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How to create healthy dopamine hits for marketers

We all know the reality, we're constantly chasing that next win - the next dopamine fix from a success. Whether that's a social media post that goes wild, a campaign the client loves or a breakthrough with AI making our lives easier.

So to offset the dopamine hits that have us glued to our screens, refreshing our feeds and checking our notifications, here are some healthier ways to get a boost of the mood-enhancing dopamine drug.

How to boost your dopamine levels in healthy ways.

1. Thank someone

Whether that's face to face, via a thank you note or card, or online. Stop and take time to think about someone who has helped you out recently, been kind or gone out of their way to do something nice for you.

2. Change your scenery

If you're home based or hybrid, change the place you work from every now and again. Choose a cafe or coffee shop with a great view or spot in the window where you can watch the world go by.

3. Create a new playlist

Create a playlist on Spotify or Amazon music with songs from your favourite genre. Get them on while you work and let yourself get lost in it while you focus and work.

4. Set productivity goals on paper

Have a desk pad that you create daily or weekly productivity goals on. Highlight them off once you've achieved them and you'll feel that boost of dopamine. Daily goals work best, or even morning and afternoon if you want those regular hits of gratification.

5. Do team meetings on paper not screens

Use a white board, flip chart or big sheets of A3 paper and Sharpies to plan out initial ideas for that big campaign, agree or a new process or simply list out ideas for a project. The tangible and visual aspect of planning this way gets everyone far more involved and definitely makes you feel good.

6. Create challenges for yourself or your team

Gamify your work day or week. Set mini challenges and rewards for reaching project milestones. Rewards could include finishing early, a team lunch or something really small that you know will be a motivator.

7. Get away from emails

Set specific times that you check emails and switch off notifications. If you work in a team or industry that largely relies on email, add an email footer explaining how and when you check and reply to emails. Start small and work your way up to only checking email once or twice a day at set times. This can be hard in professions like PR where you need to react fast to incoming media requests, so figure out a way that works for you - for example, set up desktop alerts for certain senders or keywords.

8. Learn to breath

Really breath - deep breathing, breathing techniques and mindful breath work are all credited with making you feel better, more relaxed and less stressed.

9. Stand outside

Even if just for five minutes. Stand outside, breath, close your eyes, look around, be silent - whatever works for you. It will give your brain a break and a chance to release some happy chemicals.

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger in the brain that plays a crucial role in reward, motivation, and pleasure.

Our brain releases it when we experience something pleasurable, like receiving a compliment or achieving a goal.

Dopamine motivates us to seek out rewarding experiences, driving behaviours like seeking social interaction, and success. When we anticipate a reward, dopamine levels rise, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement. Seeking dopamine hits is an inherent part of human nature, as we're wired to pursue activities that make us feel good. However, excessive seeking can lead to addictive behaviours, impacting mental and physical health as we sometimes seek them in excessive traits around alcohol, drugs, food, gambling or gaming.

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