8 Ways to Get Dopamine Besides Likes on Social Media
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that our bodies create to tell ourselves when we're experiencing pleasure. It's also known as the "feel good chemical." Obviously we all like to feel good, so our body is always trying to capitalize on dopamine and looks for ways to create more of it. We can experience dopamine when we partake in pleasurable activities like eating a dessert, having sex, or even on social media every time someone "likes" your photo or post. Every time we see that little heart icon or thumbs up on social media, it's like a little happiness hit to our brain and we want more.
The problem with getting dopamine from social media:
Feeling good is important and we should try to find ways to make ourselves feel good, but the ways in which we feel good do make a difference. When we rely on social media to make us happy, we are giving others power over our happiness. We also become more addicted to social media and can find ourselves constantly checking our phones to see if anyone "liked" our last post. Instead of relying on finding happiness on social media, here are some other ways to get dopamine:
Go on a friend date. Spending time with one of your pals is a sure way to feel happier. Here are some ideas for your friend date: go on a hike, take a class together, or have a wine and movie night.
Watch a comedy. Laughing is a great way to flood your brain with serotonin and to make you happier. Some of my favorite comedies include How to be Single, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and White Chicks (don't judge me).
Enjoy your favorite sweet treat. This might not be the healthiest advice, but everything is healthy in moderation so I encourage you to occasionally eat your favorite dessert or sweet treat. The confetti cake at Nothing Bundt Cakes or Cinnabon are some of my personal faves when I'm craving something sweet.
Create something. Get your creative juices flowing by making something. This can be an art project, crafts, or even a new recipe.
Check items off your to-do list. A sense of accomplishment will lead you to feeling good and will benefit your life. Take some time to get your laundry done, take your car in for an oil change, and tackle some other items you've been putting off.
Cuddle your fur baby or your actual baby! Animals and babies are an instant mood booster.
Move your body. If you're wanting to feel good, one of the best things you can do is get some movement in. This doesn't have to be exercising at the gym. Movement can be anything from going on a walk, riding your bike, roller skating, hiking, or dancing.
Buy a plant or fresh flowers. Incorporating a bit of nature inside of your home can boost your mood and it can even help purify the air.
I love social media and I check apps like Instagram and Facebook almost every day. There's nothing wrong with enjoying these forms of communication that can bring us closer to other people. The problem arises when we allow social media to dictate how we feel. You know what I'm talking about. If you've ever posted a photo or a status and obsessively checked to see how many people "liked" or commented on it, you're letting social media control your happiness. It can be hard to not let this happen when we have our phones on us 24/7. The next time you feel the urge to check your phone aggressively after you post, I hope you can try one of these ways to get dopamine instead.