Exercising, blasting you favorite music, drinking caffeinated beverages, eating junk food, watching Netflix, smoking cigarettes, having sex, drinking booze, and snorting cocaine. What do all these activities have in common? They make us feel good. Why? Because they release chemicals in our brain that make us feel good, most notably dopamine.

Today's post will be short and sweet: I am not going to suggest doing or avoiding the above activities (except maybe snorting cocaine, which you might want to avoid). My suggestion for today is avoid stacking a bunch of these pleasure inducing activities together.

Dopamine is the chemical of motivation and desire. Every time our brain releases it, our brain is signaling to ourselves "what you just did is good for you and you should do it again". There is a sweet spot of dopamine levels for you to function most effectively. As Doctor Andrew Huberman (Professor of Neurobiology and Psychiatry at Stanford University) says, a little bit of dopamine goes a long way, a lot goes even further, but it also brings you down afterwards.

Thus, pursuing multiple dopamine inducing activities simultaneously and/or consecutively will cause significant increases in dopamine levels in your body (way above baseline). It will make you feel good (perhaps even very good) and will give you more motivation, focus, and a general feeling of well being. However, this will also lead to lower than baseline dopamine levels soon after the end of the dopamine inducing activities. Essentially, you will feel great in the moment but then feel shit soon after. And when you feel shit, you won't be able to do the "boring" things you have to do and will instead be chasing the high that you previously had from the stacking of dopamine.

Thus, I have learned to still enjoy some of these activities (namely exercising, listening to music, watching youtube videos, eating junk food, having sex, drinking booze) but I avoid stacking them. When I eat junk food, I will do so without also watching a youtube video or drinking alcohol. When I workout, I rarely listen to music. When I drink alcohol, I avoid caffein intake. Thus, I get to enjoy the dopamine-inducing activities without having such a big crash afterwards.

Cheers and stay safe out there,


Don't stack dopamine