A dopamine fast can help you achieve this ability as it helps to reset your brain. A dopamine fast simply integrates the elimination of pleasure yielding activities in your daily schedule for a few hours.
It’s a REALLY powerful way of ‘resetting’ your system and making yourself perform faster, better etc.
What Is Dopamine, And What Are Its Functions?
Before you start to dopamine fast, you must first know what it is and how it affects the body.
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that is responsible for several key functions in the body. It is synthesized in the brain and released by the nervous system between nerve cells to the appropriate destination.
However, the main function of this neurotransmitter is to effect pleasure in the body.
Ever tried Swiss chocolate and experience the satisfying feeling you get immediately after eating it?
Well, that is the result of dopamine released by the brain.
When we look at dopamine in an evolutionary scope, it has played an important role in our survival.
Proper release of dopamine has helped humans to know that their bodies are functioning properly.
Some of the key activities that enhance dopamine levels include;
- Getting proper sleep
- Eating a proper and filling diet
- Getting proper rest
Inadequate levels of dopamine can in fact cause stress and illness.
However, this has somewhat changed over the years.
Well, not the functions of dopamine of course, but, simply how it interacts with our bodies and modern life.
Just to reiterate, dopamine is released when you experience pleasure.
This means that when you watch your favorite Netflix show, masturbate, scroll through social media pages, eat junk food, or jam to your favorite music – you experience a high release of dopamine.
Whilst high dopamine releasing activities such as watching movies or playing on your PS5 are not necessarily beneficial to your overall life – they still affect your dopamine levels.
Unsurprisingly, your body tends to adapt and get comfort where you receive higher dopamine levels.
Over time, increased indulgence in such activities increases your dopamine tolerance, thus, affecting the dopamine receptors in your body as well.
This prompts your brain to stimulate the repetition of such behavior.
Eventually, you will find yourself spending more time on these activities to get your dopamine fix whilst inadvertently neglecting more important tasks in your life.
So, whilst you are experiencing high dopamine levels, it doesn’t necessarily improve your life or garner any positive outcomes.
How To Do A Dopamine Fast?
According to a number of studies such as one conducted by the Newyork University’s professor Walter Piper, a neuroscience professor, it is possible to control your dopamine levels to an extent.
Training your body to perform activities that produce limited but healthy amounts of dopamine is also possible.
However, sometimes, you may want to regulate your dopamine levels to allow you to perform more difficult tasks or tasks you don’t enjoy doing.
This is possible through dopamine fasting.
Properly controlling your dopamine fasting also allows you to enjoy your tasks better.
Dopamine fasting is done by eliminating all high dopamine releasing activities from your daily routine for a couple of days.
These activities include anything from;
- Scrolling through and excessive use of social media
- Playing video games
- Watching pornography
- Eating junk foods
- Coffee and other stimulants
- Listening to music and podcasts
- Netflix binge-watching
- Other similar activities that affect productivity
Keep in mind that during the dopamine fasting days, these activities are to be avoided or stopped completely and not partially.
Alternatively, during these days, you can opt to focus on more natural and activities that don’t release high dopamine levels.
- Walks in nature
- Thinking and reflecting
- Visualizing your goals
- Journaling (write physically using a pen or pencil and paper – no electronics!)
For the ultimate experience, some people even choose to go on a water fast – avoiding any types of food.
Some experts recommend a dopamine fast for only 24 hours (1 day – from morning to evening); however, for most of us, this may not be practical.
Evident to our attention-deficit lives, we tend to engage in a wide variety of different activities over a short period.
- Whether it’s video games, Netflix binge-watching, or eating junk food.
- Therefore, it is not practical to do dopamine fast over this short period.
- Instead, it is recommended to do a dopamine fast for at least 72 hours ( 3 days).
- This is enough time to cover the reality you are in.
Why Do I Want To Do A Dopamine Fast?
Dopamine fasting really helps you to focus on more productive things in your life. However, before you commit yourself to this life-changing experience, it is worth figuring out why exactly you want to do it.
After all, this helps to prevent rebounds – which throw your even deeper into the toxic and unproductive activities.
You go on three-day dopamine fast – no junk food, no social media, no sex.
As soon as you complete the fast, it is easier to spring back into the pattern.
This time, it will only get worse because you will appreciate these activities even more; having deprived yourself of the dopamine reward you receive after engaging in these activities.
In today’s world, we are overstimulated with an overload of information and indulgences from every direction – that we don’t necessarily need.
Plus, with the rapid growth and advancement in technology, the shift in entertainment is equally changing.
Our generation easily and quickly gets bored with one activity; hastily shifting their attention to the other.
