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How do you get naturally stimulated/high/pleased?

by (5808)
Updated about 10 hours ago
Created February 11, 2012 at 2:23 AM

So, I am trying to quit alcohol, I have never been a fan of pot. Conventional tea is boring, and one can't exercise 24/7. How do you increase endorphins and become "naturally" high and pleasant? Most humans are awful and the world is a generally miserable place. How do you keep your smiley-face up?

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Nice. I wonder if you're this quick in person..

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Nice. I wonder, are you this quick in person?

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5808 · June 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I think you should have kept it how it was :)

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

LOL. No I edited it because I realized I wrote "have sex" twice.

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No, I always had that one there. I edited it because I realized I said "have sex" twice.

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5808 · June 13, 2012 at 3:20 AM

These are all fantastic! Did you edit this one to add that last bullet point? *bats eyelashes innocently*

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19120 · June 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

"The difference is what happens next." Yes. This.

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321 · June 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Not even seasonal organic magic mushrooms?

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5381 · June 12, 2012 at 3:41 AM

Happiness is a combination of features that has little to do with temporary pleasure seeking. A sense of place/purpose, community, a sense of freedom, proper eating,exercise, sunlight, hugging, loving, orgasm, laughter, looking after plants and pets are all things that boost your _baseline_ happiness. If you are stressed, thats different. Good non-drug strategies include tai chi, meditation, reading a book, watching a movie, running, taking a bath, or just plain relaxing till it goes away. If that doesnt work, try a herbal tea. Lotus, red poppy & egyptian chamomile are great relaxing teas.

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14877 · June 12, 2012 at 2:06 AM

not a fan of weed either. Went through a phase of binge-drinking and drinking daily a few years back. Have found a good balance with alcohol now.

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1040 · April 29, 2012 at 2:38 AM

Heeh heheh hehehe hehheh hehehh heehehe heeh heh heh heh... Horny! Horny!

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1571 · February 12, 2012 at 2:33 AM

In addition to 'nature is nice' there is a theory that we actually need nature to function properly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophilia_hypothesis

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1571 · February 12, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Bike riding is fun and after riding around in a natural area I usually feel great for the rest of the day easy. Camping also does this for me. So I guess nature is what I'm recommending.

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1571 · February 12, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Sometimes it gets hard to really stay away of all of the progress I've made in the past year. Then I'll do something amazing (for me) that I never would have done before Paleo (or not without some major chemical assistance) and I'll be like, 'Wow. Wow. I can't believe I had enough energy to do a, b and c. I feel amazing.' Thank goodness for second, third, fourth and even fifth chances. I'm finally on the road to health and life.

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566 · February 12, 2012 at 2:10 AM

I don't see how anyone has not suggested looking at the people around you. Do you hang out with people who drink? Would you consider your friends as happy people? I had quite the drinking problem for a spell in my life and looking at the people I associated with there was no wonder. Then I said screw it and started surrounding myself with people I was envious of because of their happiness and learned how to be happy myself with out getting blasted.

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85 · February 12, 2012 at 1:28 AM

(raising hand), ME! I'm finally taking action and stepping out of the cage because I really want it. yep, I'm here. Present and accounted for!

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM

and except dark chocolate.

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:47 AM

I don't know if I'm weird, but about a year after palo, I don't have the desire to drink anymore. I still drink socially, but I don't actually crave it.

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM

I went for a Patrick Stewart voice, and at the end, I added "Earl Gray, Hot." :)

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Yeah, my first reaction to this question was to think of Beavis and Butthead.. :)

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Going from a hot shower to a cold one after the workout gives you a second rush.

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM

If you can't afford it, don't do it. Debt slavery is a neolithic disease.

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24538 · February 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

If you are looking for tea that isn't boring, "Relaxing Tea" by the San Francisco Tea Company is pretty fun. The first time I had some, I was so relaxed, I could barely get up off the couch when I finally needed to pee. Their "Love Tea" is fun too, drank some and went for a near religious walk in the snow, definitely felt "altered". If you can find it, we go some in bulk for xmas I don't know who made it, Mayan Hot Chocolate is psychedelic and fun in its own way.

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6087 · February 11, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Just have alot of sex. Dur

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10255 · February 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

while i agree with the general idea of coming to terms with discomfort, strife and the stuff that drives you to drink, in my opinion it is more important to get off the alcohol. get out there and exercise hard. you may need to build up to it, but an endorphin high is so much better than an alcohol numbing that eventually you will not want to drink because it will impair your ability to work out hard. again this is just the opinion of a former binge drinker; ymmv.

