By Suzie Doscher PSC
A positive event activates the release of dopamine; creating the effect of making you feel pleasure, feel good and positive. Stress depletes the levels of dopamine, which can lead to a deficiency. Lack motivation is one of the symptoms of this deficiency.
Dopamine is one of the four key neurotransmitters helping the transmission of signals in the brain. Neurotransmitters influence behaviour in daily life. The neurotransmitter, dopamine, offers feelings of reward, attention, focus -- and therefore motivation.
How to increase dopamine levels?
There are both unhealthy and healthy ways to increase dopamine. Unhealthy ways to increase dopamine can be gateways to self-destruction and addictions. The abuse of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, drugs, shopping, gaming, sex, power and gambling can be used to compensate this lack of a natural dopamine release in order to get ‘the high.’
Positive life /’soft skills’ offer a healthy release of this ‘happy hormone’. Physical exercise increases dopamine levels as does meditation and eating the foods that release dopamine and keep the intestinal flora balanced. (what foods are these?) Research shows that even the health of your intestinal flora impacts the production of neurotransmitters. It helps when you have the skills to handle the ups and downs of life.
Keeping the system balanced is important for a balanced life.
Fear activates a stress response in the body. When this happens, the emotional build-up causes a depletion in cognitive. Emotions overpower thinking and if a safer, calmer environment is not found, the release of dopamine will be vastly limited. This can be a factor at work when leaders believe in motivating with fear. Fear has the opposite effect!
It is clear that there are many benefits in creating consistency to assure a healthy stream of dopamine. Some of those benefits are feeling more alive, focused, productive, and motivated.
Dopamine is in charge of the reward system in the brain.
This reward system is essential for the learning process, particularly when learning new things or changing old habits. Learning requires positive feedback and reinforcement. Dopamine is responsible for:
With a dopamine deficiency you might experience the following:
What to do
A Practical Handbook