Capturing That Dopamine Feeling and Making It Last!

Have you ever had that "Dopamine Feeling"? It's kind of like the feeling of being in love, or the feeling of being young, healthy, and super happy. Colors look extremely bright and beautiful, music sounds incredible, your mind feels so clear, and you feel like dancing!! For me, it usually happened when I was driving on a sunny day with loud music playing, and only once in a while. I had no idea what caused that feeling to arrive, how to keep it from leaving, or how to get it back... but now I do!

I've discovered that feeling is caused by a neurochemical called dopamine. When you feel pleasure of any kind, your dopamine levels increase slightly. Then, dopamine allows you to feel pleasure more! It heightens all of your senses. And, if you feel more pleasure, your levels increase even more, which heightens your senses even more! And yes, you can just keep building it up and up and up! There is a way to do this on purpose, to control it, and to create that dopamine feeling anytime you want!

1. Find a pleasure that gives you even just a tiny shot of dopamine. The easiest way I've found to do this is to listen to free internet radio, like Pandora or Rhapsody, preferably while wearing headphones with the volume up loud! Keep skipping through songs until one of them gives me a little feeling that makes me think, "mmmmmmmm I love that!" and makes me want to sway or tap or dance.

2. Once you find that pleasure and feel a little rise in your dopamine, milk it!! Focus all of your attention on that song. Listen to every little sound. Be amazed by how beautiful it is and pleasurable it is to listen to it. Move to the beat and feel how good that feels too! Try moving different parts of your body. Bob your head to the beat, move your shoulders, your hips, hands and feet! Notice how good each sound and each movement feels. The more you focus on the pleasure, the more your dopamine levels will rise, and the more you will feel that dopamine feeling!!!!

3. Keep it going! Now that you have a taste of it, keep skipping through songs until you find those rare, amazing songs that give you that feeling. The higher your dopamine levels go, the easier it will be to find songs that sound amazing. Each time you find one, FOCUS all of your attention on it. Focus on all of your other senses too. Any pleasure you feel, especially when you focus on it, will raise your dopamine levels and help to keep that dopamine feeling going. Notice the sun sparkling on the tree leaves or on the water, the feel of the sun or the breeze on your skin, the smell of the fresh air or the flowers, and all foods taste so good, even healthy foods! And, of course, if you have somebody special, the pleasures of touch become so much better, and the more pleasure you have, the more you can feel even more pleasure!!!!!

Not only does dopamine make you feel so good, but it is good for you too! It reduces hunger and cravings, makes it easy to lose weight, speeds up your metabolism, increases energy, improves memory, balance, and coordination! It's definitely worth the effort to increase dopamine levels. It can improve your life in so many ways!

 

Evidence That My "Treatment Session" to Raise My Dopamine Levels Naturally Worked!

I just took a wonderful hot bath, wearing waterproof bone conduction headphones, listening to and deeply focusing on my very favorite music on Pandora.com. It felt so good! But when I really knew it was actually raising my dopamine levels was when I was suddenly overwhelmed by the smell of the bathroom trash! Lol. I hadn't even noticed it at first, but increased dopamine heightens all of your senses. By the end, the smell was unbearable! And no procrastination when dopamine levels are high! That trash is going out NOW!

The real key is to find those rare songs that give you that warm fuzzy feeling, and then to really focus on that feeling. It's kind of a meditation on the pleasure you feel, zooming in on it so that all other thoughts and worries don't have any room in your mind. The good feeling just gets better and better the more you focus on it, and it really seems like my dopamine levels are rising when I do this. I feel like a totally different (and much happier) person!

I just discovered tonight that there is something called a "thumbprint radio" station on Pandora which will include all of the songs you've ever "liked" from any of your other stations. Very nice!

Any headphones will do, but I love my wireless, waterproof bone conduction headphones! I can turn the music up as loud as I can stand it with no worries of hearing damage. I can wear them while driving with the music super loud in my ears and the windows down, without bothering anyone with my loud music, yet still being able to hear traffic sounds for safety, and even being able to have a conversation with someone while wearing them because they don't go in your ear!

It really doesn't even have to be music. Any pleasure will probably do. The most important thing is to find that warm fuzzy feeling and then meditate on it. Savor it!
 

How to Raise Dopamine Levels with a Mental Process

About 6 months ago, my life completely changed. I didn't understand what was happening at first, and I had no scientific explanation for the changes at that time. It was so amazing that it felt like it must just be a miracle. What was really odd was that my husband was experiencing the exact same miraculous changes at the same time!

We had been very overweight for about 20 years. Although we had tried every diet imaginable multiple times, we never could lose much weight and we would suffer terribly while dieting until we gave up and then gained it all back every single time, for 20 years! So, you can imagine our delight when we started losing weight very easily, without any suffering at all. He's lost 75 pounds now and I've lost 50, and it was the easiest thing we've ever done!

