If you are reading this you are a person with big goals, dreams, aspirations and expectations for yourself. But from time to time we become stuck and feel unmotivated or like our life is not moving forward. What I found in myself during the similar times is that I am constantly distracted with easy accessible dopamine kicks. That is why in today’s post I will talk about how you can claim back your life through dopamine detox, a 7 day intense dopamine reset guide.
What Is Dopamine?
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, the brain’s chemical messenger. It plays a major role in our behavior and is the main contributor to us feeling pleasure. Learning, sleep, motivation, mood are some of the functions that dopamine naturally affects in our body.
Even though dopamine is generally good for us, an excess or deficient production of dopamine can lead to development of certain disorders and conditions. The most common example for understanding dopamine is addiction to different substances. Use of narcotics causes an immense amount of dopamine to be released. That amount of “pleasure” can never be replicated by any regular activity, therefore it leads to addiction.
How Does Dopamine Detox Work?
First and foremost it is important to understand that absolute halt of all dopamine production is not possible. Dopamine detoxes are periods of time where a person avoids behavior that stimulates dopamine kicks. During that period all non-beneficial behavior that releases an excess amount of dopamine is prohibited. By the end of the detox we strive for people to feel more balanced, enjoy activities and aspects of life that were always there but not seen. You will unplug from all the distraction and take back control of the things that actually matter.
1 Hour of Screen Time
The first pillar is one hour a day of screen time on your phone. Now if you actually open up your smartphone I’m sure that you can add your screen time as a widget onto your home screen. Have it on as a constant reminder to allow yourself only one hour of screen time every day for the next seven days. If your job involves your mobile phone for some reason which by the way most of the time it doesn’t you can use whatsapp for your work. Of course you’re still technically using whatsapp but it’s just a lot more focused and it’s more purposeful than just being on your phone.
This will promote less temptation for checking your social media platforms, as 5 min can turn into hours. Despite being extremely beneficial, our phones are as big of a distraction. All of the social media platforms and other applications stimulate your dopamine receptors negatively. Pleasure, even if not felt by us consciously, tells our brain to release dopamine in increased amounts for an excess amount of time. By that our brain seeks similar easily accessible hits of dopamine, found in our phones. I understand how challenging this step is, but remember it is only for 7 days.
Now pillar number two of the seven day reset is no youtube. None whatsoever. Youtube is a very valuable place if used correctly. Unfortunately youtube has algorithms that will make it more likely for you to stay on the platform. Those algorithms work by recommending you a video based on your searches. Basically baiting you. You may believe that you are using youtube as a tool for improvement by watching self help videos and etc. But how many times did you actually implement the learned knowledge directly? I think about this as an productive procrastination. It may sound good to you but it is still procrastination and remember what I talked about in the beginning of this post. For you to shift the direction of which your life is going, you need to focus.
To make the transition easier try adding a plug-in if you are using chrome. It is called unhook and it blocks the recommendation function on youtube. Give it a try.
No Adult Films
The third pillar of the seven day reset is no adult films. It may sound controversial and an unnecessary step for some, but for others it is a real problem. In some cases it can even lead to an addiction. Relaying on adult films for self-pleasure on a regular basis forms an unrealistic vision of life and how we as humans work. By watching those videos you separate yourself from all human emotion, connection and real life contact while still experiencing pleasure. It does not only come back to the previously mentioned dopamine hits that you may unconsciously strive for. The lack of human interaction by you going out to seek an actual partner and putting yourself out there can lead to development of bigger problems. Further from lack of experience it leads to undeveloped social skills and lac of confidence, especially in men.
This step does not mean a full stop of all self pleasure, only a stop of adult movies for 7 days. Try using your imagination to satisfy your needs.
Step number four is meditation for at least 10 minutes daily. If you can and are willing to do more than 10 minutes you are free to do so. For some of you meditation is already an everyday activity, that is great, continue doing it. I do not really want to hear any excuses about not having time because you obviously do. You are reading this post now, right? Meditation can be hard as there are no clear guidelines about how to do it or in the beginning not even clear benefits maybe. As time passes you will become better at meditation and the changes in your life will become noticeable. I can say that meditation helps greatly with being aware of the actual moment, time and space. How many times during the day do you stop and actually think about your breathing, how your body feels, repelling everything around you and focusing only on yourself? This will provide you with better focus and feeling more connected with oneself and your environment.
Dopamine Reset Conclusion
Remember, even if this dopamine detox sounds intense it is only for 7 days. What will happen is that the baseline of stimulation needed for you to feel pleasure will decrease. Before you notice you will start finding enjoyment in simple things in life. Only looking at the view or walking down the street with no music playing. The sound of your surroundings will cause you pleasure. You may even find yourself changing netflix binging for a book before bed. The focus will be shifted towards important things in your life, such as your goals, family and health.