Humans are definitely a self-gratifying species. Some of us require appreciation for everything little thing we do. There are some who really don’t mind a fanfare when it comes to completing a mundane task, such as taking out the trash without being asked. Our minds like the stimulation so much that it has been used to promote good habits, eliminate bad ones, and train ourselves to learn a skill. The neurotransmitter responsible for this, called dopamine, is just one of the reasons why we love be rewarded. Not only does it show appreciation for effort, but it can also be extremely validating for certain personality types.
Using Dopamine to Your Benefit
Naturally, we want to feel good. It is generally the optimal choice. There are sometimes strenuous outside factors that prevent that from happening, such as stress, poor diet choices, or a lack of sleep. A way to combat the negativity that stems from this could often be to find a way to alleviate the discomfort with something that makes us feel better. For some of us, that is food, whether it is a whole pint of ice cream or eating too much take-out after a hard day. For others, it may be another habit that causes its own set of problems, but takes the edge off.
Overcoming an addiction is something few people understand unless they have gone through it. Even if it is just giving up a pack-a-day smoking habit, there are plenty of reasons to be proud of your achievement. In itself, sometimes the benefits are worth it, but especially in the beginning, it can be a struggle to keep yourself going. Some twelve-step programs offer coins or pins to remind you of how far you’ve come. If you are fighting this battle alone, however, you may not have that boost to make you feel good for all you’ve accomplished.
Types of Rewards to Achieve
Obviously, a trophy should be something that motivates future progress. Some find that anything that helps keep the faith is one of the best ways to continue on the path towards good decisions. A friend who is just beginning their journey may be grateful for a personalized coffee mug that reminds them every morning of how strong they are. Keychains that we can just keep in our pockets can also be a subtle method of encouragement.
Whether it is something to keep you moving towards your goals or to cheer on a loved one who is taking the first step, we can all appreciate a little push when you reach a difficult spot. If you would like to see some inspiration for ways you can keep you or your loved ones motivated, check out what we have to offer on our website. Remember, even the smallest gesture can mean a lot.