Addiction to scrolling mobile screen for hours, playing video games, mindless online shopping, etc. has become a vital part of our lives. We all are the slaves of certain habits that give us short-term pleasures and keep us away from the actual goals. It is considered that dopamine in our body is responsible for this. But what exactly is this?
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a hormone as well as a neurotransmitter in our body. It helps us experience the feeling of pleasure and drives us to do things which make us happy. However, it does not teach us the difference between the wrong and the right thing. It is the reason that irrespective of the significance, we indulge in activities that are not useful for us. It is also known as a happy hormone.
What is dopamine detox?
The practice to stop doing the non-constructive activities and divert the routine to constructive ones is known as dopamine detox. Dopamine detox is also known as dopamine fasting.
How to do dopamine detox or fasting?
To detox, you need to remove all the unproductive activities from the daily routine and also divert yourself to the constructive ones.
- Limit the cell phone use to actual purposes
You know how addictive we are to our cell/smartphones. Spending hours on it is not difficult for us but is that actually useful for us? No, it wastes time, makes us ill due to strain on eyes and mind, diverts from essential tasks of the day, and makes the body lazy.
Using smartphones gives us pleasure, and we cannot bear to leave it even for a minute without our wish. But that is the cause of the waste of time and energy, and we need to do something about that.
- Start with the easy, small tasks. Leave the mobile for 30 minutes every day. Make sure you do not use it during this time.
- Make a list of actually useful activities for which you need a mobile. Example – messaging to family and friends, sending official e-mails, etc. Now, pick your mobile only for these things.
- Keep the cell phone away or not in your reach to avoid using it for no reason. It helps reduce the habit of mindless scrolling of mobile.
- Replace a useless activity and make way for a significant one
It is not sufficient to avoid the time-wasting actions in your routine life. You also need to replace them with a valuable thing.
- When you remove the mobile phone from your sight, pick a book and read it for a while. Maybe just one page or a few pages, but do something progressive. If not book reading, then make one slide of the PowerPoint presentation that you need to give next week.
- If you have the habit of switching on the television every morning after leaving bed, change the routine with something better. Maybe you can take just a 5-minute walk on the terrace or on the lawn. Only 5 minutes, because that duration will not be difficult to cross for you. With time you can extend it up to 10 to 15 minutes.
- Do not use a laptop or any electronic gadget during sleep time. Talk to a family member before you go to sleep but make sure it is a happy and positive conversation. It helps in creating better sleep pattern and stay away from insomnia caused by electronic devices like mobile, tabs, etc.
When you stop doing something that is not important, you get some free time. That time needs to be filled with a positive thing immediately another dopamine detox may fail in its aim.
- Uninstall the apps to stop spending on short-term desires
We all know that mobile applications have become the mini version of the international consumer economy. Everything can be sold or purchased through mobile apps. From clothes to financial services, you can exploit almost any product. The ease in consumption makes us spend more on temporary desires.
- If you have 4 e-commercial apps, uninstall them for a few days after shopping your favourite things. It helps to control the urge to buy new things again and again.
- If you do not want to uninstall all the applications, then remove only one or two of them. Limit the number of apps, and there are better chances to limit useless spending.
- Do the same with the tourism/ticket booking applications. Either uninstall them or limit them to only one or two. This helps in reducing the number of trips and respects the significance of the home.
Such small efforts bring a drastic and fast change and help you achieve the actual target of dopamine detox. Give time to yourself because a significant change does not happen immediately.
Ø Stop taking doorstep services to keep yourself active
Comfort makes us lazy and that is not good for health and mind. It makes us biased and we start consuming things that we might not need so desperately. Our lifestyle has become so lavish, thanks to the convenient online orders we put for varied things and services. The stunning thing is that nowadays it is even possible to borrow money right at the doorstep through door-to-door loans. This makes us consume things more frequently, even when we do not need them.
- Eating food from outside is never good for your immunity. If you order food online every alternate day, try to reduce it to only twice a week. Then take it to weekends and then remove it permanently.
- If you take home cleaning service now and then, stop doing it. Clean your house on your own. Try to keep things organised. You can also try a minimalistic lifestyle as that focuses on keeping the minimum amount of things that are of primary use. Fewer things mean no need for cleaning. Doing physical work keeps you healthy.
- Do not call the plumber for basic repair needs at home. Do things on your own, and an online tutorial can help you do things easily. It saves money and also makes you active in life.
The only secret to being successful in dopamine detox is – keep working. Despite the failure, start again, and one day you will feel the change. It is difficult to get rid of addictive habits, but gradually, when you realise the importance of good habits during the detox efforts, the destination comes near.