Dopamine is a vital neurotransmitter for productivity, motivation, and focus. Your brain has approximately 100 billion neurons that communicate with each other through brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
In addition, dopamine is the neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in providing focus, motivation, and drive. This neurotransmitter also plays a role in a number of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, ADHD, addictions, and depression.
Dopamine, also referred to as the motivation molecule, helps boost your concentration, drive, and focus. Moreover, dopamine is responsible for making you competitive. Furthermore, it allows you to have feelings of bliss, enjoyment, and euphoria. However, lack of dopamine can lead to lethargy, poor motivation, poor concentration and depression.
The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Lack of Dopamine Include:
If you have low levels of dopamine in your body, you can experience low motivation and energy. Also, you are more likely to rely on sugar or caffeine to get through your day.
The symptoms of lack of dopamine are similar to those of depression:
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Low libido
- Sleep problems
- Memory loss
A lot of people who suffer from dopamine deficiency compensate with self-destructive behaviors to elevate their dopamine levels. These self-destructive behaviors include use and abuse of drugs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gambling, power, sex, video games, or shopping.
Here Is How to Elevate Your Dopamine Levels Completely Naturally:
– Introduce These Foods in Your Diet
Dopamine is made from tyrosine, i.e., an important amino acid. Following a diet high in tyrosine helps stimulate the production of dopamine.
Increase your consumption of foods abundant in tyrosine, including:
- Pumpkin and sesame seeds
- Lima beans
- Fava beans
- Sea vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables
- Green tea
- Animal products
- Wheat germ
Foods rich in natural probiotics like raw sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt could also induce the production of dopamine because your gut health may affect the production of dopamine.
This means that an overabundance of harmful bacteria results in toxic byproducts known as lipopolysaccharides that can decrease your dopamine levels.
– Take These High-Quality Supplements
The following supplements could elevate your dopamine levels completely naturally:
- Phosphatidylserine helps regulate waste and nutrients in and out of your brain. Additionally, it could elevate your dopamine levels as well as enhance learning, concentration, memory, and ADHD.
- L-tyrosine is actually the precursor to dopamine. It can be found in supplement form.
- L-theanine is an ingredient present in green tea that could elevate the levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, such as GABA and serotonin. It helps enhance learning, recall, and positive mood. Drink 3 cups of green tea or take a theanine supplement on a daily basis in order to raise your dopamine levels.
- Ginkgo biloba has long been used to treat many brain-related issues, including anxiety, depression, mental confusion, fatigue, headaches, forgetfulness, and poor concentration. This supplement has been found to raise dopamine levels.
- Curcumin is the main active ingredient found in turmeric. Furthermore, it can be found in an isolated form as a supplement. Curcumin could readily cross your blood-brain barrier and elevate your dopamine levels. Many studies have proven that curcumin could help fight obsessive actions and enhance associated memory loss by raising dopamine.
A large number of studies have confirmed the benefits of meditation. In addition, regular meditation has been linked to deep relaxation, improved learning ability, and increased creativity. Researchers concluded that meditation could enhance concentration and focus, and raise dopamine.
– Get Regular Exercise
Getting regular exercise has a positive impact on your brain function since it helps slow down brain cell aging, stimulate new brain cell production, and enhance nutrient flow to your brain. This could also raise your levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
An author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, and renowned psychiatrist, Dr. John Ratey, has comprehensively examined the effects of physical exercise on the brain. The results showed that exercise could increase baseline levels of dopamine by inducing new brain cell receptor growth.
It is important to understand that you do not have to exercise strenuously to improve your brain health. Going for a walk, or doing exercises such as qi gong, yoga, or tai chi could help increase your dopamine levels and enhance your brain health.
That’s not all, home repair, woodworking, photography, drawing, sewing, quilting, and knitting could help focus your brain in a similar way to meditation. All these activities help prevent brain aging, elevate your dopamine, and fight depression.
How to Use Your Brain’s Reward System to Keep Optimal Dopamine Levels:
– Take on a New Challenge
You should create your own dopamine rewards by creating goals and taking small steps toward them on a daily basis. For instance, start a new exercise program, or learn a new language.
– Create Short- and Long-Term Goals
When you achieve a goal, dopamine is released in your brain. You should create both long-term and short-term goals in order to raise your dopamine levels. In addition, short-term goals can include trying a new recipe, cleaning your house, and more.
– Simply Enjoy the Quest
Our ancestors got a dopamine surge whenever they found a new patch of berries. You can actually use numerous other healthy ways in order to enjoy the quest in modern life.
Namely, you can look for specialty ingredients to cook with, new music to download, or a travel package bargain. What’s more, you may also want to engage in certain quest-oriented hobbies, such as amateur archaeology, rock hounding, bird watching, geocaching, and collecting of all types.
Here Is the Correlation between Mental Disorders and Dopamine:
Dopamine deficiency has been associated with the following mental disorders:
ADHD may be triggered by an abnormality in dopamine function because dopamine is responsible for maintaining focus. Additionally, prescription drugs used to treat this mental disorder work by stimulating the release of norepinephrine and dopamine, as well as by slowing down their re-absorption rate.
Even though the main culprit of schizophrenia is still unknown, environmental factors and genetics play a role. In addition, an overactive dopamine system has been associated with the onset of schizophrenia. The best medications to reduce the symptoms of this mental disorder block dopamine receptors and resemble dopamine.
Serotonin is a brain chemical related to depression. The most common drugs to treat depression include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil. They work by raising the serotonin levels in the brain. However, this only works in approximately 40 percent of patients that take them.
Many studies have proven that low dopamine is a major culprit of depression for a lot of people. Wellbutrin or Bupropion has been found to be effective for those patients that have not been helped by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
It is important to know that serotonin-related depression is followed by irritability and anxiety, whereas dopamine-related depression is characterized by lack of enjoyment of life and lethargy.
- Fonooni, Neghar. ”The Eat, Lift and Be Happy Handbook”;
- Lipman, Frank. ”The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness”;