Facebook empire is built upon a molecule-Dopamine!
It is also known as Kim Kardashian Molecule, Motivation Molecule or Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll Molecule.
There are about 86 billion neurons in the human brain. They communicate with each other via brain chemicals or neurotransmitters. Dopamine is the most researched neurotransmitter because it defines the quality of our life. It is produced by our brains when we eat delicious food, have sex, exercise and have successful social interactions.
Silicon Valley uses this brain chemical to keep us using apps and social media. It’s the secret sauce that makes an app, game or social media platform “profitable”. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram leverage the same neural circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to keep us using their products as much as possible. If a gambler feels favoured by luck, dopamine is released. Whenever someone likes or comments on our post or photograph, it gives us a dopamine hit.
Too little dopamine can make you lethargic and depressed. Lab mice with low dopamine Levels chose to starve when food was placed next to them, they lacked motivation to eat. If you are low in dopamine, you will be low on energy & motivation.
Dopamine as a “motivation molecule” boosts your drive, focus, and concentration, it helps us think and plan, it defines our pleasure-reward system. Your body spreads it along four major pathways in the brain.
Too much or too little of it in different parts of the brain can cause several mental health issues. Too much causes Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, hallucinations and delusions and too little causes lack of motivation and ADHD. A traumatic childhood, any form of abuse, poverty, grief, domestic violence, social discrimination, reduces dopamine production.
Every habit-forming substance causes a surge of dopamine in your brain that satisfies your natural reward system in a big way. It also raises the threshold for this kind of pleasure. The more an addict uses a drug, the harder it becomes to stop. You need to take more of the drug to get the same high and the drug makes your body less able to produce dopamine naturally. This leads to emotional lows when you’re sober.
Tech companies use randomness to create dopamine surges in the brain, they use it in any app designed to build habitual behaviour. A running app gives you a high-five badge as encouragement at random intervals, rather than every time the user completes a run. When you finish a run, the app uses Artificial Intelligence to decide when to schedule rewards for a user.“It might say – he will see it coming, so don’t give it. Or it might say: NOW!”
Dopamine is created in the brain through a two-step process. First, it changes the amino acid tyrosine to a substance called dopa, and then into dopamine. There are many ways to increase dopamine levels, thereby increasing peak performance.
Tyrosine – Almonds, Avocados, Bananas, Beef, Chicken, Chocolate, Coffee, Eggs, Green Tea, Milk, Watermelon, Yogurt.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid-a building block of protein that makes dopamine. It alleviates chronic pain, depression, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and a skin disease called vitiligo. It is found in Dairy, Eggs, Fish, Meat, Nuts, Seeds, Soy products
Caffeine increases the release of dopamine in the area of our brain linked to attention and focus, it increases our concentration and productivity. Tea, coffee and bitter chocolate release a flood of dopamine and make us feel ‘good’.
Pregnenolone is a “happiness” chemical that boosts dopamine to lift your mood and is also the building block of your body’s hormones. It’s found in Butter, Dairy, Eggs and Meat.
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that increases dopamine levels in the brain. Foods rich in Resveratrol are Blueberries, Cranberries, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Grapes, Peanuts, Pistachios and Wine.
DHA is used to treat dementia, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, ADHD, depression. Foods rich in DHA – Herring, Trout, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Seaweed
Carvacrol produces dopamine and acts as an anti-depressant. Foods that contain carvacrol – Oregano, Pepperwort, Thyme Oils, Wild Bergamot.
Folate helps the body build cells and combat heart disease, releases serotonin which helps memory, anxiety, depression, aggression, mood, appetite, sleep, emotions and perceptions. Folate rich foods – Dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, Fruits & Fruit juices, Meat & Poultry, Nuts.
Monounsaturated Fats improve heart health, improve your mood and reduce anger, irritability. Foods rich in them – Avocados, Canola oil, Nuts, Olive oil, Peanut oil
Butyrate is crucial for gut health. 50% of dopamine is found in your intestines where it is synthesized by gut microbes. Gut bacteria impacts our immune system, mental health, weight, mood and digestive disorders. Gut microbiome produce serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Our gut is often called the second brain, visually our intestines look very similar to our brain. Butyrate is found in Butter and Milk.
Uridine creates new dopamine receptors in the brain. It improves memory and mood. Foods rich in uridine are Beer, Broccoli, Chinese cabbage, Fish, Mushrooms, Oats, Parsley.
Supplements like curcumin, Ginkgo Biloba, L-theanine, Acetyl-l-tyrosine and probiotics increase levels of dopamine.
Touch-Human contact triggers dopamine production for both you and the other person. Hug, shake hands, get a massage.
Animals need dopamine as much as humans so hug, stroke & pet them. Touch releases dopamine.
Sleep quality is vital to your dopamine receptors. More sleep means more dopamine receptors. Buy the best mattress that you can afford, you spend 1/3rdof your life on it.
Meditation, prayer and self-reflection increase dopamine levels. Creative hobbies or attention to detail hobbies that bring the brain into a meditative state also increase dopamine.
Discovery-Dopamine production is triggered when we find something new or exciting. Discovery is as old a phenomenon as evolution. If you’re not the adventurous type who loves to travel there is always the Internet to discover new stuff. Remember these sites are engineered to be addictive so be careful of the dopamine rush.
Music-singing, listening, composing, playing a musical instrument and even just anticipating music triggers you pleasure centre releasing dopamine.
Weight Loss-Dopamine helps you lose weight and losing weight increases your dopamine. An interesting cycle-being overweight reduces the number of dopamine receptors you have and when you lose weight those receptors increase and boost dopamine.
Another interesting cycle – Electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phones reduces dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. But light triggers dopamine release in your eyes, which keeps us glued to our screens.
Sunlight increases the number of dopamine receptors and vitamin D which activates genes that release dopamine.
Exercise makes your brain releases fun chemicals like serotonin, endorphins and dopamine which make you super productive and de-stress. Runners high is a dopamine surge.
Winning and celebrating a win releases dopamine into our system. It is released when you accomplish something, it can be something small like a to do list and physically check off on them as you finish. Nothing is more satisfying than ticking off something as done. “I did it” feeling is a flood of dopamine
A cold shower boosts dopamine levels by 250%.
Eating, drinking, having sex and making money raise dopamine levels by 50-100%.
Drugs increase dopamine much more – Nicotine increases it by 200%, cocaine 400%, and amphetamines 1,000%.
Success is a habit-there is a science to success. Successful people have an enormous amount of dopamine in their brains. Are they hardwired to succeed because of high dopamine levels or is everything they do increasing dopamine levels-either way it snowballs into a motivated, driven, proactive, super productive super human who can achieve infinitely more than the average person.
You can be Muhammad Ali, Elon Musk, the Wolf of Wall Street or whoever you want to be. Reprogram your subconscious and rewire your brain, now! Chemically engineer your mind and body to mimic that of a wildly successful person, eventually you will become one.