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 watching TV 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:
…because it allows us to live our lives virtually. That’s what I’ve decided this morning. Our phones keep us plugged into social media, and divide us from real, human connection at the same time. It’s coming out that screen time is yet another addiction… instead of alcohol or drugs it’s cell phones and computers. Americans spend 10 hours a day in front of a screen! When you think of how our ancestors lived, in small villages of about 30 people, with no technology, the change in our world is overwhelming. Our brains and bodies are the same as they where hundreds of years ago.
Technology also complicates our lives. It contributes to us comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we are not enough. It adds to the urgency of getting things done. I’ve found if I stay on my computer too long, the laundry doesn’t get done and important, creative projects don’t receive my attention. True work, conquers all things 🙂
I just turned my TV off, put my cell phone in the other room, and now I’m enjoying the sounds of kids playing across the street. I like it 🙂
I came across a great article this morning on simplifying life, and I LOVE it!! I want to share it in case it helps someone else out there. Then I’m putting my computer down for the day lol.
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
“When our lives become too complicated, we enjoy life less. We consume too much. We have too little time and too much stress. What are other signs that it’s time to simplify?
1. Clutter clutter everywhere.
And none of it is particularly useful. Every drawer is full, every closet stuffed, every hanger in use, and ever tabletop is covered in clutter clutter clutter.
When you feel like you’ve gotten to this point, it’s time to take some time and go through everything. Pick it up, look at it, and ask yourself, “Do I need this?” Once you’ve finished, your life will be simpler.
2. You have a hole in your pocket.
Figuratively. You find yourself spending so much on food, fun, and everything in between. At the end of the month, the purse strings are pretty tight, right?
If this is the case, it’s time to set a budget. Ask yourself if an expenditure is something you want or need.
3. You’re buying too much stuff.
Stuff on top of stuff on top of stuff. The garage is full, every shelf covered, but do you really need all of it? Consider what your money is worth to you.
It may be time to put a lid on extra purchasing and maybe throw some things up on Craigslist.
4. You’ve lost your spirituality.
Let me guess, you were more religious or spiritual when you were younger and now it’s fading away, right? Maybe it’s time to rekindle that spirituality.
Spend 10-15 minutes of the morning in meditation or reading scripture. Reconnect with your beliefs.
5. You use technology too much.
Hell, I’m guilty of looking at my phone for a half hour in the morning when I wake and in bed before sleep. I know it’s a dumb thing to do but I do it anyway.
In times like these, it might be time to restrict yourself. Or myself. It’s good to be connected, but maybe it’s time to shut down for a few hours every day and at night.
6. You feel like you’re rushing.
Always rushing! Rushing through the day, the week, the year, and in the end, your life. We need to make the conscious decision to slow down and prioritize what we do! When we do that, we become more productive.
7. Your multitasking is out of control.
When you multitask, the effectiveness of your work is more limited than it would be if you focused in on one thing at a time.
If you simply can’t sit down and give one thing your full attention, it’s probably time to re-evaluate what it is that you’re doing and simplify your day.”