Sebastian Freidank - 18. April 20
How to sustainably control your dopamine level yourself - the principle of homeostasis
D opamine is an exciting neurotransmitter, i.e. a messenger substance that stimulates the nervous system. This hormone can be actively and consciously produced by us. All it takes is making a decision about how we want to produce dopamine. We give you an overview of the function of dopamine and when our body produces it. Finally, we give you tips on how to sustainably program yourself to produce healthy dopamine. This will help you to be happier, more efficient and more balanced in everyday life.
Especially during this crazy quarantine time, it is important to stay healthy both physically and mentally. In addition, free time offers us the opportunity to deal more intensively with ourselves.
FUNCTIONS OF DOPAMINE
Dopamine is released by the body as a happy hormone, but that's not all, it serves as a motivator and, in the right dose, brings us into a balanced state. We feel energized and can deal with stress more easily. A healthy dopamine level also ensures that we can concentrate and focus better. As a result, we achieve our personal goals better. The importance of this messenger substance becomes clear as early as the morning in bed, because how well and in what mood we get out of bed depends, among other things, on dopamine.
If dopamine is present in our body in too low doses, symptoms such as Pakinson's can occur. This is where the muscles fail or there is twitching, rigidity (cramps) and, in the worst case, muscle failure, i.e. immobility.
However, when dopamine levels are too high, it can lead to schizophrenia and mental illness.
WHAT IS UNHEALTHY DOPAMINE?
Our brain has a reward system, which is addressed by various actions and dopamine is released. However, our brain cannot distinguish between a good cause and a bad cause, but only reacts to the dopamine produced. Unfortunately, our reward system is responsive to many things, including sugar and other drugs, food (especially fast food), TV shows, PC games, social media (cell phone, PC, and TV stimulation in general). While these things get our reward system to produce dopamine, in many cases they lead to excessive dopamine production and overstimulation of the nervous system.
WHAT IF MY BRAIN GETS OVERSTITUTED WITH TOO MUCH UNHEALTHY DOPAMINE?
If we behave in everyday life over a long period of time in such a way that our body no longer has to do anything for the production of dopamine (e.g. sugar, TV series, fast food), we get used to it and the body increasingly demands this variant, since dopamine increases is an important basis for our life.
To curb the aforementioned overstimulation, our brain hardens itself against dopamine, so it becomes less sensitive. This hardening serves to maintain or regain balance. This process is called homeostasis. At the same time, however, it requires the hormone to function properly. If our body is now programmed to get dopamine quickly, easily and directly, we will consume more sugar, more drugs, more TV series and even more fast food. A vicious spiral begins in which we become more and more addicted to this rapid dopamine rush.
The problem here is that this dopamine does not have a lasting effect on us, but only for a short time, which is why we do not want to leave the sofa after a pack of gummy bears, at most for a pack of chips! Our brains aren't made for this kind of overstimulation, which is why we so easily become addicted to this kind of dopamine kick and prefer it to a dopamine release from, say, exercise.
UNHEALTHY DOPAMINE CAUSES
Let's take stock of things that cause dopamine to be released that aren't good for us in the long run.
- Fast food
- Sweets & Chips
- The constant use of TV, PC, smartphone
- Constant consumption (buy)
These things cause a brief high like you know from a sugar rush, but over time they literally turn our reward system into an extremely short-winded junkie that can't stop. Over time, our reward system forgets how to reward us for simple things like exercise, sports, doing the dishes, preparing food, learning, reading, etc.
HOW DO I LEARN TO PRODUCE HEALTHY DOPAMINE?
A reprogramming of our reward system usually takes between 2 and 3 months. Of course, you don't have to do without fast food or your smartphone completely during this time.
The important thing is that you dramatically reduce the sources of unhealthy dopamine. Instead of eating a packet of chips every night, you can expand it to every 3rd night, and after 2 weeks to every 4th, etc. until you can skip it altogether. If you have successfully mastered the 3 months, it will be much easier for you to identify unhealthy dopamine sources and to do without them or to consciously consume them in individual cases without falling back into old behaviors.
At the same time, it's important to reprogram your brain for new rewards. Focus on things that will make your life better. Ask yourself "what deserves to be rewarded?" and "What is my goal in life, for today or this month?".
How to produce healthy dopamine in the body:
- meet friends
- To work on a project
- Reading & listening to music
- Help the neighbor
These are just a few examples, in general it is important that your body relearns how to produce domanin when this is associated with exertion.
OUR TIPS FOR A HEALTHY & DOPAMINE-RICH START TO THE DAY
In order to be able to start full of energy in the morning, it is important to pay attention to a few things the evening before. For example, you shouldn't eat too early before going to bed, leave about 2-4 hours between meals. As is well known, things that you learn before going to bed are particularly well remembered. So before you go to bed, program your reward system for a healthy dopamine release, for example by doing some stretching or small exercises. The sports exercises should only serve to overcome you to do something else, not to drain you. Of course you can also do a workout in the evening if you want. The goal is to program the brain to reward itself for effort/overcoming. You can also read a book in the evening, maybe even a non-fiction book?!
In the morning it is important that you drink a glass of water immediately after getting up and then move around briefly. Do some flexibility exercises and prepare your breakfast beforehand. Before you eat, get ready for the day, take a shower, get dressed, prepare 1-2 more things. This is how you program your brain that you have to do something to get food. Your brain learns to reward you for these little things and they take you a whole step further in everyday life!
You should definitely avoid coffee in the morning. The caffeine in the coffee bean acts like a dopamine kick from sugar as it is absorbed and works almost directly by the body. It is therefore best to replace coffee with guayusa, as the caffeine has a completely different effect here and supports you in even dopamine production.
Take advantage of this crazy time when we are all sitting at home and acquire this skill, because it will also bring you a lot after the quarantine.
HARNESS THE POWER OF GUAYUSA
You can find our natural Guayusa teas without additives in our shop. Guayusa brings you into a new state of wakefulness with a special focus and without physical side effects. Try it!
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