Dopamine is a substance our bodies produce naturally that helps us regulate our emotions and feelings. Research into dopamine has shown that it plays a role in our social interactions; our body will produce more dopamine when we are having a good time and enjoying someone’s company. Dopamine helps us to feel happy.
It could be said that dopamine is a reward for making positive interactions and decisions. When something goes well, or we are having fun with friends, we produce extra dopamine naturally to maintain our enjoyment and keep feeling happy. Dopamine is a neuro-transmitter in our brains – it facilitates communication between nerve cells in our central nervous system. When dopamine is released into our nervous system, we feel pleasure and reward.
Dopamine has a number of surprising effects on our bodies, and you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of dopamine to your daily life. Here is a quick guide to five of the effects that dopamine has on your body.
Dopamine is produced in two parts of the brain; the ventral tegmental area and the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra is an area of the brain that helps govern movement, and dopamine plays a surprising role in helping us move. This helps explain the feelings of elation that can be associated with exercise and dance as, the more we move, the more dopamine we produce.
When we complete tasks that we find rewarding, dopamine is released in the ventral tegmental area to give us a feeling of happiness and pleasure as our reward. This feeling is often likened to a ‘drug-like’ high, and has similar addictive properties. We try to earn the same reward again by repeating these tasks, making our quest for dopamine motivation for doing things we enjoy.
Scientific research into dopamine and its effects have shown a surprising role it plays in social interactions. Dopamine is released when we are in trusted social circles to help us relax in the company of friends. There are natural methods for increasing your dopamine levels to help with social anxiety problems, or to help you find extra motivation to complete tasks or challenges.
Dopamine plays an interesting role in memory. You will often find that you have a better memory of events and tasks that you enjoy, rather than the ones you don’t. This could be memories like trips to an amusement park as a child that you can remember vividly, or small things like tasks that you enjoy at work. You probably don’t remember boring days at school because of the lack of dopamine you experienced, and tasks at work you don’t enjoy you will not find rewarding so often, and so you will fail to remember how to fully complete it.
Dopamine is more effective than caffeine at keeping us awake and alert throughout the day. If you are having to administer serious caffeine hits to get yourself going in the morning, and keep yourself going, then maybe you should look for ways to increase your dopamine levels.
With so much influence over our feelings of pleasure and reward, it is worth knowing a little about dopamine and thinking about how you can encourage your body to supply you with more. We all deserve happiness in our lives, and dopamine is an important part of feeling happy and contented. Hopefully this guide will help you find some more happiness and pleasure in your life by knowing a little more about dopamine.