Joan had just gotten married and everything seemed just perfect. A perfect house, a perfect husband and other things too. But a trauma which happened before her wedding had let her a bit down and this was affecting her mood and her ability to deal with stress. She used to be depressed sometimes and in a few cases could not even concentrate. Moreover, the sexual desire and pleasurable feelings seemed to be on an all time low. After consulting a doctor and a psychological counselor it was found out that dopamine levels weren't up to the mark.
Dopamine, as some of you might be knowing is a neurotransmitter in our brain which helps us think creatively, form memories and generate the "feel good" feelings and sexual desire. It is a precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine. Derived from the amino acid tyrosine, it also has a connection with cravings and addiction. If someone has a problem like Joan, then one of the ways to tackle it is to increase dopamine naturally. Although there are over the counter medications and supplements for that, going the natural way is always a better option. Here is more on how to do that.
Natural Ways to Increase Dopamine
Diet is one of the important aspects when you are trying to improve dopamine levels and keep depression at bay. Apart from that, your overall lifestyle too has an impact on your dopamine levels.
In the Realm of Dreams
I am sure you are going to be really happy when I mention the first thing you can do to up the dopamine levels. SLEEP! Yes. Getting a good night's sleep helps to get the dopamine levels to rise. What happens is that the brain and the nervous system gets the requisite rest and recuperates its levels of neurotransmitters. Hence sleep well and for minimum 7 hours to naturally increase dopamine levels!
Did a jig on the dance floor in a disco give you a high even after a tiring day at work? If it did, then you have guessed the next method of increasing dopamine naturally. What I am talking about is vigorous or medium range exercise for around 30 minutes everyday. Do anything - walking, hiking, gym, dance, aerobics, and so on. Physical activity helps get the body systems, including brain and dopamine neurotransmitters in shape and functioning at their best. Ultimately it helps to increase dopamine levels naturally.
Food for Thought
Eating right is a must for getting this pleasure transmitter on track. As mentioned before, diet and nutrition is instrumental in maintaining the dopamine levels. Fruits like apples, watermelons, bananas, strawberries, cranberries and a few others are great, for starters. Along with these fruits, artichokes, poultry products like chicken, beef, eggs, fish, pork will contribute to increase in dopamine levels. Then consider cheese, soy, milk, beets, wheat germ, prunes, dry fruits (almonds and walnuts) red beans and other fresh vegetables and whole grain foods more in your diet. Because these are foods that make you happy. Basically, have foods rich in antioxidants to curb the free radicals. This is because these free radicals reduce the dopamine levels. At the same time, decrease the intake of sugary foods and saturated fats. Apart from affecting the dopamine levels, these are not exactly advisable for our overall health too.
Scoff at Coffee?
Well, this might be a bad news for the coffee freaks but it is all for your pleasure! Even though coffee seems to be giving you the kick, it just does that temporarily. After the initial feel good feeling, the dopamine levels in the body actually go down. So go for a decaf or keep the consumption of coffee at minimum to counter dopamine deficiency.
All in all, relax, whenever you get time during the day, meditate and do something which really makes you happy from within. That is extremely important. Oh and indulge in cakes and chocolates sometimes!
You also have the option of increasing dopamine with supplements. Well, yes you can perhaps take Vitamin supplements (vitamin B and C) along with the ones which directly have a connection with and help to increase dopamine levels naturally. That's it! I sign off here! Take Care and take a happy step!