December 27th, 2018
The Power of Dopamine
Most weeks I listen to teleclasses through the Institute for Challenging
Disorganization (ICD). A recent class was about helping ADHD clients
succeed by using play. Clinical psychologist and Certified ADHD Coach,
Kirsten Milliken, spoke about the connection of play, getting dopamine
flowing more often in our brains and accomplishing tasks.
Most of us think of dopamine as the “feel good” chemical in the brain, this
is true. However, pleasure is only the tip of the iceberg. Dopamine’s impact
on the body is felt in many areas including: motivation, behavior, memory,
cognition, attention, and learning. So what does this mean for all of us (not
only people with ADHD)? The more dopamine we get flowing = an increase
in the ability to do tasks. The brain can be trained to feed off of bursts of
dopamine sparked by rewarding experiences. You create the dopamine
environment, and the brain does the rest.
We Are Wired To Play
Think back to how you played as a kid and try to re-engage this now as
an adult. When you are having a difficult time getting started on a task—put
on a funny hat, play a song, do something silly, find a way to make a game
out of whatever you are doing.
Now go have some fun!