Category: Happiness

Dopamine Could Be Your Happiness Train, Jump On!


Dopamine Happiness? How does it all work?

Happiness is a choice according to The Science of happiness. Forgiveness, generosity, attitude and positivism all have measurable psychological benefits.

We have all experienced how good it feels to be kind, caring and supportive. The power of surrounding ourselves with other “happy” or positive people verses the negativity we experience in space that brings everyone’s energy down. What is that?

A significant player in the happiness game is; dopamine a brain neuro-receptor; that is responsible for some of the pain/ pleasurable feelings we experience. But it is not all fun and games.

The alter ego of Dopamine neuro-receptors is also present in any addiction process, with feelings of pleasure flooding the brain while engaging in certain activities. High octane exercise, adrenalin sports, drugs, food, sugar, gambling, alcohol, chocolate, cigarettes, caffeine and other addictions like texting can all be contributed to the pleasure responses of the brain.

I know, I hear my internal critic quickly taking over my thoughts. You have that, oh no, you have that too… well not all is lost!

Without Dopamine we have reduced feelings of well-being.

We may experience insomnia, fatigue, loss of concentration, reduced attention span, mood swings, and lower creative ability. More serious, reduced Dopamine levels are noted in Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s’, ADHD, and Parkinson’s.

Increased levels of Dopamine can be related to competitive and aggressive behavior and increased impulse control and credited for the rise of Homo sapiens on the evolutionary scale. Its’ importance in our systems cannot be underscored. Can we control it or does it control us? Do we have a choice?

Where is the “happy” medium, if Dopamine is part of the reason WHY it is so hard to stop an addictive behavior? When it comes to food, it may be explained by Evolutionary Psychology. Food is a survival response. Evolutionary speaking, humans need food in order to survive, a strong pleasure response to food keeps us desiring more…..we eat, we don’t starve to death.

The fast food industry knows this evolutionary physiological trigger well. Fast food is BIG science, getting the biggest dopamine release to keep us eating and returning for more. Even simple food aromas activate the Dopamine response, and it is causing an epidemic of #obesity which has nothing to do with happiness.

The double whammy? The physiological pleasure response is strengthened each time Dopamine enters the system. It re-enforces the behavior. So can we trick our response mechanism into re-enforcing the behavior we choose? How? Well there is a how to.

Reprogramming the pleasure triggers is an essential part of any recovery process. Being aware and understanding the psychology is essential. Learn how to fill the dopamine voids with other experiences that engages the pleasure response.

Sex, massage, exercise, eating smaller meals more regularly, dance often, practice yoga, & meditation and add certain supplements that enhance Dopamine production. Amino acids from meat and fish sources are beneficial. Try not to get it all in one reading, that creates that overwhelmed stressed out feeling? Chunk your learning, small usable chunks. Prioritize, use your through-time skills, look forward, make a plan, draw it out, scale it out, revise it, contingency, rewards, schedule it, play with it, be consistent, be persistent, change your behavior, find your weight goals and happiness.

According to the Washington University in St. Louis, studies aren’t convinced that Dopamine is the culprit as much as attitude and eating behavior.

My solution is to develop a concrete action plan to manage your mental, emotional and physical health and wellness, and find someone that will help keep you on-track, give you the tools to succeed at weight loss.  Support you in weight goals, hold the space, keep you focused, coaching can help you achieve your goals.

Until then…

Stay well,

Adele Anderson




Inner Critic Coach Yours

The Critic Within

Is your inner critic giving you the power to create powerful change in your life? Or is it your saboteur?

It’s not all bad, an inner critic can be a powerful motivator; you could possibly get frustrated and become rebellious. I WILL be better, I will rise above that. This is when the inner critic motivates positive change.

Or do you actually agree with your inner critic and it becomes a saboteur that stops you from starting or completing your dreams. You agree with your inner critic; “I know I don’t know enough, I am not capable of that, I really can’t succeed……”

My inner critic went into overdrive; after telling a friend my plan of becoming a coach; my plan for reworking my life, turning my education into something else that would bring greater financial rewards and inner satisfaction.

My friend said in response to my plan; “some people are special.”…….My brain started to fire, I wasn’t really listening anymore. We’ve all been there, the internal dialogue takes over and we are no longer engaged in the conversation.

Of course, at first my inner critic went seeeeee…… I told you so. All of a sudden it was the “me’s” on won side and them… the special ones” on the other side. I was “in”.

Very quickly I could feel internally frustrated, at implying that “I” wasn’t one of those “SPECIAL” people. “I” couldn’t actually make my dream a reality. I felt myself slumping, I was now in the process of  aligning with my inner critic. Maybe “I’m” NOT special? Maybe I can’t do it….. BUT… I rebounded….

I feel special, I think “she’s” special; and I thought, this is how “SHE” feels, this is NOT MY MONKEY, and I thought ………. I will make this happen, not just for “me special” but to show her “she’s special too” we all can be special! When I make my dream happen, maybe she will feel empowered to make her dream happen too. This was the seed.

What was my best chance to make this happen? Engage, commit, take action, Hire a coach, get support, and persist! I will do it!

(Coaching is a fantastic tool to help us achieve our goals. I wasn’t fully aware of this until I engaged in the process myself.)

CRITIC: BUT…….my inner critic said, it’s hard to start up another company, I had done it several times over 30 years and so I know how hard it can be. Did I have the strength to persevere? Did I have any powerful motivator? Yes I did………

Rebound: Adele you’ve been successful before and you will be again! Move it!


Maybe that is what I deserve, living small.

Rebound: You don’t like your situation, THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

EXCUSES: My situation is only temporary, what is temporary or what is this…..a transition time? It’s not so bad, rent is good, lifestyle hasn’t change sooo much.

Rebound: What a pile of CRAP! You don’t feel good about this, you don’t invite friend over for dinner, so how good is it really? Then Change it!

FEAR OF FAILURE: Is my inner critic empowering me through this, or sabotaging me to rise above my glass ceiling? What were the real deeper reasons behind it all. I needed to understand “what” before I could move into “HOW” can I move forward.

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