One important thing to remember about the dangers of drug use is that they make you feel really, really good. Sometimes people forget about this fact, and it makes it harder to empathize and understand exactly what it is that an addict is going through. The reason, though, that drugs are able to make people feel so euphoric, and thus develop stronger and stronger addictions is because it causes the brain to artificially create more dopamine. This is especially true of incredibly horrific substances like heroin or methamphetamines, which cause the most ‘good feelings’ out of any street drugs. This makes it important for recovering addicts to understand how a healthy lifestyle can increase dopamine levels, without all of the struggle and horror of substance abuse. Here are some healthy ways to raise your dopamine level...
The first healthy lifestyle choice that one can do to feel incredible is find a regular exercise routine that works for them. Even exercise that is relaxing, and non-intensive, will release endorphins in the brain, which naturally causes your dopamine levels to rise. This is why people who exercise regularly develop what some people call the “runner’s high”. It is an incredible feeling that sweeps through your body and makes you feel less stress or pain. This is similar to the way that many illicit substances will make you feel, but exercise actually contributes and helps you build a better life, whereas addiction will strip your life apart.
On top of exercising, eating well is incredibly important for creating healthy levels of dopamine in your brain (it is also crucial to eat healthy with your exercising, so that you have a good amount of energy to keep it up). Decreasing the amount of caffeine and sugar in your diet, as well as increasing the amount of potassium and tyrosine rich foods like bananas, apples, nuts, and eggs, will naturally cause your dopamine levels to rise. Making sure you have a proper balance of essential nutrients and vitamins also keeps your body active and healthy, which will make for a more balanced lifestyle.
Cut stress out of your life
Stress is one of the number one things that causes dopamine levels to fall. If you are finding that there are aspects of your life that continually cause unhealthy amounts of stress, then it might be time to consider if those elements of your life need to be cut out. If your dopamine levels are low, it makes it harder to be happier, and depression can begin to set in. This is no way to live life, so make sure that any stress in your life isn’t overwhelming you to this point.