Yoga Nidra, Dopamine & Work Productivity
A 2002 scientific study at the John F. Kennedy Institute in Denmark noted a short-term 65% increase in endogenous dopamine release in people who practice Yoga Nidra meditation. Endogenous, in this case, means that the dopamine is created and released within the practitioner, without the help of external factors like drugs or environmental conditions. The release of this neurotransmitter has many benefits, including increased productivity and motivation.
What Does Dopamine Do?
Dopamine is a major part of the built-in reward system in humans and other animals. When you taste a delicious meal, accomplish a routine goal, or fall in love, your brain releases dopamine. The purpose is to reward you so that you repeat the same behavior.
People who are addicted to certain behaviors are typically seeking a rush of dopamine. You’ll find this in drug addicts, people who overeat, and compulsive gamblers.
Dopamine can encourage healthy behaviors as well. Productive people typically set goals, both long-term, and short-term. If you’re writing a novel and set a goal to write one chapter per day, you will release a lot of dopamine each day as you finish a chapter. In terms of experience, you will feel a rush of satisfaction.
Some people feel satisfied less often than others. They may not be able to stop drinking after one or two beers or put down a bag of chips before eating the whole thing. This is often due to a lack of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that lets you know when you’ve had enough of a good thing. Stress is one of many factors that can lower serotonin.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra Dopamine Release for Work Productivity and Motivation
As indicated above, dopamine rushes can be blessings or curses. Here are some of the benefits.
Increased drive for exploration. A healthy supply of dopamine can arouse curiosity and the exploration of new and novel experiences. This can lead to new and novel ideas and inventions and increase your work productivity. It can even lead to a promotion at work.
Improved memory and learning ability. Dopamine works with serotonin to improve retention of new information. It also helps you remember past feelings of reward and accomplishment so you can repeat those behaviors.
Better concentration. Concentration allows you to learn more quickly and get things done more efficiently. People with Attention Deficit Disorder have low levels of dopamine in the frontal lobes of the brain.
Better sleep. Dopamine plays a role in regulating sleep. With a healthy amount of dopamine of Yoga Nidra, not only will you sleep better, but you will also enjoy more productive and motivated work days as a result of good rest.
Higher levels of creativity. Yoga Nidra induces Alpha and Theta brainwave states. Theta (4-8 cycles per second) brainwaves increase creativity. Dopamine increases creativity as well.
There are two studies on this. A Tel Aviv study noted improvements in artistic creativity in Parkinson’s patients who took dopamine enhancing drugs compared to healthy patients who took the same drugs. Another study in 2014 came to a similar conclusion.
Yoga Nidra Meditation is a Sustainable Way to Boost Dopamine & Productivity
When you take certain recreational drugs like coffee, you get a dopamine rush. However, this causes the brain to produce less dopamine over time, leading to compulsive behavior to maintain the desired levels.
Yoga Nidra triggers a sustainable release of dopamine and the serotonin required to balance it. You may notice your craving for ice cream disappeared during one or more Yoga Nidra sessions. Perhaps you wanted to procrastinate instead of accomplishing an important work task. During the Yoga Nidra session, you felt completely satisfied.
After your session, you probably felt more free from distracting compulsions. It may have been easier to accomplish that project you were telling yourself all day to do.
Unlike in the case of drugs or junk food, your brain does not respond to Yoga Nidra by decreasing dopamine production. It provides a daily supply of dopamine, in balance with other essential neurotransmitters. Therefore, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of healthy dopamine levels. The improved sleep, higher creativity and better memory and concentration will perform miracles for your work productivity. These are just some the effects of dopamine.
Yoga Nidra meditation has many other benefits. Sign up below to access your free course and experience the benefits today.