2022 May 27 See all posts


Some notes from the Humermann podcast on dopamine:

baseline dopamine, volumetric release.
The general ideas is that sharp peaks in dopamine above the baseline level causes a crash (below the baseline), and it takes time to recover back.
reduced sensitivity with dopamine hits: when you get a dopamine high (say by seeing a social media post), and then see a second post, you may not enjoy it as much (because you're already way above the baseline).

No stacking

Don't stack multiple pleasurable activties together, it causes dopamine levels to stack & rise, and makes it difficult to enjoy a singular activity in isolation. E.g. eating food & watching television.

Sustained release of dopamine

Cold showers

You want to increment your baseline levels of dopamine gradually. The key is to avoid sharp peaks. One great way to do this is by cold showers - This increments dopamine levels to as high as 2.5x (for comparison, sex is at 2x, nicotine is at 2.5x etc.). The increase happens gradually, and the dopamine levels stay at high levels for a longer time.

Enjoy the activity

Rather than achieve dopamine hits by pre/post-activity rewards, seek to enjoy the activity/work/effort itself. This is cultivating the intrinsic motivation, and forms the core of growth mindset (there's always something to improve, the high is in the effort).
In fact as much as possible, seek to avoid such intense hits right before/after your workouts, work sessions and other activities which you want to enjoy over a long term.