Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made by our bodies which our nervous system uses to send messages between nerve cells. We often call it a chemical messenger. Others know it as a neurotransmitter that that plays a role in pleasure, motivation and learning.
You ever wondered why you left the gym in a better mood after a good ole workout? Or what the science behind retail therapy is? Or even as simple as getting a good nights rest putting you in a good mood the next morning?
With shorter daylight periods its easy for pathetic fallacy to become a constant, to feel gloomy and have the grey clouds match that gloom. If you commute to work, then you probably wake up when its still dark out and by the time you get in, its dark, barely enough time to appreciate the sun and the daylight it offers. Fortunately we are approaching spring so no more dark skies at 5:00pm.
As we move to spring here are some ways to keep your dopamine levels at a high, and feel free to come back to this blog when we move back to the winter season where dusk falls quickly.
- Get Active
Adding some more movement to your daily activity is a great way to uplift your mood. If you prefer workouts then join a class your gym is offering, or go to the gym for a workout. However, it doesn’t require a gym, you can skip in your back garden go for a jog or even go for a walk.
- Listen to Music
Streaming platforms such as Spotify often collate music based on your taste and listening history. Alternatively, they also collate a playlist of random songs based on the kind of mood you want to be in. Calming and relaxing music always has a great impact on mood.
- Eat your fruit and Vegetables
Ever heard of the saying you are what you eat? Yep, that’s not to say you will be a banana if you eat a banana but it does mean that the nutrients in the fruit and vegetables will work their magic on your body. A great starting point is pairing fruit with your breakfast, e.g a handful of blueberries over your oats of some sliced banana on your peanut butter and toast. If you are usually pushed for time, then a quick blend of fruit into a smoothie also works.
- Improve your Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene refers to the act of putting yourself in the best sleeping position before you go to sleep. Our blog post on Working From Home also highlights the importance of sleep. This looks like stopping you screen time 30 mins before you sleep. Dimming the lights and removing all distractions. A good wind down is essential for a good night’s sleep.
The second part to this, is setting enough time aside for sleep. A good night sleep including your wind down time is 8 hours. Enough time for the body to recuperate and feel well rested.
- Treat Yourself
When the brain feels rewarded, it releases a hormone called serotonin. This makes us feel good about ourselves. If there is an item that has been on your wish list for some time, tick it off and purchase it. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can range from treating yourself to a pizza to buying a new pair of trainers.
- Spend some Time with Nature
Today, we can get so tied up on our devices, asides from the many social media apps, TikTok has pretty much become the new all in one app. Its expansive with information, requires little concentration and provides us with enough humor to become addicted. Put your device down and take a walk to the park. Go scooter riding or even bike riding, feel the wind on your face, some touch with the outside world.
Cut off all distractions and find yourself in a relaxing position and environment and put on a video and follow the instructions.
- Pick up a Book
If you aren’t much a reader there isn’t a better time to become one. Reading before bed is also a great way to prepare your body to wind down for bed. There is a reason kids have story time before bedtime. Find a genre you like and give a good book a go. Goodreads is a great platform to discover books and their reviews. If you find it difficult to read, you could find a local book club in your area and join, or start one with your friends.
Release your thoughts onto some paper. Interactive journals usually help you with being more organized and provide with pointers to being more proactive with goals and thoughts. You can find all kinds of journals plain and themed, there are a variety around.
- Change of Scenery
Sometimes change can excite us and being away from our normal environment gives us the breather we want or never new we needed. This can be as inexpensive as getting your coffee in a different café tomorrow or booking yourself a trip away from home.
Whichever one of these ways you decide to try, we hope it puts you in a greater mood to tackle your day.