(c) VictoryLab Inc. 2018
The neurotransmitter dopamine affects our mood, our focus, our energy, our pleasure, and our pain. Through research, VictoryLab has discovered that a dopamine deficiency can severely affect your health and mood, and with some of these deficiencies, it can lead towards depression. That being said, it’s also been shown that some of these individuals will not seek medication because they don’t want to seem needy or helpless. Once again, we are shown how stigma affects our conversations about mental health. For those struggling with low levels of dopamine, here are 7 healthy ways to naturally increase dopamine in the brain without any form of medication.
While this first one probably isn’t surprising at all, the benefits of exercise are so substantial that it cannot be ignored. Exercise creates a healthy body and a healthy mind, being proven to have a dramatic antidepressive effect by boosting dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk while still giving you all of the benefits that come from getting active.
2. Increase Tyrosine
Essentially, tyrosine is the building block of dopamine as it’s involved in dopamine’s synthesis. It plays a very important role in increasing dopamine levels, and can be found in many different foods, some of which are: watermelon, bananas, pineapples, green tea, yogurt, beef, chicken, eggs, and almonds.
3. Reach Out
Getting a massage, petting an animal, hugging a friend… physical contact is proven to increase dopamine levels while also reducing pain, stress, and lowering blood pressure.
4. Get Some Sleep
Here’s another one that you’ve probably heard a thousand times, but are likely to ignore. A lack of sleep decreases dopamine receptors and plays a very big role in affecting your mood. Research also shows that dopamine controls melatonin production, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle, so get some sleep and your brain will thank you for it.
5. Create A Checklist
Dopamine is released when you accomplish a goal, no matter how big or how small that goal may be. Create a checklist with each task you need to complete for the day. A task may be as simple as taking a shower, but when you physically check off that task, dopamine levels increase and so will your mood.
6. Get Some Vitamin D
Not only does being outside provide you with some much-needed vitamin D, but sunlight also increases the number of dopamine receptors in the brain, making you feel happier and much healthier as well.
7. Try Meditating
There’s been substantial research showing the benefits of meditation, including enhanced learning ability and enhanced creativity. Overthinking reduces dopamine levels, so taking some time to relax your mind and meditate will help to bring those dopamine levels back up, as well as improve your concentration and your focus.
Here at VictoryLab, we know that sometimes seeking professional help can be intimidating, or slightly off-putting. That being said, if your mind isn’t in a good place, it’s important to reach out to others when needed. What we hope to achieve through our app is to provide individuals with a resource where they can seek help anonymously, taking away any intimidation that comes with providing a name. Starting on a path of healing or improving doesn’t have to be scary.
As these 7 tips show, making yourself happier can be as simple as taking a walk, or taking a shower. Though mental health is a topic that can easily be swept under the rug, we hope to show people through our app and through our website that mental health is health and needs to be treated as such. No more silence, no more quiet suffering. We hope these 7 tips are able to help you in any way possible, no matter how big or how small.
To find out how VictoryLab can help you and your company or team, go to victorylab.com/form. For more tips and newsworthy information, subscribe to VictoryLab’s blog by clicking here.
(c) VictoryLab Inc. 2018