Controlling the Controller

I’ve been studying Dopamine lately. Dopamine is the neuro-transmitter in our brain that’s responsible for feelings of pleasure. When activated, it essentially transports pleasing and gratifying information between nerve-cells. You know, that contented, mellowed feeling smokers get when they smoke, or what we feel like when eating our comfort foods, or the satisfaction that having pleasurable sex brings, etc. It’s involved in the “Adrenaline Rush” of various extreme activities that people often talk about engaging in as well.

Psychology Today describes it as,“This important neurochemical boosts mood, motivation, and attention, and helps regulate movement, learning, and emotional responses.”1

Dopamine is also responsible for the feel you get when you’re on the internet, and is what social media platforms are purposefully seeking to effect in users to get people addicted to them. This is why I’m so interested in Dopamine lately. Because for me, the Market is starting back up and my duties as the main Social Media person are back on.

..And I’m feeling it.

As I’ve shared before, these last couple years, I have really struggled with the internet and realizing what it’s doing to my brain and how it’s basically, literally fractionating my thinking and my attention span. My F-B time has been about half what it was since the Market ended in October, but with the season opening in May, I’ve been back at it, and I can feel its grip on my brain again. I can sense the addictiveness of being on social media. You may think that weird, but I have to ask–don’t you also sense it?

It’s like it almost calls to you; actually, it does call to you in all the notifications. But even with all my noties and noises turned off, I still have the urge to constantly be checking it and to start mindlessly doom-scrolling. I can lose an hour or more without even thinking about it (Blink.). I even see myself from a distance as I’m on there, and I know I’m not looking for any certain things, and I know it’s an incredible waster of my time, but still, I just can’t help myself.

I. Am. Tired. of. Being. Controlled.

The more I’m on it, the more I want to be on it, and the more I can’t help myself. It’s manipulating me—and I can feel it! It’s purposefully designed to do that. It’s not an accident. Watch this video on the subject. Go ahead, call me a Conspiracy Theorist or Overthinker all you want, but I know my brain and I can see what’s happening to me.

So, back to the beginning that we started this with: I’ve been studying Dopamine.
In looking for natural ways to decrease dopamine’s effects, I found a few things that may help. With that said, I want to be careful. Dopamine’s effects in the body are good and God-given, and I don’t want to lose that. So, in seeking to not be a strung-out, mindless automaton, neither do I want to become a feelingless, uncaring zombie. Not enough Dopamine is just as bad in the other direction (think serial killers and school shootings).

“As with any brain chemical, you want to be in that sweet spot of having just the right amount of dopamine — enough, but not too much.”2 –Dr. Deane Alban

One thing that I ran across as a natural dopamine inhibitor was Lemon Essential Oil. See that study here: So, as an aromatherapist, that was easy, and I’ve been carrying around a bottle of Lemon EO and sniffing from it regularly when on the internet and social media. (If you smell lemons while reading this, you’ll know why. ;-)). Has it made a difference? Yes, I actually believe so, even if it’s just on a mental level. I plan to make a roller bottle of it to put on whenever I get on F-B, and see what happens.

Just as an aside here, if you look at the study linked above on lemon oil, you’ll see it’s the anti-anxiety and anti-depressive aspects that are listed as being the helpers in excessive dopamine. So… it would logically follow, that all the pleasurable activities we do to “unwind” which are addictive, including social media, also at the same time become the source of much anxiety. No more having to wonder why everyone is so anxious all the time….

Another thing I ran across was that high dopamine levels deplete vita B6. I’m one who can’t overdo B vitamins, so I take them only twice a week, and the plan is to pay attention to see if my media-addiction is “calling” to me less on those days. (Thinking on those days right now, I can see that it’s very probable). So, if one is constantly tripping their dopamine by addictive behavior, drug use, or things like pleasure eating, they’re automatically low on B6 and there’s a host of health issues that can be triggered by such.

Another thing that was doable for me was to take Licorice Root. It’s a wonderful adaptogenic herb, helpful for many issues, which we happened to have on hand for making teas for the Market. I was feeling the particular pull of F-B the other day after working extendedly there to create a reel, and so I went ahead and took a capsule of it to see what would happen. I’d have to say it did help. I stopped feeling “the pull” of picking up my phone so badly. Unfortunately, for some people—me being one of them–too much licorice root can raise blood pressure, so I will use it, but will have to use it wisely.

Lastly, and I’d say this is the biggest natural solution. And the hardest. Fasting from tech. A friend told me years ago that “the way to control a controller was to not be controlled.” I have used that advice many times over the years in various situations and found it to be solid. And so, I’m choosing to stay off F-B altogether twice a week. To commit to that at the beginning of those days is hard–but by the end of it, the addictiveness is gone; it resets everything. And it works every time. So that one has to be my primary go-to.

This is my last year doing Facebook for the Market. It’s been 8 years. That’s long enough. It’s time to move upward and onward, and given the situation in society and the manipulations & control going on, it’s wise to disconnect a bit, I think. Social media isn’t going to go away though, so garnering ways to control the controllingness will remain needful. I’m thankful for the learning.

Mary Wine, CCAT, NHC


The purpose of Jordan’s Crossing Herbal Connections is to promote the sharing of information about healthy, natural products and dietary supplements. JCHC’s views and opinions are INFORMATIONAL ONLY and are not intended to constitute medical advice. If you are sick, injured or pregnant, please consult a licensed health care professional.

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