Dopamine Detox: Is it bad to ‘feel good’?

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Amounting to approximately 45% of their time awake, the average teen spends 7 hours 22 minutes looking at screens each day. This horrifying statistic is only expected to grow as smartphones and other mobile devices become increasingly prevalent. A concerning majority of this screen time is dedicated to activities such as watching shows/movies, playing video games, and consuming short form content such as TikToks and reels on social media platforms. These activities are proven to release dopamine or the “feel good chemical” which is a neurotransmitter mainly produced in the brain to signal the body to continue doing pleasurable activities such as watching humorous short videos.

While dopamine does facilitate the motivation to indulge in proactive activities as well as cause encouragement to learn, it acts as a malign entity when we frequently seek rewards from harmful activities and become addicted to them. This means that it can be easy to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of dopamine hits through the seemingly endless content available for consumption on the internet. When we become addicted to the constant stimulation of dopamine and the frequent waves of ‘feeling good,’ real life becomes mundane. This results in the average attention span of humans drastically decreasing since they will not want to participate in activities wherein dopamine hits are not a frequent occurrence because they have become accustomed to that pleasurable feeling. Consequently, the productivity of the youth decreases as their focus on studying and working decreases. The attention grabbing nature of these harmful activities further might cause sleep deprivation, anxiety, and even depression since they hinder the ability of an individual to appreciate, comprehend, as well as improve the world outside those screens. Not to mention the physical implications of vision impairment due to excessive eye strain as well as obesity due to a decline in physical activities.

It is clear that there is need for immediate intervention to anyone who might face these malign addictions.This where dopamine detox comes in.The practice of refraining from actions that excessively produce dopamine is known as a dopamine detox. Resetting your brain’s reward system and teaching yourself to take pleasure in other things are the main objectives.

There are several methods for performing a dopamine detox. Some people decide to fully stop doing anything exciting for a certain amount of time. Others decide to progressively cut back on stimulating activities over the course of a few weeks or months.Dopamine detox is not a one-size-fits-all process, you must try to:

Find out what triggers you. Finding the activities that cause the highest dopamine spikes is the first step. You can begin to avoid your triggers once you are aware of what they are.

Set attainable objectives. Try not to attempt too much too quickly. As you become more comfortable, progressively lengthen your detoxes from short to long.

Look for healthy substitutes.

Find a healthy substitute if the impulse to receive immediate gratification arises. This could involve activities like reading, taking a walk, or spending time with close friends and family.

Be tolerant. Your brain needs some time to become used to a dopamine detox. If you are tempted or if you don’t notice results right away, don’t give up!

A study by the University of California, Los Angeles found that people who participated in a dopamine detox reported improvements in their focus, concentration, and mood. Another study, by the University of Pennsylvania, found that dopamine detox can help to improve sleep quality.

Performing a dopamine detox also has many other advantages such as:

Decreased stress

Decreased anxiety

Increased Motivation

Increased energy levels

However, there are a few things to consider if you’re considering trying a dopamine detox. First, it’s crucial to have reasonable expectations. Don’t count on feeling fantastic right away. Your brain needs some time to become used to the new way of life.Second, it’s crucial to exercise patience. You might occasionally feel like giving up. But if you persist, you’ll soon begin to reap the rewards. Finding support is also essential to finish. You can keep each other motivated if you have friends or family members who are also going through a dopamine detox.

Dopamine detox is a growing trend in the age of short form content. As more and more people become aware of the negative effects of constant stimulation, they are turning to dopamine detox as a way to improve their mental health.Take your first step today and battle the bad ‘good feeling’.

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