Dopamine detox

What you need to know about Dopamine Detoxing

Sunday 30th Jun 2024 |

Holistic Health Coach, Claudia Dumond is experienced in guiding individuals in their journey to greater wellbeing.

Here Claudia explains what the viral term ‘dopamine detox’ actually means, and how it can reduce overstimulation and be a positive step forward for breaking bad habits. 

Don’t we all just feel like we need a break sometimes? A break from the constant stimulation and temptations that surround us; the social media feed, the video game, the crisps whilst binging on Netflix.

These habits provide a quick pick-me-up, a surge of motivation, and a fleeting sense of pleasure. Yet, they come at a cost—they wire our brains for instant gratification. A Dopamine detox, often referred to as a “dopamine fast,” is a method aimed at reducing overstimulation from these activities and its goal is to reset the brain’s rewards system. In short, it can be a positive way to break bad habits.
 
– How do you take part in a dopamine detox? Any tips for doing it successfully?
 
A dopamine detox usually involves steering clear of activities that spike dopamine levels, opting instead for more purposeful or reflective activities like reading, meditating, or enjoying nature. Before you set out on a ‘dopamine detox’, seek to be clear on the bad habits you are trying to change. Ultimately, a dopamine detox must be a personalised one so you must also decide what your fasting periods will be (times that these activities are off-limits). And because it takes about 66 days, on average, to build a new habit, the best approach would be to aim for a longer detox to help you wire your brain for healthier habits. The aim is to take charge of your impulses and reassess priorities for a healthier way of living.
 
– What are the benefits of a dopamine detox?
 
Attempting a dopamine detox can bring a range of benefits, such as:
 

  1. More productivity: With fewer distractions, you might find yourself getting more done.
  2. More focus: Removing the continuous stimulation from dopamine-triggering activities can lead to improved concentration and a clearer headspace.
  3. More joy: Having time for more mindful, healthy activities may increase feelings of happiness and contentment.
  4. Better sleep: Avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime may result in more restful and rejuvenating sleep, facilitating a refreshed and energised start to the day.
  5. Less stress: As the body is not craving unhealthy rewards you may also have less feelings of stress.

 
Overall, a dopamine detox sets the stage for breaking free from the instant-gratification trap and nurturing a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.
 
– Does a dopamine detox actually work? If so, how?
 
You can’t really ‘detox’ from dopamine as it will always be in your brain, but the idea of being aware of your choices and habits can help you to live the way you really want to. Once a person completes a dopamine detox, they may feel more balanced and less triggered by tempting activities.

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