By Tiberiu Toca, SciTech Investigations Editor
As a student, it is important to know your energy levels throughout the day to work productively. SciTech explains the link between energy levels and dopamine to help you stay focused.
Although dopamine is linked to rewards, the concept is primarily about drive and craving. Rats may lever press for food, as shown in a well-known experiment. It was once believed that food, like many other rewards, triggers the release of dopamine, but in fact animals with depleted dopamine still enjoy food and other pleasures.
The neurotransmitter dopamine, when released in the brain, causes us to chase, construct, create, and crave new things that we do not already have. This is why it is stated that dopamine is the "common currency."
Dopamine drives motivation and the desire to seek out rewards. How are you doing in the grand scheme of things, like halfway through a degree or halfway through life? It all depends on how much dopamine you released in the days, weeks, and years prior. You can work with it once you become aware of these processes, once you get how dopamine is created and how it modifies our perspectives and behavior.
When you consume or binge the same type of content for a period, like Netflix series or YouTube videos, they all tend to get monotonous and uninteresting. The answer is to put a stop to practising that activity for a bit, then wait until they start to interest you again. The build-up to the reward has more of an opioid bliss like property and is not that bad if it's endogenous, released from within, is what dopamine is thought to be in its new understanding in neuroscience.
After a pain stimulus has passed, dopamine is released. The more friction and pain you experience, the larger the dopamine reward you will receive later. This amplifies the process of pursuing more dopamine, therefore the keys are to desire rewards while realizing that the pursuit itself is the reward if you want to experience consistent success.
“As the day begins, I want dopamine to start working so I can focus, feel happy, be excited about my goals, and be very clever!” We require a few things in order to be energised and concentrated. The norepinephrine system must function properly. It is powered by a substance called cortisol, which is frequently criticized for being harmful, but you want cortisol levels to be high in the morning since that is what wakes you up. First thing in the morning, get some sunlight and movement for ten to fifteen minutes. Choosing a target and a goal is what the dopamine system is all about.
Decide what you want to do in the early morning, before noon, and mentally reward yourself as you progress in that direction. Regardless of how well you slept, you must ignore distractions and remain focused on your goal in order to get the benefits of dopamine release, which will improve your ability to concentrate on specific objectives. Flipping through the phone can give you dopamine, but you are not following any particular route.
The dopamine system has to be primed so that you can choose a specific goal and work toward it on a regular basis. Additionally, moving forward toward a certain objective helps to calm amygdala activity. You often hear about habits like making a plan the night before or waking up with a clear purpose. Because our minds cannot develop plans while we are asleep, some people wake up with their minds still confused.
Exercise for ten or fifteen minutes to boost the dopamine and epinephrine systems. A person is put on a path by exercise in the morning.
The neurochemical circuits are fragmented and disorganized when staring at a phone and receiving notifications. There is a reason why every military community has consistent, manageable routines that can be completed first thing in the morning. Managing your control circuits is critical.
Your brain contains circuits that help you manage yourself, put blinders on yourself, and go toward your goals. If you don't exercise these circuits or take control of them, the brain will find other ways to release dopamine and serotonin in order to develop focus and behavior that is goal-directed. That way, you naturally find yourself moving forward and focused on particular objectives.
Featured image: Yente Van Eynde
How do you manage your energy levels to achieve productive work?