The way to get dopamine when you can't climb for medical reasons
Mountains are one of the most fascinating places on earth. Mountains have always fascinated us from the very first hike. But the real thrill is climbing a mountain. There are many mountaineering competitions around the world, but nothing compares to the thrill of conquering a huge mountain range through determination and perseverance.
When you climb to the top of a steep hill, how do you feel? There is excitement and the expectation of successfully reaching the top. But there is also fear, because you never know if your strength will be enough for this epic effort.
Dopamine when climbing a mountain
A simple walk uphill can cause instantaneous changes in your brain, according to a study by Canadian scientists. When people walked for 90 minutes on a treadmill at a "moderately challenging" pace - equivalent to walking up a steep slope - it affected the levels of dopamine released in the brain. The authors of the study say this could make a difference for people suffering from diseases that impair their sense of reward.
"Exposure to nature enhances a person's cognitive abilities and creativity, reduces stress, anxiety and depression, improves mood and boosts self-esteem and altruism," the authors write in an issue of Frontiers in Psychology. "This suggests that communicating with the natural environment can be an effective antidote to psychosocial stress."
The study was conducted in Salzburg, where the Austrian Alps are located. The researchers recruited 24 young people, tested their mood and measured their brain dopamine levels, then sent them for a 45-minute walk on the picturesque Mönchsberg, located on the slope. This was done twice: once in winter, when there was snow on the ground, and the second time in spring.
During and after climbing the mountain, they measured each person's "positive affect" - how much they felt pleasant emotions such as enthusiasm or warmth. Compared to their mood before the climb, the men experienced significantly higher rates of positive affect after overcoming the obstacle. The findings are good news for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression often caused by lack of light during the winter months
Exposure to different, but not too extreme, natural conditions seems to have the best effect on a person's mental health. Exposure to the natural environment has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from depression, ADHD, anxiety disorders and stress-related health conditions. This indicates that nature can be a powerful tool for preventing and coping with some psychosocial stresses.
Climbing is a dangerous sport and any activity where there is risk carries with it the possibility of injury and death. Risk cannot be eliminated, only reduced. While this holds true for all vastly different activities, I want to focus on climbing here.
Entertainment for people who are medically contraindicated to climbing
In terms of quality and quantity of dopamine, climbing a mountain has been compared to winning big at a casino.
Many studies have shown that winning money makes people happier. As for casinos, they can be a rich source of dopamine when players win big at online games such as slots, blackjack and roulette. The online casino can induce the same feeling of pleasure and euphoria as climbing a mountain.
Dopamine is released when players win at online casinos. It is also released during the anticipation stage in games such as roulette and baccarat. When dopamine combines with serotonin, a feeling of pleasure occurs. Dopamine is also linked to the release of adrenaline, which is associated with feelings of excitement and high spirits. In short, online casino games give players a good dose of dopamine.
Casinos use a number of tricks to maximize their profits and give players a better gaming experience. They also design different games with varying levels of difficulty. A player has the best odds in games that have lower variance – this means that players have less chances of losing big compared to those who play games with high variance such as progressive slots like Cash Splash. Players also have a better chance of winning the jackpot on games with a high RTP rate – this means that online casinos will pay players more money.
Casino games are also designed to be more interactive. Players have an opportunity to communicate with each other through chat boxes, which is a big part of what makes online casinos so fun. There are also some games that use alternate reality or augmented reality technology, where players have the chance to meet face-to-face in real life at special events. All of these features are available at Canada's best online casino, Fresh. It keeps up with technology and provides top-notch entertainment.
Try playing at the online casino, who knows, maybe it can really give you the same amount of excitement as climbing to the top of a mountain.