Dopamine—increases motivation, enjoyment and is necessary for changing bad habits. It is also something that us Adhders are often running in short supply of. But before you go on your next Dopamine dump, let's explore what Dopamine is and familiarise ourselves with natural sources of it. Did you know that the more Dopamine you have, the more your body will come to expect? Meaning that you will need more and more Dopamine to get it working properly... wearing out Dopamine and pleasure centres is a massive cause of mental suffering and illnesses. It is one of the most important pieces of information to be armed with when it comes to Adhd and self-care, yet it is so rarely discussed.
What is Dopamine?
Dopamine influences almost every aspect of our lives life. It is a neurotransmitter, meaning that it is a chemical messenger released by neurons (nerve cells) to “communicate” with other neurons (nerve cells)
Like all neurotransmitters, dopamine shuttles between cells and binds to receptors.
In mainstream society, dopamine is often thought of as the main pleasure neurotransmitter. But dopamine actually appears to increase desire and motivation more than pleasure. Thus, it is often dubbed- the “motivation molecule”.
The brain includes several dopamine pathways, and is important for increasing memory, motivation & focus.
An imbalance to our dopamine levels can seriously impact our mood and sometimes behaviour. Research shows that naturally increasing dopamine levels can have numerous benefits, including:
More motivation, enthusiasm, drive and productivity
Reduced vulnerability to addiction (it is naturally lower levels of dopamine that makes people with adhd more vulnerable to addiction)
Improved cognitive function, learning & memory
Higher levels of creativity & improved mood
Increased social bonding and stronger relationships (oxytocin plays a role too)
Increased tolerance to pain
Research has correlated the following with low dopamine levels… have you ever experienced any of the following?
Restless Leg Syndrome
Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Toxic Mould Illness
Moodiness and Irritability
If you've reached this point, then I'm sure you will agree, Dopamine is extremely important for our physical health and brain health.
Here are fast, free ways for you to invite more Dopamine into your life... Enjoy!
Meditation is a powerful act of self-care that has been scientifically proven to improve focus, alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, plus- increase Dopamine too!
It's extremely important for our bodies to be exposed to sunlight daily if possible. In order for Dopamine to be released, let the sun meet your eyes.
Want an excuse to drink more coffee- you got it! Just kidding- not too much okay?!
Exercise has so many amazing benefits, it boosts serotonin and sharpens focus so well tht just 10-15 minutes of vigorous exercise can have a similar effect to stimulaant medication for those with Adhd.
Honouring our circadian rhythm is not just vital for our wellbeing, but it's also key to keep our Dopamine levels up. Stick to regular bedtimes and wake-times as much as possible.
Eat foods that promote Dopamine release
Apples, Avocados, Beans, Aubergine... there are so many healthy and delicious foods that help to release Dopamine.
Which tips are you going to try?
Would you like to learn more about ways to get Organised with Adhd?- Book your free consultation today.
Hungry for more, check out this post here on daily ways to improve your wellbeing.
Sending you love and light!