Dopamine Detox vs Dopamine Fasting

00:05 A dopamine detox is a new strategy that can help you reduce the levels of dopamine your brain is used to. It’s a relatively new technique that draws from existing theories and research to help you unplug and cut down on all the activities that are keeping you hooked. If you do such a detox, you’ll notice that much of the vocabulary comes from the addiction world, and that’s because the underlying mechanisms for “classic” addictions to things like alcohol or drugs are essentially the same as the ones keeping you hooked to online shopping, Instagram, or “doomscrolling” on your phone at night when you should be sleeping.

02:27 Here are some habits and activities that can give you dopamine, but which are not all that great for you.

• Using social media, messengers, and your phone
• Video games and mobile games
• Watching shows, movies, and consuming content in general
• Consuming pornography
• Eating high-sugar foods and snacks, junk food
• Taking stimulants – coffee, tea, chocolate, some sodas, and sugary drinks, drugs
• Online shopping and browsing without purchasing
• Consuming online content that features clickbait, outrage, and other manipulative strategies

A 1-day detox is the best way to start the process and what Kirby describes as a “hard reset.” What will you do during these 24 hours? You will not take part in any activities that stimulate your dopamine, such as the ones described above. You will not use your computer or your phone at all, you will not consume drugs or stimulants, you will not game, and you will just not engage in any activities that offer instant gratification. You’re not punishing yourself. You’re just removing the existential junk food from your life.

10:37 A 7-Day Detox Plan

For a seven-day detox plan, you will pick one day per week to do a detox. It’s usually better to do it during the weekend, as work might depend on your ability to answer your emails or use your phone and computer. Choose a day every week to perform a reset and disconnect from all the activities that demand your attention. It will help you stay mindful and aware of the instant gratification activities and focus on your goals and ideas. As you do it more, you might discover the type of tasks and activities that best fit your situation and your needs.

12:20 Dopamine fasting

Dopamine fasting is a term that is often used interchangeably with dopamine detox. We can define dopamine fasting as the process of long-term change in dopamine-related habits, while a detox is a short-term practice. Fasting is another way to bring down the levels of dopamine in your brain and to increase your focus.

Dopamine fasting is meant to be sustainable, so it’s important that you choose a strategy that works for you and a timeline that is realistic. Don’t try to simply cut out all dopamine sources and instead focus on problematic behaviors that are hurting you in some way. This will help you reduce dopamine levels more effectively without necessarily losing the enjoyment other, healthy activities bring you, too.

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Categories: Voice over Work