How Aging Impacts Your "Feel Good" Hormone
Feeling a little "blah" recently?
It may have more to do with your age… than with your actual mood.
That's right, as you age your dopamine levels go down. It happens to everyone.
Real quick: dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and learning. A lot of folks call it the "reward" chemical. Think of the feeling you get when you finally finish that big project. That's dopamine.
So what does this mean for us older folks?
Well, we don't make very good gamblers. Which isn't a bad thing if you ask me.
With lower levels of dopamine, the incentive to take risks just isn't there.
The risks outweigh the rewards. Which makes sense as you get older — even when you factor out the dopamine.
In my opinion, you've got more to lose the older you get. Kids, grandkids, and more. So being more stable makes more sense to me.
But where the stability starts to shake loose is your mood. With lower dopamine levels, you may experience a "blue" period more than you usually do.
Now, I'm not one of these guys who's gonna tell you to just "buck up." That talk is pure B.S. You can "outwork" the chemicals in your brain.
But 1 of the real problems with lower dopamine levels is lack of motivation. Remember talking about all those things you could lose… Imagine feeling so down & out your grandkids come over and you're not very excited about it. Or the holidays roll around and you just want to sit around the house instead of traveling to see family. That's a problem. And that's where you need to put your foot down.
So what can you do to help buffer some of this dopamine loss…
Well, you got a few tools in your pocket.
For one, exercise. This will raise your dopamine levels and your testosterone too. Together this will give you a good boost to "get after it."
Second, watch the diet. Pretty obvious, but sugar is gonna crash your blood sugar levels and make you feel worse than you already do. It may seem like a quick energy source… but it's more like an energy drain.
Third is sleep. I like to compare sleep to engine oil. I know it's weird. But think of it this way… without oil, what happens to the engine? It falls apart. Same thing happens to you without good sleep.
Fourth… do some research. There are some supplements you can take that will help boost your natural production of dopamine.
Well, I hope this wasn't a downer. No pun intended. I've always felt knowledge is power. With this knowledge, now you can do what you need to fight back against father time.