Dopamine Fasting: WHAT is it and does it REALLY work?

Everyone in Silicon Valley advocated dopamine fasting - but what is it and does it really work?
Dopamine Fasting: WHAT is it and does it REALLY work?Dopamine Fasting: WHAT is it and does it REALLY work?
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We live in very exciting times. There’s a continuous flow of information, experiences and indulgences in modern life which has transformed us into needy, pleasure seeking addicts. “Dopamine fasting” aims to change the way we live and view the comforts of modern life. A dopamine fast is the supposed antidote for the inattentiveness that plagues us, the burnout induced by too much of too many good things. It advocates of a period of abstention from pleasure seeking activities such as sex, drugs, and, in some extreme cases, talking to other people, fora day or more.

The desired end result is a neurochemical “reset” where the brain is decluttered, procrastination is bid goodbye to, and focus sharpened. Many found the idea of abstaining from anything fun in order to increase your mental clarity is appealing.

What does dopamine fast really do?

Dopamine fasting probably doesn’t really have a lot to do with dopamine. Dopamine fasting has been compared the practice to meditation or taking a hiatus. Dopamine is involved in many functions such as motivation, emotion, learning, and reinforcement. The role in mood is complicated, so dopamine is not just a ‘pleasure chemical’.

From a mental health perspective, a dopamine fast could also be a useful tool for gaining perspective on your habits and establishing boundaries with yourself. “Anyone taking a break will begin to notice the many times a day they indulged. It could raise conscious awareness of our behavior and the destructive level of it.

Does this fast really work?

In a dopamine fast, you are expected to turn off everything and spend a day in a relaxing, non-stimulating environment, that’s a good de-stressor. However, it won’t have the full effect unless you aren’t thinking about future goals and rewards. That’s why it’s necessary to use your fasting time to deliberately partake in activities that aren’t centered in reward-thinking.

This could be meditation, creating art or journaling, taking a casual walk in the park. Actually, any activity that brings you into present-moment awareness instead of focusing your attention on what’s to come or what you can potentially get out of the task.

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