There is a first time for everything...For years, I have been looking to Twitter and some of my favorite sources for information for these newsletters. Today marks the beginning of a new journey for me. Today is the day that I will leave Twitter behind, because I have moved on to Threads. This marks the first time that we will be discussing a Thread, rather than a Tweet. (not that there is any real difference between the two...)
Earlier this week Andrew Huberman posted a Thread that really got me thinking. To be fair he probably tweeted it too, but I saw it on the new social media option.
Here it is:
We have talked about Dopamine in previous newsletters. It is a neurotransmitter that, when released from the brain, makes us feel good. In reference to this Thread we are going to discuss the impact that dopamine has on the habits that we form. When dopamine is released we experience joy and happiness. That sensation of happiness is a reward that we all seek out! Every single day, in everything that we do!
Huberman's Thread looks at dopamine a little differently than it is typically viewed. He talks about seeing dopamine as "reinforcing." Interesting perspective and he is 100% correct. That little hit of dopamine that we get doesn't just reward good habits, but it also rewards the bad ones just as much. However, your brain is unaware of whether the habit is good or bad, it just recognizes the release of dopamine! That hit of dopamine will immediately reinforce the activity!
If you recall, we have discussed Atomic Habits by James Clear in these newsletters, and he talks about the impact that dopamine has on our habit formation as well. Just not quite as succinctly as Dr. Huberman does in this simple Thread.
Take home message?
Be careful with your dopamine. Make sure that when your brain releases it, you are doing something that you want to repeat, and not something that you want to avoid!
Movement is my medicine,