3 Common Signs Your Brain Has Low Dopamine

As we speak, companies are paying psychologists, neuroscientists, and other top-tier experts millions of dollars to tap into the dopamine centers of our brains. 

 Every color, sound, smell, and icon is iterated thousands of times to produce an app, food, or experience that fills you with the urge to open, consume, and pay for that thing. 

 In the past, dopamine was a chemical released a few times a day. It used to need active effort to achieve. Think of the feeling of anticipation from cooking a great meal, meeting up with an old friend, or finishing a great workout. Today, dopamine is released hundreds of times a day. 

And these dopamine hits require almost zero effort. Think of picking up our phones, scrolling on social media, or pressing play on the next recommended video.  This “burns out” our dopaminergic system and leads to these 3 incredibly common symptoms of low dopamine:

Sign #1: You Feel Constantly Tired

Tired before. Tired after work. Tired on your days off. Regardless of what day it is, constantly feeling emotionally and mentally drained enough to make it hard to get up and do what you need to do. And when you can, it’s often to binge on chocolate, ice-cream, or fast food. 

Studies reveal that dopamine is released in large amounts in the mornings, suggesting it plays a role in alertness and wakefulness. So a constant lack of energy can be an indicator of low dopamine.

Sign #2: Lack of Drive & Motivation

It can feel like everyone but you has a purpose or goal in their lives. There’s no desire to do anything new, to change anything in life, or to stay extremely social. This really showed up in the past few years as we were stuck inside. 

 Because dopamine is quite literally the “motivation molecule” in the brain, low levels of dopamine translates to little or no interest in working on goals or doing something new.

Sign #3: You Feel Passive

It feels as though life is happening TO you instead of FOR you. Finding something for your brain to engage with can be hard, so movies, games, and cheap entertainment are the only escape. It’s as if you’ve seen everything life has to offer and don’t care for more. 

This may sound dramatic, but it’s pretty common… Researchers believe that dopamine plays a strong role in human emotions, such that having low dopamine levels can feel like someone has “sucked out all the color from life.”

So, what can be done to help stabilize and boost dopamine levels?

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