How To Increase Your Happy Hormone: Dopamine

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Dopamine has been dubbed the “happy” hormone, and rightly so. It is the chemical in your brain that has the most drastic effect on your emotions, view of pleasure and pain, and even how your body moves and how you behave in your daily life. The lack of dopamine has been linked to everything from schizophrenia to attention deficit disorder, and is one of the primary causes of many of the symptoms experienced by those with Parkinson’s disease.

Dopamine is naturally produced by your body; oftentimes, feelings of sadness or the inability to concentrate fully can be helped by increasing your body’s production of the happy hormone. Outside of medical a condition in which synthetic dopamine is required, you can engage in activities and eat foods that naturally cause your body to produce more of this incredibly beneficial chemical.

Exercising regularly is one of the most effective means of increasing dopamine production. In as little as 30 minutes of keeping your heart rate elevated, you can increase dopamine production and reduce feelings of sadness and fatigue. When exercise is included in your daily life, over time your body will begin to regularly produce increased amounts of dopamine. Studies suggest that for mild depression, exercise and the resulting increase in dopamine are often as effective as mood enhancers and therapy.

Moderating your intake of sugar, fat, and cholesterol can return too-low dopamine levels to normal, while eating bananas and whole grains can prompt an increase in production. Overall, your body will function best, and dopamine levels will be optimal, when you work diligently to keep yourself healthy.