Everyone has dopamine in their brains as a neurotransmitter. It gives you the desire to pursue pleasure and feelings of reward and happiness. Apparently, video games and scrolling social media, (and cocaine) flood the brain with abnormal amounts of it, and you can build up a “tolerance” which requires you to play more games and do more scrolling.
And some folks are now engaging in “dopamine fasting”, which can bring down your tolerance. This enhances focus and gets emotions on an even keel. Here’s a very interesting article about it.
Activities that flood our brains with the feel-good-reward neurotransmitter dopamine are:
scrolling on social media
playing video games
listening to music
eating junk food
playing on our phones
… basically anything that doesn’t take a lot of work. Reading, learning something new, and math puzzles are things we’d rather not do because they are hard. But in the end they give us healthier levels of dopamine, AND they ward off dementia (along with exercise). I know I’m personally happier when I’m giving my brain a work out.
Sunlight exposure also activates our dopamine receptors, and any type of light activates dopamine release in our eyes! That’s why we stay hypnotized by our screens.
This video gives some great information about dopamine, and how to balance it’s levels in your brain: