You’re not Lazy.

Youre not Lazy.

Lazy is a word that teenagers get called fairly often these days. While I’m sure we skip out on things like doing the dishes, cleaning, doing homework, and more it might be because we lack the motivation or we are “lazy” but I recently learned more about high and low dopamine activities and how they affect our daily lives. After researching this we might reconsider thinking low of ourselves and calling ourselves lazy or unmotivated. 

Throughout everyone’s lives, we have been put in high dopamine situations or have done high dopamine activities. Dopamine is one of the “feel-good” chemicals in our brain that causes us to feel joy, excitement, or adrenaline. Interaction with the pleasure and reward center of our brain, dopamine along with other chemicals like serotonin, and endorphins, plays a vital role in how happy we feel. Healthy levels of dopamine drive us to seek and repeat pleasurable activities. Now you might be seeing where this is going… low levels of dopamine can have an adverse physical and psychological impact. When our brain has a healthy amount of dopamine we feel good, are motivated, and more productive. We plan well, learn more quickly, and are driven and excited about life. On the other hand not having enough dopamine can cause motivation to plummet, or emotions to change, and our behavior can take a drastic turn for the worse. Low dopamine levels can make us feel fatigued and restless. Instead of feeling full of life and happy it can leave us feeling unmotivated, depressed, and anxious. The brain even struggles to maintain a sense of vitality when we have a dopamine deficiency. 

Think about it for a second. Humans can go through these ranging levels of dopamine hundreds of times a day, that’s why our moods can change in a heartbeat when we find out on a Friday night that we have math homework, or when our parents ask us to clean the bathrooms. We do things that bring us happiness, ie. high dopamine levels. This is why school can be so difficult for so many people because school isn’t an activity that brings their brain dopamine. Let’s look at an example. A green level student told me that they have been struggling to have the energy to get up at 6:30 in the morning and go to school 5 out of 7 days a week, she tells me that she either has to come in late or leave early or not even go to school at least one day out of the week, and she was being called lazy by everyone around her. When I asked her what type of environment she would put herself in during the weekend, it was the most brain triggering for dopamine. She mentioned that she had sleepovers and went to parties and hung out with friends. These are all things that make us feel euphoric. How can we expect to want to wake up early the next morning and spend 7 hours in a place where we have to act happy or stressed the whole time because the material we learn doesn’t make sense to us. When we do things that make us feel an immense amount of dopamine, something that can still potentially cause happiness will not feel like fun, like chores or homework. 

It’s this simple, you are not lazy you are not unmotivated,  not wanting to do things that don’t cause dopamine or happiness does NOT make you lazy, and you should never feel like you have to put yourself down and call yourself lazy because those things are easier for someone else. Everyone has different things that make them happy and while learning can be that for someone it doesn’t mean that’s the thing for you. Do things that make you happy and don’t second guess your feelings.