Dopamines are neurotransmitters located in the brain. Dopamines are part of the brain’s reward and pleasure system. Dopamine plays a role in emotional regulation, as well. For people with low dopamine functioning, risk taking and addictive behavior can increase. For those in recovery, regulating your dopamine functioning is important because drugs can seriously impact the reward center in your brain.
1- Exercise. Experts have noted that exercising can assist with relieving and reducing stress. Exercise can assist with naturally altering your dopamine levels, therefore teaching your body how to naturally regulate your brain chemistry and your moods. While you were using you were altering your endorphin levels un-naturally therefore limiting your ability to feel happiness or pleasure. With natural endorphins brought by exercise you will have rewired your brain for the better.
2-Eating good food during recovery is always helpful. A healthy balanced diet is useful, with experts noting that you should eat plenty of leafy greens, avocados, nuts, fish, poultry and lean meats. Sugars should be avoided, as it alters dopamine levels found in the brain, the same as your drug of choice once did, therefore leading to cravings.
3- Listening to music during your journey of sobriety can assist with relaxation and meditation. Go ahead and put on your favorite song when you are battling a craving, or just need to work through your frustrations. Your journey of sobriety requires that you spend time practicing relaxation and meditation techniques. This helps with reducing stress levels, it can encourage optimism, and can even be useful in reducing muscle tension.
4- Meditation. Meditation during recovery is extremely beneficial. You can meditate while listening to music, while laying in bed, or while out on the beach for a stroll. Research shows that meditation naturally alters your dopamine levels as well. Meditating for even 30 minutes can help curb cravings, and assist with your journey of sobriety. Meditation is easy to learn and can be done anywhere.
5- New experiences. Researchers have shown that finding new sober experiences to be a part of, can assist with keeping sobriety. New experiences can be as simple as going out to dinner by yourself, inviting a sober friend over for tea, have brunch with family. Make a list of activities that you have always wanted to do, but never have; include things you did while you were actively using, and challenge yourself to experience them while sober. All of these activities can assist with producing natural dopamine levels and leaving you feeling more positive and aware as you practice sobriety.
Help is just a phone call away. At The Kimberly Center, we care about you and your recovery. Call us now at 855-4-KCENTER. We are committed to helping you stop the cycle of addiction with education and treatment. At the Kimberly Center, you are in safe hands.