Do you find yourself struggling to get motivated in the morning? Have you noticed you are more moody and reserved than usual? Has your positive attitude soured? Do you find yourself distracted and unable to focus?
If one or more of these questions rings true for you, you may be suffering from low levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that causes us to seek out pleasurable activities. When it is low, motivation, focus, and thinking tend to suffer.
Fortunately, you can increase your dopamine levels naturally and regain your balance.
Try some of the following suggestions to help you get back to feeling good.
Sleep 7-8 hours each night. Kick the dog off the bed, keep the room dark, and limit your screen time before bed to help you get and stay asleep.
Exercise a little every day, even if you just get outside for a walk. Even if you can't dedicate a lot of time to exercise, even 10 minutes can make a big difference.
Nourish your body with fermented foods. In addition to eating foods rich in tyrosine and magnesium (think cheese, meats, fish, dairy, soy, seeds, nuts, beans, lentils and whole grains), fermented foods support a rich and healthy gut microbiome. Research reveals that gut bacteria and emotional behaviors are closely linked. Happy gut = happy mood! Kombucha, naturally fermented carrots, sauerkraut, pickles, and other foods all help support a healthy gut.
Reduce stress. This looks different for everyone, so find something that really helps you relax and take your mind off your day's troubles and worries. You may find meditation or breathing exercises, creative projects or gardening, music, read a book, get in nature, or anything else that works for you.
Connect with others. Social interaction is really important for all of us, introverts and extroverts alike. As social creatures, we need to spend time with people who value, understand, and support us.
We encourage you to give one or more of these suggestions a try and find something that works for you to elevate your mood.