Rewiring the Dopamine Receptors in Our Brains
One of the greatest ways I’ve found to get more done and live happier is by beginning to rewire the dopamine receptors in the brain.
Our brain is a big beautiful mystery, and the common saying about only using about 4% of our brains I have no doubt is true. The brain controls the occurrences of the body and much more that we have yet to discover.
I like to think the brain plays a big part on occurrences outside of the body as well.
Because of this, it is a constant struggle today to keep the mind functioning properly, and many techniques such as exercise or meditation play a significant role in controlling the mind. The temptation to splurge or do what feels right in the moment will always be there, so we must find ways to not just hold these temptations back, but to change them altogether.
At first it may be extremely difficult to get yourself to do a new task, whether it be exercising, meditating, producing more in your work, etc. There is no current muscle memory involved to the tasks you are striving for… they are foreign to your body. You may get a rush or a sense of fulfillment after the first day or two, but come the next day to repeat the task, and you just don’t have it in you.
One way that I am finding to override any lack of motivation is by completely rewiring the dopamine receptors related to said action.
Think about the rush, or high feeling that you may get from completing this new task, and dwell on it. Visualize yourself completing this task more and more and becoming more proficient as time goes on. This type of conceptual visualization is a tool that I am sure I will write more on, and is not anything that I believe I have created. It has immense power, and my consciously focusing all your energy to the task at hand, you begin to think about it differently… thinking of new ideas and changing your overall approach. You may think “Well, I do not have to run as hard or as long as I did yesterday, but I must get out for a jog.” and this is perfectly OK! It is more about the building of habits and repetition required for that muscle memory than any other glorious factors.
I like to think about the modern anime One Punch Man, where he reveals his training regime is 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats and 10km running. Definitely doesn’t seem like the type of training that would create the world’s strongest man, but that is exactly the point.
You mustn't doubt yourself in the journey to better things — by beginning to focus on what you really want and by pushing through any negative factors you can literally rewire your brain to become more satisfied every time you complete this new task, an amazing thing.