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The Dope Thing About Dopamine

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Here's something dope.... Dopamine (DOAP-uh-meen)!! Whether you have heard about it before or not, theres a lot to understand about it; how it works, why it works and maybe more importantly, how you can control it and potentially make some HUGE lifestyle changes!! So take a seat as we go into the weird and wonderful world of the brain!

What is Dopamine?

To be able to get your head around this post (pardon the pun), its best to first understand what dopamine is and how you could be affected with Dopamine. I like to use memorable names for chemicals and hormones within the body to make people understand them more, I call Dopamine... 'The Happy Chemical', (this is one of the 4 happy chemicals there is, but i will go through the others in another blog post). The happy chemical can vary from person to person basically depending on what makes us happy or otherwise, what gives us that buzz or satisfaction, within reason, its like an addiction! What gives you that high? What does your body crave? Maintaining a healthy Dopamine level can have huge benefits but low dopamine levels can be linked to health issues and negative addictive behaviour an addictions.

So, in a nutshell, this is Dopamine...

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (hormone-like communication travels through the nervous system), which is a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells.

Many areas of the brain produce dopamine. It is produced in the ventral tegmental area (VTA in the image above) of the midbrain, the substantia nigra pars compacta, and the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus.

The most important dopamine pathway in the brain controls reward-motivated behaviour.

Most types of rewards, such as new experiences or accomplishment, can increase dopamine levels in the brain. In addition, most addictive drugs and behavioral addictions can increase dopamine.

In addition, dopamine has many other important roles in humans, including movement, memory, attention, learning, sleep, and mood.

Dopamine Deficiency

If you are deficient in Dopamine, here are some of the things you could be experiencing;

  • Decreased Motivation

  • Fatigue

  • Addictions

  • Depression

  • Mood Issues

  • Weight Gain/ Increased Appetite

  • Memory Loss

  • Parkinson's Disease

What are the causes?

These are the common causes of Dopamine deficiency and some of the addictions we turn to find those little highs;

  • Excessive Caffeine

  • Alcohol

  • Drugs

  • Smoking

  • Sugar Insulin

  • Electrical Devices

  • Stress

  • Low Stomach Acids

  • Adrenal Stress

It's important to understand and realise that these causes give us those quick reliefs, the little buzz we need or basically giving us a little bit of happiness before we then crash straight back down and become deficient again. It's also important to recognise that these addictive highs we have are non-sustainable and can eventually lead to independent health issues if consumed or performed regularly.

Here's the positive stuff...

As you can imagine with the addictive behaviour we do, Dopamine feels amazing! So you must be thinking... if Dopamine is so good, why can I only get it when it is done through bad addictive behaviours or how can I sustain a healthier balance?

What can Dopamine do for me?

  • Increase Motivation

  • Increase Creativity

  • Increases the Anticipation of Pleasure

  • Helps with Memory & Learning

  • Increases Attention & Focus

  • More Social & Extroverted

  • Decrease Inflammation

  • Influence Sleep Pattern & Speed Up Internal Clock

  • Increase Bone Strength

  • Increase Sex Drive & Regulate Prolactin

  • Help Prevent Parkinson's Disease


So you're now coming to the end of the post, you've seen the good and the bad... now its time to find out how you hit these legal highs all the time!!

How To Increase Dopamine

  • Exercise

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin B5-B6

  • Meditation/ Yoga

  • Massage

  • Listen to Music

  • Tyrosine

  • L-Theanine

Dopamine can do so much good for you, it got me thinking, why can't we be high all the time without the needs of poor addictive behaviour and if so, would this also help prevent some of the poor decisions we make trying to find these little highs in life? A healthy mind can help you overcome anything and help change addictions and routines you have so easily got yourself fixed into, what would be the need of finding a high to hit the heights if your Dopamine has already peaked??!! It's time to get high on life!!

Comment below what you think about our post, what you think about Dopamine and what your doing to maintain a healthy Dopamine level.

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