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How Our Brains Are Rewired

Our brains are special things. They can be shaped and molded at any time because of so many different factors, by both good and bad and anything in between. Our experiences aren’t the only things that impact our brains, though. How we treated it — what we feed it and how we let it rest — impacts our brains. We choose whether it grows stronger or gets torn down. So, can we even rewire our brain? If so, how can we do it? Villa Tranquil Recovery is here to give you all the facts. 

Pleasures and rewards

The pleasure and reward systems in our brain get fed no matter what. You can feed it healthy things, or you can feed it poorly. Whatever you do, your brain is being impacted. Our brains explore activities and fight for survival because of our pleasure and reward system. Once something has become a habit, like eating or drinking, your brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, to tell your body that it liked the activity. This increases the likelihood that your brain will want that activity done again in the future. Then, the hippocampus — how your brain memorizes things — remembers the release of the dopamine. It then wants more and more, creating a habit. The more you do a pleasurable activity, the more dopamine is released, and the more you will do that activity again. It’s a cycle that is seemingly endless. This may not seem like a bad thing, however your brain doesn’t know when an activity is “healthy” or when it is “unhealthy.”

When it comes to substances, your brain releases an excess amount of dopamine. So much dopamine that your brain doesn’t know what to do with all of it. The same pleasure and reward center is activated, however with unhealthy substances, your pleasure and reward center is captured, and you think that you need it to survive. This high amount of dopamine that is released from the consumption of alcohol or drugs gives your brain an immediate sense of pleasure and satisfaction. This is remembered, and your brain begins to crave the increased dopamine. Soon, you find yourself needing more and more of the substance to stay satisfied. This rewiring of your brain happens fast, leading to substance use problems and addictions.

Villa Tranquil Recovery wants to be here for you when you are struggling. We have addiction recovery programs that can help you. Call us today at 214-799-3080. We can’t wait to hear from you.