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4258 · February 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Well sure, ice cream makes me happy. Then the sugar wears off and i feel like a sloth. No thanks to that.

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3443 · February 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Touché Gilliebean

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13983 · February 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Vitamin D and coconut oil.

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13983 · February 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I read it with Richard Nikoley's voice. ;)

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3443 · February 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Am I the only one who read this with Eeyore's voice? http://youtu.be/UB20SU0bEqk

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1608 · February 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Hahahah. Lighten up.

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110 · February 11, 2012 at 3:37 AM

*quit smoking, that is

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110 · February 11, 2012 at 3:37 AM

I have an almost identical story! I quit January 1st 2010, and was finally over the drink September/October 2011.

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2240 · February 11, 2012 at 3:34 AM

I could get behind omega-3s, and the idea of cooking as a hobby, definitely. The phrase "I eat foods that make me happy" hit me funny at first, kinda like the way SAD eaters say it when talking about pizza or ice cream...LOL. I hear you though :)

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3499 · February 11, 2012 at 3:25 AM

Ah, but it's concentration, not quantity, that determines the quality of the effect. ~~~:)

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4258 · February 11, 2012 at 3:17 AM

@Invisible Caveman -- maybe I misused the term. But I know that some foods (like with omega-3s) make me feel awesome. Is that not "food reward"?

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2240 · February 11, 2012 at 3:16 AM

I quit alcohol for good in August, gave up cigarettes a year ago and I feel so much better physically and mentally because of it. +100!

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2240 · February 11, 2012 at 3:14 AM

"Yes" to creative outlets and spending time with others. "No" to food reward!

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5808 · February 11, 2012 at 2:54 AM

I could down a bottle of hot sauce in a day, seriously! Muy Caliente!

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11557 · February 11, 2012 at 2:50 AM

Best show ever!! Also, omg for impending movie. I have rewatched from 1-3 just from excitement of the announcement.

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11557 · February 11, 2012 at 2:49 AM

Not married, but in a vaguely monogamous relationship for five years now! "Allowed" to flirt (we never discussed it, we both just do it), and that also brings the happy!

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11683 · February 11, 2012 at 2:47 AM

plus one for arrested development. funniest show ever.

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5808 · February 11, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Yay, for songs and dancing!! That does help! Ahhh, the 90s live again :)

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5808 · February 11, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Are you married? Because I'm a bi woman. married to a man, and I have been the happiest when I'm chasing unattainable female tail. I also enjoy the "IT Crowd."

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4258 · February 11, 2012 at 2:32 AM

Here are my few suggestions:

  • High-reward foods. When I need an up, I eat foods that make me happy. And / or I cook. Something about it is exhilarating for me.
  • If I can't exercise, i put on a good song and dance around.
  • Spending time with my mate. When you enjoy someone's company, you get happy.
  • Something creative. For me it's writing / music / theatre. I love my work, because it is so creative. For other people it is something else. But finding a way to express beauty, while not just about endorphins, helps to keep an optimistic perspective.

Finding what makes you happy takes time, and a bit of diligence. The people you're surrounded by, in my experience, are a big part of it. Find people who don't mind silly dancing, who love good music and good food, and who support living a free and creative life.

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4258 · February 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Well sure, ice cream makes me happy. Then the sugar wears off and i feel like a sloth. No thanks to that.

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2240 · February 11, 2012 at 3:34 AM

I could get behind omega-3s, and the idea of cooking as a hobby, definitely. The phrase "I eat foods that make me happy" hit me funny at first, kinda like the way SAD eaters say it when talking about pizza or ice cream...LOL. I hear you though :)

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4258 · February 11, 2012 at 3:17 AM

@Invisible Caveman -- maybe I misused the term. But I know that some foods (like with omega-3s) make me feel awesome. Is that not "food reward"?

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5808 · February 11, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Yay, for songs and dancing!! That does help! Ahhh, the 90s live again :)

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2240 · February 11, 2012 at 3:14 AM

"Yes" to creative outlets and spending time with others. "No" to food reward!

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110 · February 11, 2012 at 2:33 AM

I quit the drink last year, after a long, long time abusing it.

The key concept here is brain chemistry. I don't know how long you have gone sober so far, but the longer you stay dry, the better your outlook on life will be.

Of course, if you decide to eat crap (all the stuff Paleo eaters don't eat) your mileage will vary.

Believe me. Stick to the diet, train when you're supposed to, keep dry, and you will find yourself feeling generally happier in a couple of weeks.

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110 · February 11, 2012 at 3:37 AM

I have an almost identical story! I quit January 1st 2010, and was finally over the drink September/October 2011.

