Trying Out The Trend Of Dopamine Detox For Mental Wellbeing

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Every Sunday morning right after waking up, my phone notifies me of the average screen time! And every week, it keeps on increasing, and the increasing numbers make me anxious! Before checking my screen time, I felt perfectly fine (mentally and physically).

Right after seeing the increasing number of screentime, I questioned myself, why do I spend a lot of time on my phone wired to social media, shopping apps, or gaming apps? Am I hiding a mental health issue behind the numbers?

I found out that I am lonely, I have no one to talk to and that’s why I spend my time on social media a lot! Are you someone like me? Do you also spend a lot of time on social media? Are you looking forward to curbing your screen time? Let’s try trending dopamine detox!

In this blog, we will be taking a deep look at what dopamine detox is, what it means, does it actually work, and how we can practice dopamine detox to improve our mental well-being. So, let’s get started!

What is Dopamine Detox?

The Dopamine Detox is getting viral over social media. The idea behind the trend of “dopamine detox” is to take a break from social media such as mindless scrolling, shopping apps, Instagram, or TikTok.

The main goal behind dopamine detox is to reset the levels of dopamine in your brain. We all know that social media apps are designed in such a way that keeps us engaged throughout.

Herein, the dopamine detox can be your crux to curb your screen time and take a step towards mindful and positive living. A dopamine detox is not only a mental break but it can be a lot more fun, motivating, and joyous! It all depends on how we want to make it!

Many influencers on social media are right now talking about dopamine detox. They are actively encouraging people to take a break from social media and mindfully engage in healthy and positive activities instead.

Fact-Check Related to Dopamine Detox

Dopamine detox was first introduced by Psychiatrist and Neuroscientist Cameron Sepah.
The purpose of Dopamine Detox is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address problematic behaviors or addictions.
Dopamine detox can help resolve social media-related problematic behaviors and addictions such as gaming, gambling, shopping, emotional eating, masturbation/porn, and recreational drug use.
Dopamine detox is not intended to reduce dopamine levels but to reset dopamine levels.
The term “Dopamine detox” has faced a lot of controversies because the term is not scientifically correct.
Many influencers on social media have misinterpreted the term and intention behind the development of dopamine detox.

Purpose of Dopamine Detox

Basically, the main intent of dopamine detox is to reduce addictive behaviors or maladaptive activities such as constant or mindless scrolling, nomophobia, compulsive shopping, or checking news and information websites obsessively. Since social media apps are designed to keep us engaged, dopamine detox is created to make us more mindful and healthier mentally or physically.

We all know that dopamine is also known as the “feel-good hormone” and engaging with such social media apps can stimulate the hormone. As a result, it can be very addictive. The purpose of dopamine detox is not to reduce dopamine levels but to reset dopamine levels so that you can take a break from constant stimulation. Constant stimulation of dopamine can make you more depressed, anxious, or exhausted.

Therefore, try the dopamine detox trend by disconnecting from digital devices and allowing yourself to engage more in mindful activities that also improve your overall well-being in return.

Why Should I Do Dopamine Detox?

Most people asked, why should I do dopamine detox, my mental and physical health looks fine! Well, here’s a check-list to practice dopamine detox:

Try dopamine detox if your screen time is high.
Try dopamine detox if you engage a lot on social media apps.
Try dopamine detox if you’re not able to focus on work or studies.
Try dopamine detox if you lack motivation.
Try dopamine detox if you’re addicted to your digital device.
Try dopamine detox if the idea of quitting social media scares you.
Try dopamine detox if you’re not able to leave your phone.
Try dopamine detox if you check your social media during bedtime.
Try dopamine detox if you binge-watch YouTube videos.
Try dopamine detox if you get angry, exhausted, or depressed when someone asks you to keep the phone.

If you spend a lot of time on social media procrastinating or ruminating, you might be addicted to social media or problematic behaviors leading to other mental health issues. If you have increased screen time, you must practice dopamine detox not only to limit screen time but also to protect yourself from related mental health issues.

You can try dopamine detox to reduce any problematic activity or behaviors that might be harmful to your overall well-being. Moreover, it can apply to problematic behaviors or activities that are causing:

Addiction: Addiction can be caused by the anger or exhaustion developed when not available around the phone or FOMO of social media.

Distress: Distress can be caused by the excessive percentage of screen time.

Impairment: Impairment can be caused by reduced performance or lack of motivation at work, school, or overall quality of life.

