Dopamine: Neurotransmitter support for the brain Comments Off on Dopamine: Neurotransmitter support for the brain 278,130

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has been connected with pleasure in popular culture. The release of Dopamine is believed to jolt the pleasure centers in the brain and feed the fires of addiction, in addicts and thrill-seekers everywhere. It is connected to the formation of habits and addictions, and it delivers reward when the mind sees it fit. It is directly related to motivation and pleasure. The neurotransmitter has also been associated with mental illness and imbalances because of how much control it has over the mind and body.

Contrary to popular belief, the functions of dopamine extend far beyond fuel for the all-consuming fire that is an addiction.

Dopamine is essential

In a way, it controls our fundamental behaviors, and that can sometimes include the search for water and food. To be perfectly clear, it is the resident feel-good chemical in the body, and it is often deployed when your mind or brain deems your action right. Thus a signal is sent coursing through the body, and that causes the importance of the movement to be understood, and replicating said action takes precedence – that is how dopamine works in a nutshell.

Dopamine is natural

Dopamine comes from the brain, or rather, it is secreted by two areas of the brain. They are the substantia nigra and the ventral tengmental area. The substantia nigra is responsible for the movement of the body while the other has a close tie to the pleasure center of the brain, hence the whole control-over-a-person theory.

Dopamine is the body’s habit development tool, and it rarely ever leads to the development of a compulsive and uncontrollable addiction. If anything, the human factor ultimately dictates our actions, and we are not all doomed to be puppets of our neurotransmitters.

Dopamine is unstable

Believe it or not, you are the primary cause of this imbalance most times. An especially unhealthy diet will often lead to lower dopamine levels. Also, the use of drugs will increase your dopamine levels and lead to some long-term issues.

What to expect when this happens?

Having ridiculously low dopamine levels can cause depression and other seemingly attached side effects like aches and pains, loss of balance, pneumonia, muscle problems and issues, and low energy.

Ridiculously high dopamine levels have been known to induce thrill-seeking ventures like drugs and indiscriminate sexual experiences. It can also lead to some illnesses like Schizophrenia and Psychosis.

Regulate dopamine levels

There are several ways to regulate, and ultimately, control the levels of dopamine in your body system. The majority of them are natural and slow, and others are clinical and more effective. In most cases, both options are used simultaneously to achieve better results, but we think the natural methods are not usually explored before the more clinical approach is considered.

Counseling

It might seem futile to try to fix chemical imbalances with lofty words, but there are quite a lot of things that words can achieve if given a chance. With therapy, you can recondition a person’s thought process to process information better and resist their darker, or more destructive, impulses.

Often stress leads to substance abuse or impulsive behavior. Teaching the affected individual to handle stress better can significantly impact the outcome of a potential life-altering moment. Usually, there is a mental side to most diseases or ailments, and counseling can fix things that sometimes nutrition and exercise can’t quite correct.

Eating properly and exercising

It might shock you to know that your diet can significantly affect your dopamine levels. Most people think that dopamine only operates with physical actions, and they are partially right. After all, eating is a habit too.

Several foods are rich in tyrosine and these foods boost the production of dopamine in the body, and they can very well help individuals who have very little of it. Foods like dairy, almonds, avocados, bananas, etc are rich in tyrosine, and to those who have too much dopamine pumping through their systems it can be potentially deadly. Reducing intake of these foods may possibly regulate levels and help them gain better control of their actions.

There is a sense of euphoria that comes from finishing a set of physical tasks that you have devoted yourself to accomplish. This feeling can sometimes be addictive, and this is incredibly good because it helps you maintain a healthy body. A healthy body is one of the easiest ways to sustain acceptable chemical levels in the body.

Medication

This is sometimes the last resorts for certain specialists. In extreme cases where the imbalance is simply too defined and uncontrollable, specialist resort to administering medication to help temper the imbalances. Although a prescription for dopamine correction is usually associated with severe mental illnesses, this is not the rule of thumb all of the time. There are instances where individuals require some sort of medication to correct a mild disorder within their system.

People with severe imbalances usually suffer from illnesses like psychosis and schizophrenia. They actually need the medication and most times cannot function properly without it- unlike people with mild imbalances. However, pills are not sufficient to treat the mentally ill completely. Most times, they need to be coupled with therapy and a controlled environment.

Dopamine is a complicated neurotransmitter with a somewhat negative reputation amongst certain circles, but what most people fail to remember that without it, we can’t function as human beings. They basically drive us and literally often give us a reason to live. I think that despite their somewhat controversial cons, they are a fundamental part of our physiology that cannot be ignored.

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,193

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,421

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

Girl hiking outside
Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
Girl hiking outside jumping
No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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