The Scoop on Dopamine; The Feel Good Chemical
You’ve probably heard of dopamine before. It’s a chemical, also known as a neurotransmitter, that occurs naturally in our brains.
Neurotransmitters, like dopamine, are the messengers of the brain.
They shuttle across the spaces between cells then bind to docking-station molecules called receptors. Those receptors relay the signal carried by the neurotransmitter from one cell to its neighbor.
Think carrier pigeons, carrying messages from place to place, only it’s happening inside your noggin.
Dopamine plays an important role in motivation and pleasure. It is released in the brain when we do things like enjoy tasty food, have sex, exercise, or have successful social interactions.
Evolutionarily speaking, dopamine rewards us for “beneficial behaviors” and motivates us to repeat them.
However, the brain can have a difficult time discerning what behaviors are actually beneficial for our overall wellbeing.
For example, we know spending time on our smartphones releases large amounts of dopamine into the brain.
The folks who develop social media apps know this very well, and they specially engineer their applications in an attempt to get us to spend more time on them.
This is exactly why we find ourselves spending so much time scrolling through Facebook and Instagram.
In spite of this, the good news is that there are a bunch of ways to get that dopamine pumping that are actually beneficial for your overall health.
We put together a list of 5 ways to naturally increase your dopamine levels.
Check it out!