For a little while after quitting smoking, it is normal to feel a little down. Nicotine is a stimulant that causes the release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone, and after stopping smoking your body no longer releases it normally. Researchers used to believe that low dopamine was a risk factor for addiction to smoking and other drugs. But a new study shows that dopamine levels do return to normal and it can take up to 3 months for dopamine levels to return to non-smoker levels.
It Can Take 3 Months For Dopamine Levels To Return To Normal After Quitting Smoking
The study results indicate treatments that might boost the dopamine system in smokers would help increase quit smoking success rates. Low dopamine is a contributor, however, there are ways to boost dopamine levels naturally, making it easier to quit smoking and stay smoke free.
Natural Ways To Boost Dopamine Levels
Low dopamine levels can lead to lack of motivation, fatigue, addictive behavior, mood swings and memory loss. These first 3 months after quitting are a particularly vulnerable time for relapse.
There are a number of ways to boost dopamine levels naturally after quitting smoking, which will help improve mood and temporarily supports your willpower to stay smoke free. Staying calm and remembering it is temporary is an important first step.
Nicotine use causes the release of dopamine, and addiction is connected to abnormalities in the dopamine system.
Exercise Promotes Dopamine
The most obvious is exercise. Aerobic activity for 20 minutes causes your body to release release dopamine. Running, brisk walking, yoga, lifting weights, or anything that gets your heart rate up will do the trick. Yoga and meditation are also helpful to remaining calm and centered.
Lower Stress, Sugar, Caffeine
Decrease stress, sugar, and caffeine. All of these disrupt your normal dopamine production, so it is best to avoid these as much as possible. Switching from coffee with sugar to green tea will not only help decrease sugar and caffeine, but green tea also has L-theanine, which boosts dopamine. Stress negatively effects your adrenal functions. It is important to get enough sleep and have a good routine.
Supplements can also help boost dopamine levels, and other feel good brain chemicals such as serotonin and GABA. L-theanine, L-tyrosine, SAM-e, GABA, and 5-HTP all help alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety, and will help temporarily support your willpower. Quit Support is one product with these ingredients that boost levels do dopamine and serotonin, helping to elevate mood and decrease the risk of relapse after quitting.
Ready To Quit Smoking?