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2240 · February 11, 2012 at 3:16 AM

I quit alcohol for good in August, gave up cigarettes a year ago and I feel so much better physically and mentally because of it. +100!

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110 · February 11, 2012 at 3:37 AM

*quit smoking, that is

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11557 · February 11, 2012 at 2:31 AM

Finding passion in my life keeps me motivated, indulge all the weird little causes you've always wanted to invest yourself in. Mine: feminism, pro-vax, reading, stand up comedy, good TV (community, arrested development, freaks and geeks, big bang theory), youtube videos of adorable animals, cooking.

Probably the greatest, however, and the next obvious: sexy time.

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11683 · February 11, 2012 at 2:47 AM

plus one for arrested development. funniest show ever.

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11557 · February 11, 2012 at 2:49 AM

Not married, but in a vaguely monogamous relationship for five years now! "Allowed" to flirt (we never discussed it, we both just do it), and that also brings the happy!

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5808 · February 11, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Are you married? Because I'm a bi woman. married to a man, and I have been the happiest when I'm chasing unattainable female tail. I also enjoy the "IT Crowd."

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11557 · February 11, 2012 at 2:50 AM

Best show ever!! Also, omg for impending movie. I have rewatched from 1-3 just from excitement of the announcement.

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3499 · February 11, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Releasing endorphins and being naturally "pleased" are not the same goals to me. For the latter I take a lot of Vitamin D and eat clean. For the former, though, if you eat nightshades, learn to love the humble habanero (or small Thai chiles, if that's your preference). Nothing gets me on an endogenous buzz better than feeling like I'm on fire from the inside out.

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3499 · February 11, 2012 at 3:25 AM

Ah, but it's concentration, not quantity, that determines the quality of the effect. ~~~:)

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5808 · February 11, 2012 at 2:54 AM

I could down a bottle of hot sauce in a day, seriously! Muy Caliente!

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701 · February 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM

I hit three years of sobriety this past Monday; I hit a month free of tobacco as of about an hour ago.

All of the biochemistry issues aside, I think the root of the solution comes in finding a way to not see most humans as awful and the world as a generally pretty rad place.

The other night I found some floppy disks (yes, floppy disks) in the bottom of a box that were close to two decades old. I found old writings, old fears... desires to change behavior that I wouldn't end up seeing a way out of for years and years and years.

I wonder how many of the people on this site are here seeking answers to questions and solutions to issues they've also carried that long? Better yet, how many are here because they're finally taking action? Finally stepping out of the cage?

All of the combined knowledge and experience here... and all of these people transforming their lives... and the awareness -- gained through my own practical experience -- that we all do have a second chance available to us if we really want it?

That keeps my smiley-face way up.

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1571 · February 12, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Sometimes it gets hard to really stay away of all of the progress I've made in the past year. Then I'll do something amazing (for me) that I never would have done before Paleo (or not without some major chemical assistance) and I'll be like, 'Wow. Wow. I can't believe I had enough energy to do a, b and c. I feel amazing.' Thank goodness for second, third, fourth and even fifth chances. I'm finally on the road to health and life.

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85 · February 12, 2012 at 1:28 AM

(raising hand), ME! I'm finally taking action and stepping out of the cage because I really want it. yep, I'm here. Present and accounted for!

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440 · February 11, 2012 at 5:26 AM

I find pleasant feelings and motivation from my personal projects (currently learning Japanese and eventually other languages, learning about health, and other brain- and body-enhancing activities). I always feel better about doing things when I'm doing it on my own and in my own way.

Another one is human connection. Just being with interesting people and talking with them is enough to raise my mood (though I would not call myself an extrovert). If I have a close connection with them, it's even better.

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37187 · February 11, 2012 at 2:47 AM

Mother Nature is doing it for me. Here in the extreme southern tip of Nevada we're having longer, balmy days. Walking around outside in the sunshine and having days so much longer than they were a month ago has really lifted my spirits. I get a joy rush every time I go out, even if it's just to walk the dogs or take out the trash. :-))

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1281 · February 11, 2012 at 5:44 PM

have sex! as much and dirty as possible. you will smile randomly just by the thought of it. pleasing your animalistic instinct will get you high for sure.

(this is an actually serious answer; even if it sounds like it's written by a horny teen.)

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Yeah, my first reaction to this question was to think of Beavis and Butthead.. :)

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1040 · April 29, 2012 at 2:38 AM

Heeh heheh hehehe hehheh hehehh heehehe heeh heh heh heh... Horny! Horny!

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120 · February 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Well, the impractical, philsophical answer is love. Khalil Gibran says that without it you will "laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of you tears." You can't really order that on Amazon, so...

