Dopamine is a messenger between brain cells that quite literally impacts how you move, eat and think. It’s kind of a big deal.
It’s responsible for your “reward center” in your brain that creates reinforcement for behaviors that create rewards and positively affects your mood. (If you’d like an excellent and short scientific lesson on Dopamine, go here.)
So when you listen to a favorite song, you are creating dopamine which will release feel good chemicals. That’s not a bad thing.
But when you reach for that bowl of ice cream, and feel really, really good about it…oh goodness, that creates a cascade of dopamine as well! You might temporarily feel good, but your body and belly may suffer.
When it comes to the release of Dopamine and it’s “pull” toward more behaviors that create more Dopamine, you can understand why it is linked to poor food choices, and even major drug addictions.
So, what’s the secret to making Dopamine your best friend, rather than your worst enemy?
You’ve got to elevate yourself above the emotions! Thankfully you’ve got some logic on your side and even though at times you may feel controlled by some strange force to automatically consume that bowl of delicious looking ice cream, you can STOP yourself with the power of your mind.
The key is to link Dopamine to healthy behaviors. Dopamine will be released if you FEEL GOOD doing something that is GOOD FOR YOU! I know that might not sound fun, however if you want to live an active, full life where your dreams and goals become a reality, then you’ve got no choice!
You right now have the power to choose to be controlled by chemicals in your brain (a victim of your biochemistry), or rise above and be THEIR source of influence.
You CAN dictate the Dopamine cascade by finding joy and pleasure in healthy behaviors.
First off, we are wired to move. Move more. Secondly, everything about the cells in your body is fueled to thrive in an environment with healthier foods. Lastly, we feel better when we are helping others, serving others and searching for ways to be more and more grateful.
While you may feel stuck in a despondent, fear based, scarcity mentality world, where we can’t resist the temptations of sugar, of sitting all day on our heinie in our comfy recliners, of gossiping and putting others down, we can choose instead to rise above and SHIFT our Dopamine to BETTER connections.
Better movement. Better food. Better relationships. Better life. Better. And Truly happy from the inside out.