This means that our ability to focus and pay attention is decreasing even faster.
Think of it this way;
Compared to the earlier days, it is quite difficult for our generation to maintain focus for even 20 minutes – to read a physical book.
It is almost customary for most of us to check our social media feeds at least every 30 minutes to get that dopamine kick.
Therefore, it comes with no surprise that many of us feel overwhelmed or experience stagnant growth in life.
Cases of stress, depression, and other mental health issues have also been on the rise.
Yet, with this social epidemic, it almost seems like there’s no solution for many – only for them to return to the same problem causing activities as a coping mechanism – and to get that dopamine hit!
We are not accustomed to giving our minds the necessary space and time to fully rest as well as to actually focus on productive activities.
We focus our attention on time passing and high dopamine-releasing activities – neglecting real issues that need to be resolved.
There really is a need to take a break!
What better way to do so than by resetting the root factor in the equation.
Dopamine fast doesn’t only give you a chance to detox but, it also helps you to get back on track and focus more on your important tasks.
Whether it is to finish up that funding proposal, work on your book, or even, decide and make a plan to pursue your graduate degree.
What Are The Risks As Soon As I Complete A Dopamine Fast?
On the last day of your dopamine fast, you have to know exactly what you plan on doing after you finish the fast.
Write it down on your planner, journal, or even a piece of paper – if you have to!
Doing so helps to keep you on the safe track.
As previously stated, it is quite easy to bounce back to your old habits – only at greater magnitude this time – if you don’t have a clear plan of what you will do.
As soon as you complete your fast, you want to start working on the activities in your plan.
For example, if you plan on working on your funding proposal – this is the exact time to begin working on it.
As soon as you complete the fast, use the first 10 hours to work on your planned activities.
Only after this, can you return to your normal schedule and activities.
But, even so, you still want to limit these high dopamine activities such as browsing through social media, playing video games, and binge-watching Netflix.
You don’t want to succumb back to the same patterns.
What Will I Experience After A Dopamine Fast?
In addition to a full, comprehensive detox, you will experience other key changes.
However, to an extent, the changes depend on each individual.
Some of the key benefits you will experience include;
- A calmer and highly focused mind
- Increased productivity
- Happier and content life
- Reduced stress and depressive state
- Better time management
- Better understating of your affairs – business, plans, etc.
Calmer And Highly Focused Mind
You will notice how your mind becomes calmer and more focused during the fasting period and after.
If you follow the prescribed steps and immediately focus on your intended activities you will enjoy this change for longer.
You will be impressed with how long you will remain focused on your task.
In fact, you will even enjoy doing it.
Now, imagine the long term benefits of dopamine fast.
A calmer and focus mind means better and more results.
Over time, your consistency will yield you the outcomes you are searching for.
If it’s that book you have struggling to write – you will eventually complete the manuscript. If it’s the funding proposal – you will complete it, with even better research, and content!
Pairing calming activities such as meditation and healthy eating after the dopamine fast leaves your body in an even calmer and healthier state.
With a focused mind, you will be able to achieve more.
In addition to just what the dopamine fast does for you, the overall change improves productivity.
In the first 10 hours after the fast, you will only focus on your tasks – that is 10 hours without the 30-minute or so of social media distraction, every now and then.
As you get into this new pattern, your distractive activities also decrease; leaving you with even more time to focus on more important tasks.
Imagine capping down a total of 3 hours you spend on activities such as social media – only using 30 minutes a day for such indulgences.
That’s an extra 90 minutes!
Happier And Content Life
This one’s a no brainer!
With more productive, more success in life, you certainly will be more content.
With a clear and focused mind, you are able to make better plans, decisions, and stick to them!
Reduced Stress And Depressive State
Similar to being content in life, you will experience less stress and depressive state.
This is because you will have more focus to complete all your tasks and be able to keep track of what needs to be done.
In short, you will have better control of your life!
Better Time Management
As mentioned above, curbing your time on distractions gives you more time to complete more beneficial tasks.
This gives you better time management; allowing you to actually get all important things done.
Better Understating Of Your Affairs – Business, Plans, Etc.
With increased productivity and focus in your life, you are able to make a better evaluation of your affairs.
Whether it’s business or personal.
Furthermore, you have more time and patience to plan for the future!
Conclusion – Try It Yourself!
The next step is for you to give dopamine fasting a try.
You will be impressed with the results and improvement!
We are not going to lie to you that the journey will be smooth.
However, it most certainly is worth the experience.
Dopamine fasting doesn’t only allow you to get back control of your life.
It also allows you to become more productive – achieve your goals.
Plus, it is a great way to introduce wellness and healthier living into your daily life.
No more stress or loss of focus!