Addiction. It’s a bad thing, right? Not if you use it in a positive way.
Dopamine is the reward neurotransmitter. Dopamine feels good. We like to repeat behaviours that trigger a release of dopamine. This leads some to addictive pleasure-seeking behaviour. Much of which is harmful to our health.
But what if we can use this mechanism to support our health goals?
Task completion triggers a dopamine release. That’s why you feel so great every time you strike an item off your to-do list.
Get Hooked on Tracking
In CrossFit we measure work capacity in order to track our progress. Inherent in this tracking is the opportunity for dopamine rewards. Every time we surpass a previous benchmark we get a shot of happy juice. It feels good, is healthy and encourages us to continue the healthy behaviours that earned us our reward. If you aren’t tracking data you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to enjoy these successes.
In fact, those who track data have much more long term success and enjoyment in CrossFit.
Celebrating success by writing it on the Personal Best board triggers another dopamine hit just like crossing off to-do list items. If you aren’t writing it on the board you are only getting partial benefits. Write it down. It feels good!
Share with Others
Humans are group animals and our brain wiring reflects our social nature. We receive a dopamine hit not only when we celebrate our own success but also when we witness someone we know succeed. Their victory feels like our own. Why else are so many people hooked on sports identifying so closely with their team?
It is why I spend so much time admiring our Personal Best Board, it feels good to gaze at everyone’s successes, I feel a part of each victory that happens here on Dunbar Street in our little corner of Vancouver.
So if you aren’t celebrating your breakthroughs by sharing them on the Personal Best board then you are not only robbing yourself of your full dopamine reward but you are denying the community the enjoyment of sharing in your success.
Remember, sharing is caring! So write it up there for you and for everyone else.
Three Easy Steps to Create Addictions to Positive Behaviours:
1) Track your progress
2) Celebrate each success
3) Share your success with others
Make health & fitness an addictive habit!