I am usually happeist when I have a project going on. For example, I just started playing the cello and when I am learning a new song is it pretty consuming. Also, I had to give a talk and demonstration on careers. This sounds boring, but I wanted to do a good job and had a great time coming up with a solid hour of cool stuff. Also, I recently decided I really wanted to hide something. Yes, hide something. I know it sounds odd, but I had a blast trying to figure out where to hide it, how to hide it, how to get to it when I needed it, etc. All kinds of angles. The point was I was engaged in something. Find something new or interesting, resolve to tackle it, and doing it extremely well. You'll wonder where the time went.

Don't go the chemical route. That ALWAYS takes more than it gives (except coffee!)

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM

and except dark chocolate.

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321 · June 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Not even seasonal organic magic mushrooms?

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814 · February 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Many excellent answers! For me it is spending time with my family and helping others. IMO, Happiness is a byproduct of "doing the next right thing" and being in sync with whatever your concept of a Higher Power is. You have to give it away to keep it!

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24538 · February 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Sleep.

Check out this article about turning off lights at night, and the out of the blue uncontrollable giddiness J.D. Moyer and his wife discovered.

http://jdmoyer.com/2010/03/04/sleep-experiment-a-month-with-no-artificial-light/

I suspect you are running a little low on those brain hormones that make everyday normal life entertaining, especially if drinking runs right up to bedtime. Snoozing without boozing will result in more restorative sleep and help you restore those hormones. It won't happen overnight, and life might feel a little grey in the interim, but it'll happen.

Edit: Thinking back to when I decided to do that, I swapped drinking for meditation and pilates for a month. It only took a few days before it felt like my brain was squirting out the "good stuff" for my enjoyment. Even though I went back to my old ways to a certain extent after that month, it had changed my brain in a way that trained it to release feel good chemicals on a regular basis as long as I feed it right.

If you are looking for a straight up endorphin release, I was able to train my endorphin response for childbirth by practicing with holding my hands or arms in ice water for a minute or two at a time with a 2-5 minute break, and then back in for a half hour a day. No reason its applications should be limited to childbirth though. It takes a few practices before you start to get that riding the endorphin wave feeling, but it is pretty fun when you get there.

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2240 · February 11, 2012 at 3:30 AM

I'll echo the support in favor of letting go of alcohol, which I did for good this past August. I had already taken a hard stance against it before I found Paleo, but now I have an even bigger reason not to touch it. My feeling is that it doesn't line up with putting clean, whole foods and substances in my body. I know some are okay with it, though, and that's cool. I myself am much better off without it.

Spending time with my kids and people I'm close to keeps me happy.

I get a lot of pleasure out of playing and listening to music.

Then there's always sex!

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11683 · February 11, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Buying clothes and shoes (that I can't afford) gives me a great high.

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM

If you can't afford it, don't do it. Debt slavery is a neolithic disease.

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14877 · April 29, 2012 at 1:05 AM

As a reckless dopamine addict myself, here are some healthy alternatives

  • get in the sun
  • lift weights
  • have sex
  • masturbate
  • go for a run
  • corral some friends and go swimming....naked
  • innocently flirt with a total stranger

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No, I always had that one there. I edited it because I realized I said "have sex" twice.

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14877 · June 12, 2012 at 2:06 AM

not a fan of weed either. Went through a phase of binge-drinking and drinking daily a few years back. Have found a good balance with alcohol now.

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Nice. I wonder if you're this quick in person..

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Nice. I wonder, are you this quick in person?

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14877 · June 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

LOL. No I edited it because I realized I wrote "have sex" twice.

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5808 · June 13, 2012 at 3:20 AM

These are all fantastic! Did you edit this one to add that last bullet point? *bats eyelashes innocently*

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5808 · June 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I think you should have kept it how it was :)

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58 · February 12, 2012 at 6:06 AM

I just quit the drink. I was abusing both coffee and beer because I also had crazy sleep schedule and a lot of stress (long boring story). I just solved the sleep problem, started eating clean and exercising a LOT, and then quitting the bottle was easy. The key is that I didn't just quit the bottle; I fixed the other issues first. Before I did that, I was pretty much hooked. Like the other post said, alcohol can cover up problems that really need to be dealt with.

But if you have had all the exercise and good food and sex you can handle and still need a boost try coffee. It is a lot less bad than alcohol.

That all said I have to admit sometimes my workouts are a lot like my former heavy drinking bouts. I go really hard until I can hardly stand up. The difference is what happens next.

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19120 · June 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

"The difference is what happens next." Yes. This.

