Over the years, psychiatrist Amy Banks has learned how to use neuroscience in everyday life. It is only necessary to “tune” the neural pathways of the brain, which “gave the slack”. There are four main paths, and one of them is the path of energy. It transmits an uplifting, energizing neurochemical – dopamine.
It is dopamine that largely influences human behavior. And its lack always affects: we feel tired, exhausted and begin to resort to not very useful methods of getting dopamine. How to deal with this? This is what Dr. Banks recommends in his book On the Same Wavelength .
How dopamine works
Dopamine is a neurochemical that moves along the path of energy and helps to feel satisfaction and motivation at the same time. The dopamine flow does not make it feel like you are a different person. This is what makes dopamine so valuable. With a steady supply of it, you still feel normal, except that this feeling matches the sensations you experience on a truly good day.
The release of dopamine occurs in the human brain in cases when he does something to maintain life. Food, water, exercise, sex, and healthy relationships should make us feel good so that we try to do what is good for us. However, the brain loves to receive dopamine, and if this does not happen naturally, it may resort to other, less healthy methods. Drugs and alcohol are the most common sources of dopamine.
But they can also include shopping, gambling, overeating, and even being too close to family or over-watching television.
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When the light bulb burns out …
The problems arising under the influence of the neural pathway of energy are associated in large part with the loss of spark in the relationship. This does not only mean romantic relationships; dopamine is also a companion to healthy friendships and family relationships.
And when he disappears from them, they no longer bring such joy as before. You can try to get used to a dull, boring life, you can convince yourself that adulthood should be serious. But over time, your brain will still want to experience a certain amount of arousal.
We need to experience a stimulating sense of satisfaction with the people we love — perhaps not every minute, but most of the time.
What’s more, a constant burst of good energy is possible even in a long-term relationship. In fact, they are the ones that bring the deepest inner satisfaction. When an inherently good relationship loses its spark, it’s a sign of weakness in the neural energy pathway.
People who save us
If you are feeling drained and constantly tired, you need to identify the strongest sources of dopamine from relationships. Developmental relationships awaken in us a sense of energy or a special interest in life. And this is in part due to the increase in dopamine levels caused by you and the person with whom you are in such contact.
Find someone you enjoy talking to. A person who inspires and inspires you. Someone who himself happily spends time with you. Here he is what you need. There may be several such people.
Consciously focusing on the good aspects of your connections with these people will form a neural network that connects dopamine to relationships and strengthens the neural pathway for energy.
How to get rid of bad habits
As already mentioned, a lot of what a person does is aimed at obtaining dopamine. If you are ready for real change and want to cope with negative “dopamine addictions” (the habit of skipping a glass or two at dinner or seeking solace in shopping, gossip or the Internet), you must first highlight your habitual patterns of behavior. Do you resort to addictions when you experience unpleasant emotions – hunger, anger, loneliness, or fatigue?
If you feel the urge to “accept” something to make you feel better, try to pause and look inward to determine if it is associated with an emotion. If you manage to recognize this emotion and give it a name, try to imagine how it passes by you. While any emotion may seem extremely dangerous, it won’t kill you. The state in which you experience this or that feeling is like a cloud: over time, it will simply dissipate.
If the emotion doesn’t go anywhere, like your longing desire, rename it. Don’t see addiction as a character flaw or something you can’t control. Instead, face the truth: your neural pathway has been amplified through repeated use. So next time tell yourself, “Hmm, I can see that I really want to relax with a little wine. Okay. It is interesting. This neural pathway is very powerful indeed. ”
Realistically defining a neural pathway as a collection of neurons, and not as an innate character flaw, is the first step towards freeing yourself from its hold over you.
You need to realize that whatever your addiction is, it’s just a desire for more dopamine. Then you can start to instill in yourself the idea that there are many other, more useful ways to stimulate its production.
Again, relationships will help here. Shift your focus to relationships that spark special interest in life. Remember the vivid episodes inherent in them, filled with joy and good mood – the more positive, the better. You will surely find dopamine-rich moments.
Pulling your thoughts off the beaten path and switching them to healthy relationships is the whole recipe. The next time you feel that you want to cheer up in some harmful way, you will already know what to do.