The neurotransmitter called dopamine is released by the brain and has numerous vital functions in the human body.
Some of its functions are:
- To control the pleasure and reward center of the brain;
- To control movement;
- To regulate the secretion of prolactin;
- To improve the cognitive functions (memory, knowledge, problem-solving, attention, decision making, and evaluation).
This neurotransmitter is crucial for our well-being and happiness, so it’s not surprising that low levels of dopamine can lead to sadness, negativity, depression, and other emotional troubles. But you can increase your levels of dopamine with the following 10 all-natural ways without using any medication.
1. Don’t Get Addicted
Many people often find instant pleasure in their addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, and even shopping or sex, but this doesn’t give them the solution to their long-term problems, but only satisfies their transient needs. These people have a lifestyle based on the satisfaction they get from their addiction.
To avoid any of these addictions, try living more fulfilling life with more life-rewarding pleasures. Enjoy simple things like walking, conversations, reading, and choosing a job which you will enjoy every day.
2. Checklist Small Tasks
When people are organized and finish even the easiest task, their levels of dopamine are increased. Therefore, write down the things you need to do instead of worrying about them, and check them off one at a time. It has been proven that our dopamine levels raise when we check things off of our to-do list.
The Principles of Self-Management recommends doing tasks that are motivating and challenging, but not too difficult because if they are, we might feel incapable of doing them, such as the tasks that involve 25% or bigger change in our routine. On the contrary, if the tasks represent less than a 10% chance of our routine, we will probably not try doing them as they will look too easy and meaningless. Therefore, the best way is to do tasks that bring change between 10 and 25 % of our routine.
3. Create Something
The dopamine levels are increased when we make something creative, and we are then more focused. Painting, writing, drawing, singing, dancing, cooking, knitting, auto repair, making crafts, are some of the creative things you can do.
You can increase your dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins levels with every form of exercise. Regular exercise makes us stronger, joyful and relieves stress which is important in our everyday life. However, be careful not to create exercise addiction.
5. Get a Streak Going
“Streak” can be defined here as a visual reminder of how many times in a row we have done some activity. This is similar to making a checklist and successfully doing our tasks. It makes us happier as it increases our dopamine levels. Take a calendar and note down the tasks or goals you like to accomplish in the next days, weeks, and even months. For instance, you can mark several days of the week on the calendar and exercise on these days that month. After exercising, mark that day off on the calendar.
This is a very useful way to increase your dopamine levels, but it has one negative aspect, and that’s creating a routine. But you can try finding new ways to change and improve your performance every time you do it.
6. Increase the Levels of Tyrosine
Tyrosine is one of the 22 key amino acids that create proteins in our body, and it’s the most crucial chemical for dopamine production. This chemical also raises the levels of noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Some of the foods that can raise the levels of tyrosine in our body are avocados, almonds, watermelon, dark chocolate, green tea, and bananas.
7. Listen to Music
Although temporarily, listening to music raises our dopamine levels, making us feel happy and energetic for a certain period. But as it won’t last long, music should be only one of your sources of dopamine.
There’s a difference between using cardiovascular exercises and using meditation to raise your dopamine levels. Meditating helps you relax, feel better, and create more mental energy, and with regular mediating you will become well-prepared to fight everyday stressful situations.
9. Take Supplements
Some of the natural supplements that will boost your dopamine levels are:
- Ginkgo Biloba is a well-known supplement to raise dopamine levels;
- Acetyl-l-tyrosine is an amino acid that produces dopamine, so a healthy dose of it will improve the ability of your brain to produce dopamine;
- Green tea is an excellent source of l-theanine, which increases dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain;
- The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, also raises the levels of dopamine in the brain.
10. Toxic Cleansing
When there are bacteria and toxic buildup in our body, our immune system weakens and the production of dopamine is restrained. Therefore, you should find some natural methods to detoxify your body.