Dopamine. It is the kind of word you have probably come across and it is one that you might even feel you have a vague grasp on the definition. But if pushed to provide that definition could you? Perhaps not. Yet dopamine is something we all absolutely require and truly thrive on. So…..

What is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that provides us with the feelings of enjoyment, motivation, concentration and pleasure. And conversley when the dopamine levels are low in the brain one is likely to experience lack of interest in life, depression, altered sleep patterns and mood swings and other debilitating nad negative symptoms. However the good news is that, if this describes you or someone you know is feeling these ‘blues’ and they correlate to low dopamine levels, then there are ways to reverse the problem and naturally increase them!

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Why We Need Dopamine?

Decrease stress levels – It is no secret that being overly stressed can cause many problems in the body. And in today’s society, where large numbers of people pride themselves on how little time they have for anything other than work, it is important to get a hold of your stress levels and maintain control over them. Try to keep work at work, so when you leave the office you can use that subsequent time to do other activities and enjoy friends and family. Take some time during the day to focus on yourself, exercise and incorporate a relaxing activity into your routine to help decompress from all the stress and intensity.

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Eat foods rich in Tyrosine – Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps with the production of dopamine. When you are low in this amino acid it can cause the dopamine levels in the brain to suffer as well. Some foods that contain tyrosine include: avocados, bananas, pumpkin seeds, apples, yogurt and eggs. Incorporating one, or all, of these foods into your regular diet will definitely be step in the right direction to improving your mood in no time!

– Exercise regularly – Yet another reason why regular activity is good for you. Logging in consistent activity helps the blood flow, which can help stimulate dopamine synthesis in the brain. Aim for 30 minutes of activity 5-7 days a week of an activity you enjoy and help buff that brain full of dopamine!

Set small, achievable goals– Dopamine is naturally released when you achieve a goal, so set small goals every week to help keep the dopamine levels high. Goals can include walking more steps during the week, finishing a task at work, or eating one more servings of vegetables a day. Don’t hesitate to celebrate the small victories! Once the dopamine is released it will help motivate you for the next small goal toward success.

It is important to keep your brain functioning healthy in order to elicit the appropriate emotions. If you are feeling like your levels are not quite right don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about what may be causing this imbalance.

Read more from WatchFit Expert Shannon Dolan.

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