BOOST DOPAMINE, FEEL HAPPIER IN 2021! Poll Says Happiness Lowest In 50 Years!
By Robert Schinetsky
The new year is here, and it couldn’t have come any sooner.
Let’s face it, 2020 was abysmal on many fronts.
Between financial insecurity, family stress, concerns over health, and unrelenting shutterings, lockdowns and foreclosures, the average individual’s stress levels and psyche have gotten worked over harder than tackling dummy during training camp.
In fact, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago recently conducted a poll found that public’s happiness is the lowest its been in 50 years!
This record low comes despite the fact that most Americans also reported being satisfied with their financial situation.
Other important findings from the study include:
- “the percentage of Americans who feel they often lack companionship has risen from 10% in 2018 to 18% in May 2020”
- “More Americans currently report that they often feel anxious, depressed, or irritable compared to two years ago (18% vs. 13%)”
Basically, more Americans are reporting that they are unhappy and pessimistic about the future than previous decades, but at the same time, more Americans are feeling relatively satisfied financially.
Despite the doom and gloom that has been imposed on us by the powers that be, there are still a number of ways you can boost your happiness. And, what better time to get started than the New Year!
7 Ways to Feel Happier in 2021
There are a great many ways to boost feelings of happiness (as we’ll discuss in a moment), but they all involve tweaking the brain’s neurochemistry and neurotransmitter levels.
One of the “heavy hitter” neurotransmitters, particularly regarding happiness and overall outlook is dopamine.
Known as the “reward” molecule, Dopamine is a vitally important neurotransmitter in the body that affects mood, motivation, movement control, decision-making, and reward.
Basically, without dopamine, you wouldn’t have the drive to pursue a goal. You wouldn’t have the motor skills needed to accomplish your goal, and you wouldn’t derive pleasure or satisfaction from accomplishing your goal (assuming you get it done in the first place).
Fortunately, boosting dopamine levels in the body (as well as all of the other happy hormones) is pretty straightforward, and it starts with...
We all know that regular physical activity is important for our bodies as well as our metabolic health, but did you know that exercise also does wonders for your mind?
Studies show that regular exercise can help reduce stress, feelings of anxiety, and symptoms of depression all the while boosting self-esteem and feelings of happiness.[2,3]
And, even small amounts of exercise (like a 10-minute walk) can help make a big difference. It’s not necessary to train for hours on end in the gym or scale Everest, though you can if that floats your boat.
The important takeaway here is that one of the best things you can do to feel happier in 2021 (or any other year for that matter) is to move more.
Besides stress reduction and mood elevation, exercise also:
- Bolsters immunity
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Lower your blood pressure
- Improves cognitive function
No matter which way you look at it, exercise does a body and mind good!
#2 Get Outdoors
Building off of the previous point, another way to feel happier is to get outdoors and spend more time in nature.
In fact, research notes that spending just 20-30 minutes in nature may help lower blood pressure and depression.[4,5]
These “nature pills” can include anything from your backyard garden to a local park to a wilderness trail in a forest. To double-down on reducing stress and boosting happiness, add in some exercise while you're outside!
By spending more time outdoors, you’ll also get the added benefits of vitamin D, which not only supports bone health and immunity, but a better mood. This is all the more pertinent when you realize that researchers have identified a link between low vitamin D levels and depression 
#3 Take a Time-Out from Technology
Technology has afforded us many luxuries in life, like being able to work from home, cover great distances in a relatively short amount of time, and read this article. But, like everything else in life, technology is not without its limitations or drawbacks.
The simple truth is that people spend inordinate amounts of time these days glued to technology (TV, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.). This trade off for convenience and efficiency has made us less social, less productive, and more stressed.
We’re worried about how many likes or comments a new post gets and constantly dipping back to check emails and texts to see if we’re needed.
Simply put, constantly bombarding yourself with technology (especially news outlets and social media) can send you into a downward spiral of negativity, doubt, stress, and hopelessness.
One of the simplest ways to feel happier this year (maybe not the easiest for some of your reading this) is to simply unplug from technology more frequently.
Now, we’re not saying you have to go completely off the grid (though that’s perfectly fine if you want to do it), but taking a technology time-out can give a big boost to your happiness.
You can still check your social media and/or news outlets, but limit how much time you spend doing so. You’ll find that you’re still informed about what’s going on in the world, but won’t have as much stress. And, as an added bonus, you’ll have more time to dedicate to actual work, exercise, or relaxing in nature!
#4 Get Enough Quality Sleep
Most of us know that sleep is important for general health and well-being as well as your ability to feel awake, alert, and perform at a high level. Sleep also has a tremendous impact on your daily outlook and feelings of happiness.
Despite this, many individuals slack on their sleep requirements.
In fact, estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that about 35% of adults in the United States sleep less than 7 hours per night.
Research also finds that we have more negative thoughts when we're sleep-deprived and we get stuck on them for longer than when we get enough sleep.[8,9]
Moreover, sleep-deprived individuals also tend to view things more negatively.
This is all the more concerning, when you realize that repetitive negative thoughts caused by sleep deprivation may lead to depression and/or anxiety disorders. Furthermore, when you’re not sleeping well, you’re stressed, which subsequently impacts your ability to sleep soundly each night, and this vicious cycle keeps fueling itself repeatedly.
On the flip side, other research finds that happy people tend to sleep better.
One of the best things you can do to improve your sleep quality is practice good sleep hygiene. The idea might sound strange to some of you, but if you practice daily personal hygiene (which we hope you do), then sleep hygiene should be included as part of your daily regimen.
