5 simple and effective ways to increase dopamine, your feel good hormone.

Dopamine is a hormone that plays a big role in our emotional health. It is involved with attention, regulation of movement, and reward. When dopamine is released in larger levels it creates feelings of reward and happiness that often motivate us to repeat the specific behavior that led to dopamine release.

When we have low dopamine levels however, we tend to lack the feelings of joy and happiness in events and activities that most enjoy. Our dopamine levels are controlled in our nervous system and there are some things you can do to help boost them.

  1. Eat a lot of protein. We need protein to help our body create amino acids, which in turn create dopamine. Eating a diet rich in lean proteins such as chicken, pork and fish can help us regulate our dopamine levels.

  2. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise increases our endorphins and improves mood. In as little as 10 minutes we can see improvement in mood, but even more affects are found after 20 mins. So, there are many reasons finding a way to get in a 20 min walk daily is good for your body, mind and spirit. Your daily walk improves the levels of dopamine in your body, improves physical health and can easily be incorporated as part of your daily prayer or meditation time.
  3. Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep disrupts our bodies natural release of dopamine in the morning. Improve sleep patterns and getting high quality sleep can help your body release and build dopamine and optimum levels, allowing you to be more alert and positive throughout your day.
  4. Listen to Music. I often encourage clients to create a “happy playlist” and use this when feeling down or going for that daily walk. Studies show that music increases activity in the pleasure areas of the brain.
  5. Prayer or Mediation. People who participate in as little as 3 minutes a day of prayer or mediation are shown in studies to have increased dopamine levels. Spending consistent time in prayer/mediation takes practice, but the benefits can be long lasting. Set a timer and practice for just 30 seconds and build from there. One way to stay focused in prayer is to write out your prayer. This kinetic movement of the hand can help our brain stay focused.

Naomi received her bachelors in Social Work from Bethel University and her Masters of Social Work from The University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine’s University. Naomi as worked with populations across the lifespan, from elementary schools to skilled nursing facilities. Currently she enjoys working with individuals ages 13 and older.

Read More…

Contact Me

I Would Like To Request an Appointment?

Recent Blog Posts

Therapy Is For Everyone

Therapy Is For Everyone

When you don’t know what to say in therapy or feel like your problems are not significant enough for help. Ask yourself why I am believing this. Would I tell someone else I care about to reach out for help and that their thoughts and struggles are important enough to seek help.

Read More »

Benefits of Couples Therapy

Couples therapy can be beneficial in helping couples work through their problems and improve their relationship. Here are some major benefits of couple’s therapy: Gain

Read More »

Self-Destructive Behaviors

Have you ever wondered why you are struggling to create a change? Let’s face it change can be hard. However, change is not impossible. Sometimes we feel like change is what we want, but it’s not happening. Here are some pointers about, the brain, relationships, and how it contributes to change.

Read More »
Sleep Better

Sleeping Better – Part 2

Welcome to the second of many entries all about how you can sleep better and feel more rested! Last time, we discussed sleep efficiency, sleep

Read More »