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20353 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Exercise still gives the rush even afterwards.

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Going from a hot shower to a cold one after the workout gives you a second rush.

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11682 · February 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Since I went Paleo and then Paleo-ketogenic, I'm always happy, and there are times that I feel naturally high (starting laughing like a maniac, but in a good way). My brain chemistry has really changed since I changed my diet, I have no situational depression anymore either.

UPDATE: A month after I wrote the answer above, I had more info on my hands, and I wrote a blog post about the ketogenic euphoria/bliss people under ketosis are often experiencing: http://eugenia.queru.com/2012/03/07/bliss/

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5381 · June 12, 2012 at 3:45 AM

Happiness is a combination of features that has little to do with temporary pleasure seeking.

A sense of place/purpose, community, a sense of freedom, proper eating,exercise, sunlight, hugging, loving, orgasm, laughter, looking after plants and pets are all things that boost your baseline happiness. Baseline happiness is what you want to improve, not temporary retreats.

If you are stressed, thats different. Good non-drug strategies include tai chi, meditation, reading a book, watching a movie, running, taking a bath, or just plain relaxing till it goes away. If that doesnt work, try a herbal tea. Lotus, red poppy & egyptian chamomile are great relaxing teas.

Theres good pleasure in good food, beauty, human company etc. No need for "drugs" unless your life is crappy, or the people around you are crappy, and then drugs wont help you get happier anyway, theyll just stop you thinking about it temporarily which means you'll do nothing about it.

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:59 AM

Might sound lame, but I've taken to watching very early Popeye episodes. They're a lot more primal than the baby-stuff after the 1940s. Besides, eating spinach and pounding the hell out of the other guy is just very primal, and violent... When he runs, he actually gallops like a horse... or when he takes on a bull and punches him into a bunch of sausage, steaks, and liver... and there's one when he beats up an entire jungle of animals and turns'em into fur coats... Unlike other TV shows, it makes me want to go out there and wrestle a lion, or something.

But yeah, the usual answers, exercise, sunlight, hot shower with a cold ending after a workout, enjoying great meats every day, like steak and shrimp when everyone else is eating crap, gettin' busy, enjoying life.

Before paleo, I'd keep a list of stuff to do, and the more I completed, the happier I felt, it's lame and artificial, I know, but it's a sense of accomplishment and progress. That helped.

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2485 · February 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Take up "exercise" that's more rewarding.

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988 · February 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Nice try, but I'd say get used to disappointment. Life aint all fun. I think that just like being comfortable all the time will make you a weak flabby pansy, feeling good when you wouldn't normally, naturally feel good (without chemical stimulants, made by your brain or imported) will probably leave you mentally weak and flabby, and a mental pansy. You need a balance of hard times and misery and good times and fun, because thats what real life is made of, good times and shit times. So don't try to cheat life.

Also you know how taking pain meds only cover up the problem, they won't fix it? Then you don't think your hurt and usually wind up injuring yourself even more because pain never told you to stop, that you were broken, because you shut it up with some dope. Well I think the same goes for feeling good with chemical assistance, even if those chemicals come from your own head when you do something known to illicit an endorphin response, like hardass workouts or ice baths or whatever. Those endorphins just cover up whatever is actually going on with your emotions. They are just like pain meds, they cover things up. Treat the problem, try to not do things you hate, that way you won't need a 'fix' to feel good. If your life is so miserable that you 'need' a fix to make you happy, to make life worth living, you might try changing your life so that it doesn't piss you off so much, instead of applying 'pain meds' to a problem you never treat. Sometimes you just declare to the world "I'm grumpy, stay outta my way!" It usually will.

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10255 · February 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

while i agree with the general idea of coming to terms with discomfort, strife and the stuff that drives you to drink, in my opinion it is more important to get off the alcohol. get out there and exercise hard. you may need to build up to it, but an endorphin high is so much better than an alcohol numbing that eventually you will not want to drink because it will impair your ability to work out hard. again this is just the opinion of a former binge drinker; ymmv.

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13983 · February 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I read it with Richard Nikoley's voice. ;)

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3443 · February 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Touché Gilliebean

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3443 · February 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Am I the only one who read this with Eeyore's voice? http://youtu.be/UB20SU0bEqk

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17101 · February 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM

I went for a Patrick Stewart voice, and at the end, I added "Earl Gray, Hot." :)

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1608 · February 11, 2012 at 9:16 AM

I just like to pet my cat. Or watch my goldfish swim. Or write haikus about each of my co-workers. That beats drinking any day of the week!

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1608 · February 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Hahahah. Lighten up.

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