About the same time, we also totally fell in love with each other all over again, with renewed passion and romance too! It has really been like it was when we were first dating again. Amazing!!! We've had so much fun, joy, and laughter. We started going dancing, to concerts, romantic weekend trips to the beach, making great new friends, and having good times with friends and family. We've really enjoyed each other like never before. We actually kept asking each other, "Do you think we died and this is Heaven?". We seriously considered that as a possibility because our life had suddenly become so incredibly blissful!

Then, came December. It was very stressful as usual with all of the shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, and having visitors. Our newfound Heaven left us as quickly and mysteriously as it had arrived, and life returned to how it had been before. We even started gaining a little weight back. I hoped after the stress of the holidays passed we might get our bliss back, but it just didn't come back. So, I started trying to understand what had happened and how to get it back!

I started reading and thinking about it a lot, but I still couldn't make any sense of it. Then, one night my daughter and her boyfriend were watching TV and I wanted to block out the noise so that I could read on the computer, so I put on some headphones and some loud music. I read about dopamine and how it rises whenever you feel pleasure and it then allows you to feel more pleasure. It is what makes colors look so vivid and music sound so good sometimes. It gives you that not hungry, super happy, focused, energetic, and even euphoric feeling. It's definitely what my husband and I both had been feeling, but how could we get that feeling back?

As I read more and listened to the music in my headphones, I noticed that feeling coming back! I was thrilled and eagerly told my husband about it and put some headphones on him too! He felt it a little bit, but not nearly like I was feeling it. Plus, it just didn't make sense that just listening to headphones could cause changes like we had experienced. If that were the case, everyone who wears headphones would have figured this out already. So, I wondered what was I doing that my husband wasn't? 

We had also been learning about positive thinking and the power of your thoughts, attitude, and mental focus. I realized that was a huge piece of the puzzle!

All of the sudden, it all clicked for me! It was all because of the dopamine, and the mental process of focusing on the pleasure intensely raised my dopamine levels! I knew that dopamine increases when you feel pleasure.  I figured out how to raise my levels at will, and it's working for my husband now too! Of course things like supplementing with magnesium, l-tyrosine, probiotics, eating healthy, and exercising are beneficial, but I had tried that for years with only minimal improvement. What I've learned now works so much better!

So, here's how you do it. Find something that gives you pleasure. I recommend starting with a pair of headphones and Pandora internet radio. You can get unlimited skips for $5 per month. Then, you can go through songs until you find one that gives you that good feeling. Have you ever watched American Idol and seen Jennifer Lopez or Keith Urban hear something they really liked and kind of close their eyes and say "mmmm"? That's the feeling you are looking for. At first, it might be hard to find a song that sounds very good to you, because when dopamine levels are low, it is harder to feel pleasure. Just listen for one that makes you feel something good. When you find it, FOCUS on it. Listen to every little sound and think about how good it sounds, how pleasurable it is. That's the whole trick. You have to really focus on the pleasure.

Keep going through songs like this. I find that it works best to do this while you are driving or walking outside because the visual pleasure, scents, and even the pleasure of a nice breeze on your skin raises your dopamine levels also. Tap your hands or feet to the beat, or move your body to the beat, and notice how good that feels! Even putting on lipstick or chap stick can be a pleasure. With every single pleasure, focus hard on the pleasure to feel it as fully as you can.

Bone conduction headphones are a great way to listen to music. They allow better sound quality for many people who have hearing loss because the music is transmitted through the cheek bone right above/in front of your ear instead of inside the ear canal. It also allows you to hear surrounding noises, such as car horns, and to be able to carry on a conversation while listening to headphones. You can wear these for the improved listening pleasure that headphones give you, while driving, biking, walking, and maybe even at work! Any headphones will do, but these are very cool.

Start seeking the pleasure in everything, and purposely doing things that you know will be pleasurable, because pleasure is your pathway to increased dopamine, which is your pathway to increased pleasure! Look for pretty things to look at, like sunsets and views. Go out and listen to live bands. Go dancing! Get together with good friends and family. Find exercise that you enjoy. Savor every bite of your food. Smell your coffee. Smell flowers. Notice and fully appreciate every single pleasure around you at all times.

You will learn to recognize the feeling of your dopamine levels rising. It is a feeling of excitement, warmth, and pleasure all at once, and you just feel really happy and healthy. It may be very subtle at first, but you will notice a difference. I can always tell my levels are higher also because not only do I feel really good, but I have very strong urges to get things done immediately! Normally, I would procrastinate about everything, but when my dopamine levels are higher, I just have to take care of things RIGHT NOW! 

This is the most amazing thing I've ever learned and I'm so excited to share it with everyone I can and see how it might help other people too. It might even help with addictions, alcoholism, obesity, depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), libido, marriage/relationship problems, and maybe even Parkinson's disease. I'll keep writing more blog articles and I would love to hear comments from anyone who tries this and see how it goes for you! If it helps you anywhere near as much as it has helped me, you will be very, very happy!