Saturday, February 10, 2007

Can we raise levels of dopamine ourselves?

I believe we can and the article on the treatment of Parkinson's certainly supports the idea that we have the ability to do so. I have had many "natural highs" in my life that felt similar to the experiences when I've been on drugs that have acted on my dopamine levels. Falling/being in love, for instance, definitely gets the "feel-good" chemicals going in the brain (i.e. dopamine, serotonin). Yoga, meditation, taking a hot tub, eating chocolate, and having sex are other natural ways that I think we can kick up dopamine levels. I appreciated the article on how sex is an effective stress reduction therapy. The human body has limitless potential and there are so many "tools" in the world to help us feel well without having to resort to drugs. Below I'm going to post a forward I received on "natural highs." Enjoy the richness of life. . . . .

Natural Highs
1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket.
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail.
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Chocolate milkshake (vanilla or strawberry).
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling.
14. A good conversation.
15. The beach.
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
18. Looking into their eyes and knowing they Love you
19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke .
24. Friends.
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29 Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams.
32. Hot chocolate.
33. Road trips with friends.
34. Swinging on swings.
35.. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38 . Holding hands with someone you care about.
39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
40. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the sunrise.
42. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
43. Knowing that somebody misses you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think.


Anonymous said...

Its amazing how the simple things make such a difference.

astropignaut said...

thanks so much for that list linds! As I was reading through, I was reminiscent of each time I've felt those things. Life is all about those simple things that make you happy, like hearing a lindsay giggle!