Serotonin + Dopamine = Creativity at Your Finest


I have read an interesting post which talked about how the chemicals in our brains actually affect our creativity. It’s pretty interesting. According to Baba Shiv of Stanford (a Marketing professor from Graduate School of Business), there are two primary pathways where creativity can be found. One pathway has serotonin while the other pathway has dopamine.

Along one pathway, the neurotransmitter serotonin governs whether you are operating from a sense of calm and contentment or from a position of anxiety and fear. On the other pathway, dopamine moves you from boredom or apathy to excitement and engagement.

Given this finding, is it possible to reach the best level of creativity relying on our neurotransmitters? Yes it is, by making sure that both serotonin and dopamine are at their all-time high. When that happens, you get that euphoric high of the ultimate creativity. But the question is this:

How do you actually get to that high level of serotonin and dopamine?

Here are some tips that were given:

  1. Get enough hours of sleep when you can.
  2. Avoid getting stressed out.
  3. Brainstorm in the morning. Why? Apparently, serotonin levels are highest in the morning. So yeah, it would be a good time to take advantage of that.
  4. Take brisk walks for better creative thinking. Exercising helps release serotonin via peptide. A good cardiovascular exercise such as brisk walking can help you out. Release the peptide! Get some serotonin!
  5. Have a high-protein breakfast. Its proteins are converted to serotonin.
  6. Dabble in various intellectual interests helps maintain creativity. This helps in not losing your groove in creativity.
  7. Know your caffeine. It is what Shiv calls “a physiological arouser.” Meaning? That whatever you are feeling at the moment, caffeine will magnify whatever it is. So yes, coffee is great only if you are feeling all fired up and creative or productive. Otherwise, if you’re already feeling nervous or anxious, it would be wise to skip it for that time being.

Wow. Wasn’t that just great stuff? You can read the all of the post by Ryan Underwood by clicking here.


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