This is a pretty crazy time, and if you don’t know what a dopamine fast is, this would be the time to learn about it.
This podcast episode is a look into our dependence on technology – specifically our phones – and the stress that comes from constantly checking things like social media and the news.
We are bombarded with information on a daily basis and an endless amount of notifications are making us crack addicts. This might seem extreme, but it’s basically what’s happening in your brain when you are constantly engaged with technology.
Here’s the podcast episode to listen along to, or you can keep reading to learn more:
What Is A Dopamine Fast?
Do you ever feel anxious that you haven’t checked your phone in awhile? Do you panic when you realize you’ve left it at home, or even in another room? If this is the case, you might be overwhelmed with dopamine.
Some dopamine is good for us – very good actually. It helps us feel motivated, encouraged, focused, and creative. But when it is constantly elevated we need more and more of it to be satiated.
It then takes more and more stimulus for this dopamine hit to be relieved. When this happens over the long term it creates anxiety, depression, fatigue, and cognitive issues like Parkinson’s Disease.
Every time you get a notification on your phone, you get a little dopamine hit, that’s why we crave getting messages, likes, retweets, you name it.
The Constant Stress During Coronavirus
The problem right now, is we are getting a constant flood of notifications and information through social media, and the news. Not only are we craving the stimulus from dopamine, but our stress hormones are also through the roof.
All the overwhelming news is hitting us with a double whammy, and this may be the best time ever to turn things off, and take a break.
If there were ever a time to let your body reset, it’s right now. But you don’t have to go cold turkey right away, and it’s better to start small as to not overwhelm yourself.
How Do you Do A Dopamine Fast?
You can start gradually with just a few hours, then go up to a day, then a few days, and then even a few weeks. It’s important to stay informed right now but let’s be honest, 95% of the information you’re getting is unneeded.
It doesn’t help that you are fighting this battle of elevated cortisol along with the craving for the next dopamine hit. Your brain is just no match for this amount of stimulation.
So you are better off taking some time to read a book, watch a documentary, or listen to music while you dopamine fast. It’s also a good time to exercise and get out in nature. Everyone is obviously social distancing, but the outdoors are calling.
Get into the fresh air and the sunshine. The sunshine, in particular, is needed to boost vitamin D levels, which is crucial in boosting your immune system.
Not only is a dopamine fast good at multiple points during the year, it may be crucial during this time of self-isolation and quarantine. I bet there are very few times you can remember feeling good after scrolling through the news and social media.
There’s this sense of FOMO and fear of ignorance, but take a step away and you’ll see you don’t need this stuff like you think you do.
It’s not our fault we’ve become dependent on technology – it’s been a blessing to our lives. But we know that it’s easy to become a slave to it. Take this time to help reset your mind to not overwhelm yourself during an already overwhelming period.