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10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Dopamine Levels

Dopamine, often called the “reward molecule,” is released in the brain evoking a sense of reward and pleasure, which is important because it motivates us to repeat certain behaviors – ideally, beneficial ones such as physical activity or eating healthy.

Here are 10 simple ways to boost your dopamine levels.

Sunlight and Vitamin D

Young calm woman is walking among forest trees enjoying wind and freedom on a sunny day.
Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

The easiest way to increase your dopamine level is by going out for a walk and enjoying the sunlight. However underrated, sunlight can make a huge difference in your mood if you’re feeling downcast or tired. Sometimes, all you need is ten minutes of fresh air and sunlight, and everything feels brighter.

Coffee

woman looking happy holding coffee on balcony.
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A popular favorite, coffee has many benefits, and boosting your dopamine is one of them. Multiple studies have shown that caffeine can increase the release of dopamine in the brain. All the more reason to savor your favorite cup of coffee in the morning!

Get Enough Sleep

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Sleep disorders can negatively impact the release of dopamine, and disrupt the sleep-wake cycle. As such, artificial blue light or switching time zones while traveling may throw off your natural circadian rhythms. Meanwhile, these things can help improve your sleep: consistent morning and night routines, dimming the light and reducing noise before sleep, and minimizing exposure to blue light from devices.

Color Therapy

Creative woman painter with brush and palette.
Photo credit: Depositphotos

Another way you can boost your dopamine levels is through some amazing, vibrant art that resonates with you. This can be a painting, a sculpture, or even interior decor like mugs and wallpapers with strawberry or daisy patterns on them.

Adorable, right? If you’re one of the people that are positively influenced by such art, surrounding yourself with beautiful things can greatly impact your daily mood in a positive way.

Eat Enough Proteins

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Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. According to a recent study, the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine play an essential role in producing dopamine. Protein-packed foods such as eggs, beef, turkey, soy and dairy can help with maintaining optimal dopamine levels in the body.

Probiotics

Jars with pickles, yogurt, kimchi, sour kraut, pickled beets and broth.
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This might be a surprising way to boost your dopamine levels, but probiotics also make a difference. According to a 2019 research, gut health can impact dopamine levels in the body. Try to integrate foods that have probiotics into your diet or supplements that are suitable for you, as advised by your healthcare practitioner.

Meditation

Young woman on sofa practicing meditation
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Meditation is known as a practice that is universally beneficial for our wellbeing. A recent study further shows that meditation is positively linked with increasing dopamine levels, and decreasing anxiety or depression. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. You can find online countless free videos for guided meditations.

Cold Exposure

Man stepping into cold plunge pool.
Image Credit: Awa Mally /Shutterstock.

Exposure to cold temperatures (cryotherapy) has interesting effects on the body, such as strengthening the immune system and regulating the nervous system. According to this 2000 study, exposure to cold temperatures increases dopamine by 250%. That’s an amazing benefit, right? One easy and gentle way to try cryotherapy is by taking a quick cold shower at home.

Listen to Music

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Music makes us feel such a wide range of emotions, it’s no wonder it has a great impact on our minds and bodies. Specifically, a 2019 research suggests that listening to music can cause dopamine levels to increase.

Exercise Frequently

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Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Exercise such as walking or weightlifting can greatly boost your endorphins and positively impact your mood. Furthermore, it also increases dopamine in the body, according to this 2021 study. And if weightlifting is not your cup of tea, you can experiment with different sports like pilates, yoga, or others.

Author: S.K. Lumen

Title: Writer

Expertise: women's personal development, mental health, self love

S.K. Lumen is a writer, artist and blogger who is passionate about helping women become their best selves. She writes about personal development, self-love, self-care, wellness & mental health.