Dopamine Detox // The Key To Fueling Your Motivation Like Never Before!

Prior to the start of the nationwide quarantine, I learned something critical about how my daily habits fuel my unproductive behavior.  As soon as I learned the root cause of my lack of motivation, I went straight into action to make immediate changes.  Since those changes have been implemented, I've experienced a huge surge in motivation and productivity.

The solution is simple, but also difficult.  There's a little bit of willpower involved but, I promise you, if you commit to giving this a try, you will not regret it.
For several weeks, I've noticed that I struggled whenever I had to work on tasks that require focused attention.  The harder it was to stay focused, the less motivated I was to even start on certain projects.

It was a dangerous cycle.

Everything changed once I was reminded about the critical role dopamine plays in human behavior.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, meaning it sends signals from the body to the brain. Dopamine plays a part in controlling the movements a person makes, as well as their emotional responses. The right balance of dopamine is vital for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Dopamine plays a huge role in how we experience pleasure.  When we do something we enjoy, we get a little dose of dopamine as a reward.  That chemical release feels good and causes us to constantly seek out more.  This is why addiction is crippling.  The person becomes solely focused on experiencing their next dopamine hit at the expense of everything else.

Prior to my shift in behavior, most of my day was spent seeking out dopamine inducing activities:
-I constantly snacked throughout the day (in search of the reward associated with eating something sweet or salty)
-Whenever I was online, I was always refreshing my newsfeed in search of updates, funny, or random content to consume.
-I procrastinated on meaningful tasks and activities.

Even though I knew that refreshing for the 100th time wouldn't produce any new valuable information, I did it anyway.  You know why?  Because the brain releases dopamine in anticipation of a certain activity.  So even the thought of doing something mindless seemed pleasurable even if the act itself didn't produce the outcome I was looking for.

I talked about this realization with two people who immediately said they could relate. They too engaged in mindless behavior at the expense of their creativity and productivity.

Once my eyes were open to what was going on, I immediately put a plan in place to turn things around.  Basically, I had to recalibrate my brain to find pleasure in even the most "mundane" activities.  The first thing I did was make a mental list of all the tasks I was putting off because I wasn't motivated to do them.  Next, I identified the simplest items on the list and proceeded to do them one by one.

Guess what happened next?

I started experiencing little "jolts" of dopamine as a reward for my efforts.  Soon, I craved the idea of tackling my list as a new source of enjoyment and accomplishment.  To ensure that I increased my chances for success, I limited my distractions by reducing my screen time, also known as a dopamine detox. This morning I received my report that my screen time was down by 30% last week.  Ideally, I'd like to drop that number even lower over the next 7 days.  The less I expose myself to the influx of random content on social media, the more enjoyment I experience in getting things done.

I found a great video on Youtube that illustrates this phenomenon perfectly.  Hopefully, this revelation will change your life as it did mine.

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  1. This is so timely for me! I am waaayyy behind on my doctoral thesis, and also have been putting off doing the work to start my business - and this is the 8th month since I have left my corporate job! Every day seems to just slip by without me really accomplishing anything, and I am wondering what I can do to get myself into gear!!!! Thanks so much for sharing this information, this was incredibly useful to me!!

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    1. I'm so glad this post is helpful. Check out Alex Becker's channel on Youtube. He's done several videos on this topic lately where he talks about how much life has changed since he started applying this dopamine detox principle in his life. Best of luck on your thesis!

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  2. love this site I have been a fan from even before the renaming

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  3. Hypocrite that I am, I keep telling my kids that boredom is good for them. Now the video is the push I needed to take my own advice! I will henceforth pick a day when I do a dopamine detox. I wonder if one day would be enough!

    P.S: This blog is definitely on my list of high dopamine activities. So many beautiful images.

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