How Wild Swimming Increases Dopamine The Natural Way

September 22, 2023
5 min read

What is dopamine?

Dopamine, often known as the body's "feel good" chemical, plays a crucial role in our overall well being. This neurotransmitter is a powerful element produced in our brain, impacting both our mental and physical health. It acts like a messenger, transmitting signals that help regulate our mood. Enhancing the natural production of dopamine is a key aspect of self-care that can make us feel happier and healthier. And, for our regular wild swimmers, you’ll be pleased to know that regular cold water exposure is just one of the ways you can increase your dopamine levels naturally!

Want to know more? Read our full blog post for tips on how to boost your dopamine levels naturally with cold water therapy, for a happier, healthier you!

Why do we need dopamine?

Dopamine is responsible for our feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. This makes dopamine significant for self-care, as it encourages us to engage in activities that make us happy and fulfilled, such as regular exercise like open water swimming.

Additionally, dopamine is vital for our mental and physical health. It enhances our mood, regulates sleep, and aids in digestion. Moreover, it helps in keeping our concentration sharp and supports motor functions, much like open water swimming can. 

It’s for this reason that maintaining healthy dopamine levels is key to overall well being.

Getting regular exercise

Breaking a sweat is the key to boosting your mood! Regular exercise isn't just about getting fit, it's also about enhancing your mental well-being. Engaging in outdoor activities such as open water swimming in Surrey can naturally and healthily increase your dopamine levels. It's not just about the adrenaline rush or the sense of accomplishment - visiting your local wild swim venue can provide a fantastic workout and a significant mood lift. 

So, next time you're feeling down or unmotivated, remember that a good swim could be all you need to feel better. Looking for a wild swimming venue near you? Our lake, located in Godstone, is open year-round, and is the perfect place to start your open water training and boost those dopamine levels naturally!

Spend some time in the sunshine

The charm of England is undeniable, although it can be notoriously rainy. However, ensuring you soak in a healthy amount of sunlight is essential for maintaining dopamine levels. 

There are several effortless ways to amp up your sunlight exposure. Take a rejuvenating walk during your lunch break, bask in the sun in your garden, or even simply sit by a window. Better yet, utilise the great outdoors for some exercise. 

Our breathtaking lake nestled in the heart of Surrey provides an ideal setting for wild swimming. Outdoor swimming, or open water swimming as some may call it, is not just about getting in some exercise; it's about immersing yourself in nature while getting that much-needed dose of sunshine and fresh air. As you swim in the open waters of our stunning lake, you'll feel invigorated, soaking up the sun's rays while enjoying the tranquillity of the water, making it an experience that caters to both your physical health and mental well-being.

Prioritise getting a good night’s rest

Ever battled with the frustration of a poor night's sleep? It's not just the irritability you need to worry about, but also the negative impact it has on your dopamine levels, which are critical for maintaining your mood and motivation. For your well-being, we can't stress enough the importance of securing a solid 8 hours of sleep and maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake-up routine. Prioritising your sleep health can work wonders for your energy levels and overall mood - it's an investment in your daily happiness. 

But what if counting sheep isn't doing the trick for you? Here's where cold water therapy comes into play. By exposing yourself to cold water regularly, like through the invigorating practice of wild swimming, you can effectively tire yourself out by the time evening rolls around. The chill of the water not only provides a physical challenge but also aids in calming your mind, preparing it for a restful night. Take the plunge and explore the benefits of cold water therapy - not only will you be promoting better sleep, but you'll also be embracing a unique method for boosting overall well-being.

Follow a balanced diet

While we all love indulging in scrumptious foods like takeaways, chocolate, and caffeine, it's essential to remember that these can cause a temporary spike and subsequent crash in dopamine levels, leaving us feeling worse than before. Rather than reaching for these quick fixes, why not try a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins? These nutritious foods provide a sustained increase in dopamine levels, helping us feel better in the long run. And don't worry, you can still enjoy the occasional sweet treat - it's all about achieving a healthy balance!

Care for your gut, and it will care for you

The connection between gut health and mental well-being is becoming increasingly recognised. A healthy dose of gut bacteria not only aids digestion but also boosts your dopamine levels, enhancing mood and mental health. A variety of foods such as live yoghurt, kefir, almonds, olive oil and fermented items like kimchi and sauerkraut can help foster a thriving gut microbiome. If these aren't to your taste, fret not! Probiotics are an excellent alternative. They are easy to consume and can effectively restore your gut health. 

Introduce healthy habits to your routine

Crafting, running, or learning a new language… Whatever your hobby, engaging in the activities you love is a great way to increase dopamine levels naturally. Many of our members opt to come for regular wild swims with us here at Divers Cove Reservoir, Godstone, to get regular exercise and improve their mood. 

If you’re not sure about committing to a hobby just yet, even something as simple as listening to the music you love can increase your dopamine levels. Whatever you choose to do, it's all about finding activities that make you feel good, and in turn, boost your dopamine levels naturally.

Try cold water therapy 

Situated in the heart of Surrey, our wild swimming lake is a sanctuary for those seeking an invigorating boost of dopamine levels. Cold water therapy, achieved by taking a plunge into our natural waters, can trigger a delightful surge of this feel-good hormone. 

For those unfamiliar with wild swimming, this should explain the brave souls you’ve likely seen in a lake or the sea in a bobble hat in midwinter! For those who feel a bit intimidated by the prospect of cold water therapy, we’ve got you covered. Our on-site wooden sauna pods, beautifully handcrafted, are ready to embrace you with comforting warmth after your exhilarating dip. Experience the unique blend of wild swimming Surrey and sauna and cold water therapy with us!

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