine:
Meditation, if done properly and wholeheartedly can be a major source of dopamine. Meditation also helps to improve the concentration and productivity levels by eliminating the negative influences on your mind. Jeez! The benefits of meditation just keep adding up.
**5. Achievement is the ultimate source of dopamine: **
Dopamine has a biological connection with our motivation to achieve. Dopamine always works in sync with your brain’s reward system. Therefore, every time you complete a task, you brain rewards itself with a boost of dopamine. No matter how small the task is, dopamine plays the role of the motivator, creating a sense of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by a sense of achievement.
What are you waiting for? Play some good music while snacking on tyrosine-rich foods and achieve something through exercise or meditation. Dopamine is waiting for you!
Help is just an app away!
**-Team DocsApp. **