"I want to, like I don't want" - this saying is popular among people who come to work on Monday morning, return from vacation or simply unsuccessfully try to motivate themselves to perform their duties. However, does it have to be this way? You probably guess that waiting for "Friday" from Sunday is not the best way to live, but how to change it? We will show you tricks that will help you become a more motivated and energetic person.
You may have heard of dopamine - a neurotransmitter that resembles serotonin in its activity, but you should not confuse them! While serotonin is directly responsible for a good mood, dopamine does it in a more veiled way, affecting:
This is why low dopamine levels occur in patients with Parkinson's disease or depression. However, even in healthy people, its level varies depending on the season, diet or lifestyle. This means that if you use a few simple tricks, you'll soon surprise your family, friends and, above all, yourself.
You, like many ordinary mortals, are drawn to all sources of light. You can laugh at the moth, which flies like crazy around a light bulb in the evenings, but if you replace the light bulb with a smartphone, computer, TV, tablet or other electronic device, it turns out that people are not much different from this night butterfly.
This is because of dopamine. Looking at light sources - regardless of whether they come from the sun, a lamp or a smartphone, increases the level of this neurotransmitter. For this reason, phototherapy (light therapy) is used in seasonal depression to regulate circadian rhythms and improve mood.
Greater contact with light increases the level of energy during the day, improves the quality of sleep, which translates into better overall functioning. You can also use it! All you have to do is spend more time outdoors on sunny days. But what about autumn and winter when the days are short? Take care of an additional light source at home and work, and you will quickly feel better.
Proteins consist of small bricks, called amino acids. Science distinguishes 23 types of amino acids - some of them are produced by the body on its own, while others can only be obtained from food. Dopamine is made from tyrosine, an amino acid found in many foods. Your body can also make tyrosine from phenylalanine, another amino acid. According to studies, regular consumption of more sources of tyrosine and phenylalanine increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. In the dopamine diet, focus on rich sources of protein, such as:
J. Roffman et al., “Dopamine D1 signaling organizes network dynamics underlying working memory,” Science Advances, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1501672, 2016.
Martikainen IK, Nuechterlein EB, Peciña M, et al. Chronic Back Pain Is Associated with Alterations in Dopamine Neurotransmission in the Ventral Striatum. J Neurosci. 2015;35(27):9957–9965. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4605-14.2015
Volkow ND, Wise RA, Baler R.The dopamine motive system: implications for drug and food addiction. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrn.2017.130
 Li Z, Tian T. Light Therapy Promoting Dopamine Release by Stimulating Retina in Parkinson Disease. JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(10):1267–1268. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1906