Monday, 29 October 2018

Anticipation and Dopamine

I'm reading a book right now that says the anticipation of pleasure or something good raises your dopamine, and you can literally become addicted to that anticipation. Sometimes the anticipation gives you more pleasure than the actual object of your desire, which can't live up to your high expectations.

It's an interesting thought. I have spent so much time thinking about the future, the home I want to someday have, retirement to a farm, what my life will be like when/if I attain that goal... I have derived an awful lot of pleasure from daydreaming about "someday." I've renovated and furnished my future dream home in my imagination, down to the smallest detail. And I'm sure the pleasure I've gotten from thinking about it and planning for it is probably more than the pleasure I'll feel actually attaining it. In which case, my husband will argue, why do it at all? It's certainly cheaper to plan and daydream than to actually do. A lot less work, too! If I'm getting the same or more dopamine from just thinking about it, there's really no motivation to accomplish the thing itself.

Must ponder this some more. It would certainly be fewer calories to just anticipate the egg nog than to actually drink it. But does it provide the same joy? And if the body can be triggered into producing dopamine just by thinking about egg nog, can it also be triggered into gaining weight if I imagine drinking the egg nog? That would be a bummer.

On the other hand, maybe I can think myself thin... If I imagine myself jogging...

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