Good sleep hygiene includes:
- Limiting blue light exposure (TV, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) 2 hours before bed
- Set a bedtime (and stick to it)
- Keep your room cool, dark and quiet to avoid disturbances
- Wear loose, light clothes
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the hours preceding bed
- Avoid sources of stress before bed (social media, news, work emails, etc.)
- Take time to perform a brain dump so that your mind is unloaded before bed
- Read, meditate, and/or stretch
If you have particular difficulty unwinding at the end of an interminably long day, it can be helpful to use a nighttime relaxation aid, such as AML Calming Cocktail.
AML Calming Cocktail contains natural, non-habit forming ingredients that help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, enabling you to achieve the deep restorative sleep you need to not only perform your best the following day, but feel happier too!
#5 Smile & Laugh
This might seem somewhat obvious, but smiling and laughing help you to feel happier.
You smile when you feel happy, which releases feel-good hormones like dopamine.
Increased dopamine levels in turn make you feel happier.
Laughter also has a positive effect on mood as it’s been shown to beneficial impact:
- Pain relief
- Immune function
Laughing also prompts the release of endorphins in the brain, further boosting happiness.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to walk around the streets with a Joker-esque grinned plastered on your face 24/7, but the next time you’re feeling down or upset, try putting on a smile or watching a funny movie clip or tv show and see just how quickly your mood can turn around.
#6Spend Time with Happy People
Happiness, much like laughing & smiling, is contagious.
The Framingham Heart Study that followed 4,700 people over 20 years found that a person’s happiness level can influence up to three degrees of separation. What this means is that happiness is affected, at least in part, by our social network (and not the social media kind).
More specifically, researchers found that individuals were 15.3% more likely to be happier when they know another happy person directly (1 degree of separation). The further removed the individual was from a happy person (2 and 3 degrees of separation), the less impact it had there was on the individual’s happiness.
Furthermore, researchers also observed that physical distance plays a role in happiness. The closer a friend lives, the higher the probability is that we are happy. Curiously though, researchers did not observe this same relationship with co-workers, individuals with whom we are in close proximity more frequently (and for longer periods of times) than friends.
Essentially, the people with whom you choose to associate can have a tangible and profound impact on your mood. If you like being a curmudgeon, then surround yourself with pessimistic, negative individuals. But, if you want to feel happier in 2021, surround yourself with people who are positive, uplifting, and make you laugh!
#7 Supplement Smart
Beyond lifestyle changes, you can also look towards supplements as a way to boost feelings of happiness.
AML DopaRush Cocktail takes a comprehensive approach to supporting and encouraging dopamine production for greater energy, mood, focus, and productivity.
As we do with all our supplements, DopaRush is the culmination of countless hours of R&D to create a product that includes only the very best ingredients to help boost energy and mood while reducing feelings of stress..
Included among the premium ingredients AML DopaRush are:
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin C
For an in-depth look at what makes AML DopaRush a superb option for helping increase happiness, check out our article titled: BRAIN POWER! NEW DOPA RUSH COCKTAIL! ADVANCED NOORTROPIC!
Feeling happier is a formidable challenge many individuals try to accomplish with dangerous drugs and alcohol. These substances can have extremely detrimental effects to health, both mentally and physically.
The path to feeling happier this year isn’t found in a bottle of booze, prescription pills, or designer drugs.
Feeling happier in 2021 is about creating healthy, sustainable lifestyle habits that compound on each other, building you up instead of tearing you down.
To further boost feelings of happiness as well as increase your energy and motivation to get more things done in 2021, we’ve created the ultimate feel-good supplement in AML Dopa Rush.
Dopa Rush is a natural healthy alternative that can help boost happiness without the adverse side effects of synthetic substances. It supplies the critical nutrients the body needs to maximize dopamine production, safely and naturally.
- Historic Shift in Americans’ Happiness Amid Pandemic. 2020. Issue Brief, June, 1–18.
- Zhang, Z., & Chen, W. (2019). A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Physical Activity and Happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-9976-0
- Chekroud, S. R., Gueorguieva, R., Zheutlin, A. B., Paulus, M., Krumholz, H. M., Krystal, J. H., & Chekroud, A. M. (2018). Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1.2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(9), 739–746. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30227-X
- Shanahan, D., Bush, R., Gaston, K. et al. Health Benefits from Nature Experiences Depend on Dose. Sci Rep 6, 28551 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep28551
- MaryCarol R. Hunter, Brenda W. Gillespie, Sophie Yu-Pu Chen. Urban Nature Experiences Reduce Stress in the Context of Daily Life Based on Salivary Biomarkers. Frontiers in Psychology, 2019; 10 DOI: 3389/fpsyg.2019.00722
- Anglin, R., Samaan, Z., Walter, S., & McDonald, S. (2013). Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(2), 100-107. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.111.106666
- Freeman, Daniel et al. The effects of improving sleep on mental health (OASIS): a randomised controlled trial with mediation analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 4, Issue 10, 749 - 758;
- Tempesta, D, Salfi, F, De Gennaro, L, Ferrara, M. The impact of five nights of sleep restriction on emotional reactivity. J Sleep Res. 2020; 29:e13022. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13022
- Good night's sleep linked to happiness. (2013). Cornell Chronicle. https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/04/good-nights-sleep-linked-happiness
- Kim, S. H., Kim, Y. H., & Kim, H. J. (2015). Laughter and stress relief in cancer patients: A pilot study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/864739
- Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2008). Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ, 337, a2338. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2338