For sure You’ve heard not once that You’re addicted to surf. Here’s the proof: first of all, with every time You can and You want to surf longer. Your resistance is getting stronger. Second, surfing is something that You can stop doing but You don’t want to. You always have find the argument why to go to surf again. And third, here’s scientifical proof: an addiction is closely linked to the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. The increased release of dopamine is registered as pleasure and joy by our brain. Dopamine is naturally released as a reward whenever you are doing something right. The body doesn’t only release increased amounts of dopamine through drugs, but also when we are having sex, when we eat, and you guessed it, when we surf.
The book, Blue Mind, is a very nice example. It states that a beginning surfer gets a burst of dopamine from standing on a board because they did not already know they were capable of doing it. You have felt it not once when having lessons in the surf schoo, right? For the beginner, standing on a board was an unexpected success, which in turn got rewarded by the brain. Now the beginner wants to stand on a board again, chasing that releases of more dopamine. Through this simple reward process, he or she will learn how to surf.
The ocean in which we surf is a constantly changing environment. It provides the perfect setting for you to develop a full addiction. Now understand that the brain releases extra high amounts of dopamine whenever you score an unexpected reward, just as we learned with the beginning surfer. The combination of neurotransmitters (including dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin) are not only responsible for surfers enjoying the moment, but also for bringing them back over and over again.
See You on the waves, friends! Have a nice week-end!