Life is all about experiencing different emotions throughout our own personal journeys. There are moments where we feel happy, sad, stressed, on top of the world, etc. As well as situations and lifestyle, changes in the season and weather also play a part in how you feel; with winter approaching, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), caused by a lack of natural sunlight, can affect many of us and leave us feeling down and in need of a little extra help to feel good.

Whilst these factors can affect how you feel, it is the chemicals in your brain and body that play the crucial role. Science has proven that YOU can control the balance in your brain and hack into your happy neurochemicals simply by understanding how they originate and function. Training your mind to consciously alter patterns and behaviours can boost your happiness and peace of mind over time, so let’s see how we can achieve this!

THE POWER OF DOPAMINE

If you’re not familiar with it, dopamine is a chemical in your brain that affects your emotions, drive and sensations of pleasure and pain. It functions as a neurotransmitter and is released when we receive or anticipate some kind of reward.

It’s easy to see why so many people get addicted to recreational drugs, alcohol and stimulants like caffeine and refined sugar, because they all boost dopamine levels in the brain and temporarily give an instant reward and a feeling of euphoria. However, over time these cause the body’s own natural dopamine production to decline, making us feel lethargic, depressed and unmotivated – which is why we often crave coffee and cacao/chocolate for a quick fix.

GETTING A ‘HIGH’ THE NATURAL WAY

We discuss how caffeine and refined sugar can negatively affect our mood and body here, so with that in mind, how else can we stimulate the happy feeling of dopamine, the healthier way? We suggest you make a happy habits and implement them into your life. Here’s some suggestions:

  • Play your favourite music and sing or dance your heart out
  • Exercise – whatever you love doing
  • Discover one new thing everyday
  • Replace negative thoughts with a positive approach to life
  • Set a goal and break it down into achievable steps
  • If you crave something sweet, treat yourself to something that won’t mess with your body’s own dopamine production, such as a Supertreats bar!

The key is to create small successes regularly to keep the dopamine flowing in your brain – that way, this will help you to say goodbye to those winter blues!