Blog Post

How To Get Motivated Naturally

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The beautiful spring weather makes many of us ready to get outside and get in motion, but not everyone feels so motivated.  If you aren’t feeling inspired to get moving because of fatigue or a general case of the “blahs,” the issue may not be that you are lazy, but that your brain is experiencing inadequate dopamine signaling.

In this blog post, I’ll give you the latest research on why dopamine is essential to staying motivated and how you can improve dopamine signaling to create a richer, more energized life.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good because it controls the pleasure and reward center in our brain. When our dopamine levels are sufficient, we sleep well, have good cognitive skills, and experience pleasure. But when we don’t have enough, we can experience fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, and mood swings.

In studies, problems with dopamine signaling have also been connected to obesity.
Low dopamine can cause a lack of physical activity, which can of course lead to weight gain. Anything from medications to stress and depression can lead to problems with dopamine signaling, but there are also proactive steps we can take to improve it.

First, making conscious choices about what we eat and drink can positively impact dopamine signaling. Both coffee and tea can help counteract brain degeneration that can lead to lowered dopamine levels. Coffee and tea also contain the amino acid tyrosine, which helps your body create dopamine. Green tea is an especially good choice because it contains both tyrosine and L-theanine, which is known to increase a variety of brain hormones including dopamine. Please keep in mind that only 2-4oz of coffee is all we need to motivate the brain. You can also eat foods that are high in tyrosine including avocados, bananas, dark chocolate and watermelon.

There are also many lifestyle adjustments we can undertake to help us boost dopamine, including creating manageable goals and tasks. Research has shown that if you set goals that are over 25% greater than your everyday routine, you’ll feel overwhelmed. By setting goals that are less than 10 percent above your everyday routine, you’ll be more likely to achieve them and feel a strong sense of accomplishment, signaling dopamine release and making you feel good about what you  accomplished. This will motivate you to achieve more!

Adding more creative activities to your life is another pleasurable way you can improve dopamine signaling.  Art projects, journaling, singing, dancing, and other creative projects all signal your brain to release dopamine and help you feel good about yourself.

The simple act of taking time every day to listen to music you love can raise levels even more.  Finally, taking a moment each day to reflect on the things in your life you are grateful for will keep the feel-good hormones flowing.

I hope this new information and research has given you new inspiration for how you can feel better and get motivated in all of the areas of your life that matter most.  

If you have any further questions or concerns, call The Khader Center at (914) 242-0124.

Be healthy!
 

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