A few days back, I was watching dopamine detox challenge videos on Youtube. Most, YouTubers were claiming that they got some insane benefits by taking this challenge.
I wanted to know more about it so, I dig deeper into the science behind how it works, and then I personally took this challenge to see whether it really works or not.
Btw, this challenge is also known as dopamine fasting, where you just cut the sources of instant dopamine, like Social Media, Fast Food, and Porn for a certain period of time to reset your brain and increase the dopamine sensitivity.
Dopamine Detox Challenge Rule:
Rules are pretty simple but very hard to follow. Here they are:
- No Porn
- No Masturbation
- No Social Media
- No Songs
- No Fast Foods
- No Sugary Foods
It is way harder than NoFap challenge. It is like NoFap challenge on steroids.
I heavily suggest listening to songs when you feel an urge to fap while practicing NoFap, but in this challenge, you aren’t allowed to even listen to songs which makes it 10 times harder than NoFap.
We will also discuss which challenge is better for you, a 30 days dopamine detox challenge or the NoFap challenge. So, try to read the complete post to get the full info.
Understanding Dopamine Detox
Dopamine Fasting was first introduced by California psychiatrist Dr. Cameron Sepah.
Sepah stated that “Taking a break from behaviors that trigger strong amounts of dopamine release allows our brain to recover and restore itself.”
Sepah believes that the dopamine detox challenge is “the antidote to our overstimulated age.”
However, some people are taking it way too far. James Sinka, a startup founder in San Francisco who included dopamine fasting in his day-to-day life, told the New York Times, “I avoid eye contact because I know it excites me”.
I mean, what?? I don’t think so, avoiding eye contact will help to fix the dopamine sensitivity at all.
What Dr. Sepah intended with his dopamine fast was a process, based on cognitive behavioral therapy, by which we can become less controlled by the unhealthy stimuli — the texts, the notifications, the beeps, and the rings.
But, some people think that practicing dopamine detox is all about avoiding anything that can make us feel happy.
You are allowed to make friends, make eye contact, and learn new things. It isn’t about cutting yourself completely from the outside world.
Science Behind Dopamine Detox
According to experts, dopamine detox may help, but not for the reasons people may think.
Dr. Kent Berridge, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan said, taking a break from a stimulating activity (or all of them) “will stop turning on the dopamine system over and over like everyday life does, but it isn’t going to reset it.”
People misunderstand how dopamine works. Some years ago, dopamine was thought to be a pleasure hormone, but now doctors understand how it works and what it is, deeply.
Dopamine is chemical in the brain related to motivation, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. It’s part of a larger rewards system in our brain.
Dr. Berridge explained rewards are things we both like and want.“The liking and wanting of these things are independently assigned, and dopamine is responsible for the wanting part,”
To understand better what Like and Want is, we have to break down this dual system. Let’s take the example of text notification sound. Once you hear the sound, your brain forces you to look at the message you have just received.
That is because the notification beep has triggered dopamine. The text might not be a message that makes you happy.
These social media notifications are perfect triggers for the dopamine system, it doesn’t matter whether we are liking them or not.
Dr. Berridge also said, getting a hit of dopamine with a new text can be stimulating. It can be distracting and distressing if it goes too far.
If you feel drawn in by social media, which “continually retriggers a state of desire,” or another source of constant dopamine, he said that it’s reasonable to want to distance yourself or escape the source.
My 7 Day Dopamine Detox Challenge
I’ll be honest with you, it was a pretty boring challenge. I thought it is going to be easy, but I was wrong.
Day one was not so hard as I had a lot of motivation to complete this challenge, but when days started to pass, the desire of looking at my Instagram feed begin to rise.
Normally, I listen to songs while writing a blog post, but because of this challenge, I wasn’t allowed to listen to songs, which sometimes made me frustrated.
Songs make us feel good, and I highly suggest listening to them. Songs instantly shift our minds from those kinds of feelings.
However, I did notice that the urges of masturbation decreased drastically. I had no emotions related to pornography during those 7 days period, which made NoFap slightly easy for me.
When we scroll through our Insta or Facebook feed, we sometimes encounter semi-nude pics which trigger cravings to watch porn. Taking a challenge like this, limits the chances of encountering those kinds of pics and videos, and that helps a lot to continue our NoFap journey.
If I had to rate this dopamine detox challenge, I will rate it 3.5/5
I prefer the NoFap challenge over the Dopamine detox any day because I believe we should not cut ourselves from the outside world. We should enjoy every second of our life because we only got one.
Only go for this challenge if you are tired of watching your Insta or Facebook again and again and if you are wasting too much of your time looking at it.
Also, you can download Reboot Cure that contains some effective ideas about how to control your urges. You can read the tips mention in your free time to avoid relapse. Click here to open the page in a new tab.
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I took the dopamine detox challenge for 7 days after reading how beneficial it is on the internet. However, I have to say, the NoFap challenge is a little better option because it allows you to enjoy your life and stops you from wasting your time while watching porn.
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