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Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in reward-motivated behaviour, and it is one of the brain chemicals involved in making us feel pleasure. Dopamine “helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.”
A dopamine detox or dopamine fasting is a trend that Dr. Cameron Sepah has popularized through his dopamine fasting guide, which he published on Linkedin in 2019. As Dr. Sepah puts it, “Dopamine Fasting 2.0 is an evidence-based technique to manage addictive behaviours by restricting them to specific periods and practising fasting from impulsively engaging in them to regain behavioural flexibility.”
There are many adaptations of Dr. Sepah’s guide. So, here is what dopamine detoxing is not vs. what it is:
The dopamine detox focuses on behaviours that could negatively impact a person. Not everything that gives a person dopamine is negative behaviour. For example, talking, exercising, and socializing stimulate dopamine production but are also healthy behaviours that you should not include in your detox.
Dr. Sepah “recommends fasting for gradually longer periods periodically to extend the benefits” of the detox. There are many schedules and time frames that you can choose from for the dopamine fasting, but we will look at those later.
1. Decide what problematic behaviours you will be detoxing from
Dr. Sepah outlines these six categories as problematic behaviours:
You do not need to abstain from everything on this list during a dopamine detox. You just need to stop doing the ones that are a problem for you. What may be problematic for one person may not be for another, so how do you decide what to include in your fast? Dr. Sepah says that “to decide what to fast from, simply regard whether it’s highly pleasurable or problematic for you, and thus you may need a break from.”
2. Choose the type of schedule you would like to use
3. Choose your detoxing schedule
Sepah also notes that “ these are suggested guidelines, not strict rules.” These schedules can be adjusted as needed to fit your needs best. You can start at a lower time and gradually ramp up to the amount of time you are willing to keep doing forever.
4. Adjust the schedule as needed
Social media has become a part of many people’s daily lives. Unfortunately, social media is also highly addictive, so a lot of these dopamine detoxing trends involve detoxing from social media. However, with the need to use social media’s messaging feature to stay connected with bosses, co-workers, classmates, family, and friends, it can be difficult to create any kind of detoxing schedule that you can follow.
Luckily, BeTimeful is here to help. Unlike most website blockers, BeTimeful blocks your social media feed but not your messages. At BeTimeful, we understand that while social media feed can be addicting, the messaging feature of these apps is a helpful tool. So, BeTimeful takes away the negative behaviour of scrolling through your social media feed while keeping the positive behaviour of socializing with others through messaging.
So download BeTimeful today to help make your dopamine detox as successful as possible.
Here are some of the other helpful resources from BeTimeful:
The cost of trying Betimfeul: Zero money. 60 seconds of your time to set up.
The cost of not trying Betimfeul: 1-2 hours of lost time per day.