Dopamine is a chemical in the brain with many purposes. It increases the pleasure of literally every activity. From eating to stress-and-pleasurereading, from appreciation of art to time spent with others, sex to music dopamine does it all. Dopamine brings us concentration; it helps develop the prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain that separates us humans from all other species. It is extremely powerful and necessary for functioning in the world. Stress and dopamine are intimately connected. The stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol, and glucacorticiods work together to stop the production of dopamine.

Dopamine and stress

Stress will lower dopamine and it’s activity in the brain by lowering receptor activity. The more we stress the more this happens. The more it happens the more the brain is shaped to both have less and receive less dopamine. The damage will continue to weaken this chemical and take away from us concentration, pleasure, and a variety of other functions that dopamine is responsible for in our brain.

The impacts of stress

Stress does far more than reduce dopamine and its other affects can take a toll on our enjoyment of life as well. Ignoring the mental and emotional pain of stress much can be said about the health problems associated with stress. It will weaken our immune system making us susceptible to disease. It will harm our cardiovascular system making it harder to get around and enjoy physical activity. It can cause memory problems which not only is annoying but can be very damaging to our life. It can compromise our reproductive system. It can give us painful peptic ulcers and headaches.

Finding stress management strategies

The list goes on and the stress runs a muck on our body, mind, and emotions. We must find ways to avoid and cope with stress. Finding stress management strategies as well as stress reducers are important steps to take. So much can be done and we can start today. We can empower ourselves and take back our health and enjoyment of life. We can secure a safe spot in our world and we can live a happier life. This not only affects us but all those in our life. We must make the mature and responsible decisions to take back our lives from stress. It will take hard work but as long as we continue to take steps in the right direction we will reach our destination.