Does Dopamine Detox Work?

Here comes the main question, does dopamine detox actually work? Research and studies show that excessive social media usage is associated with growing mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and more. One study shows that limited social media usage increases productivity and healthy living.

After practicing dopamine detox, people feel more balanced, less affected, and centered.  For more clinical studies, you can refer to ScienceDirect. Below listed are some benefits of dopamine detox:

Helps to detach from impulsive behaviors
Increases focus
Provides mental clarity
Helps to achieve goals
Promotes a great state of mindfulness and sense of self
Provides instant relief from stress
Improves quality of sleep
Lowers blood pressure

How to Practice Dopamine Detox?

If you think you or your loved one might be addicted to social media or digital devices, you can definitely try dopamine detox. The practice of dopamine detox is developed on the basis of the principles of CBT that help adopt healthier and positive habits:

1. Build self-awareness

Begin the process of dopamine detox by building self-awareness around your problematic behaviors or addictions. It’s essential to gain insight related to your behaviors so that you can recognize why you are spending so much time on social media, playing games excessively, or shopping compulsively through online platforms.

2. Be slow in the beginning

After recognizing your problematic behaviors and building self-awareness behind them, try incorporating dopamine detox into your schedule. If you are too much addicted, you can begin the process by following dopamine detox for 2 hours per week.

Slowly, you can increase the numbers or mindfully keep the phone whenever you find yourself spending too much time on social media again. Additionally, you can decide your detox hours by yourself. Simply, decide any time that you excessively use digital devices.

3. Take the help of restriction apps

If you lose track of time while using social media apps or playing games, you can take the help of restriction apps to remind you whenever you cross the limit. You can also set limits on your devices to notify you. Additionally, herein you can designate your feasting windows in such apps or in-phone tools.

4. Focus on activities or hobbies that interest you

While you restrict social media usage, you can spend that particular time mindfully focusing on activities or hobbies that seek your interest. Meanwhile, you can try mindful calligraphy, mandala art, photography, walking, reading self-help books, and more.

5. Track your symptoms

If you’re not able to maintain your focus while being away from your devices or not able to establish mindful connections. Please track your symptoms and pay close attention to the urges as they can be related to the presence of other mental health conditions as well.

If you think you or your loved one might be struggling with a mental health issue related to social media usage, bullying, or addictions, please connect with a mental health professional.

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6. Try to maintain a balance

If you successfully spend your restrictive timings mindfully, give yourself applause and keep on increasing the timing so that you can work on improving your mental health and break the pattern of problematic behaviors.

Dopamine detox is not about a complete restriction, but it’s all about maintaining the right balance. You can always connect or interact with people on social media but remember to always maintain a balance with your screen time.

7. Be mindful

As mentioned above, the sole purpose of dopamine detox is to promote mindfulness, reset dopamine levels, and break problematic behaviors. Therefore, whatever you do, do it mindfully. You must always be aware of your needs, thoughts, and feelings.

8. Select beneficial activities

Once you get comfortable with the dopamine detox process, start focusing more on activities that serve benefits such as walking, exercising, reading, drawing, meditating, connecting with a loved one, or volunteering.

9. Make the process more comfortable

In order to break undesirable habits, you might have to put some barriers in the beginning to make the process more comfortable and effective. Such as uninstalling apps or games that might be harming your mental health, switching your tasks on paper or pen to avoid excessive usage of digital devices, or giving someone else control.

Quick Takeaway: Dopamine Detox Checklist

If you’re looking forward to practicing dopamine detox, here’s your checklist to begin with:

Try to avoid social media usage right after waking up or right before sleeping.
Avoid taking your digital devices in the bedroom.
Practice dopamine detox one day every weekend to relax and enjoy a hobby or a sport
Begin with 5 to 30 minutes of fasting to promote mindfulness.
You can also start with a longer feasting window and slowly reduce the feasting window accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long must we practice dopamine detox?

Generally, you can begin dopamine detox with 5 to 30 minutes of fasting if you’re trying to curb your screen time. But if you’re trying to overcome addiction or break problematic behaviors, you must practice dopamine detox every day to reset dopamine levels in your brain. Additionally, you must practice dopamine detox for 2-12 weeks regularly to reset dopamine levels in your brain

Why must we practice dopamine detox?

We must all try the trend of dopamine detox to break problematic behaviors and addictions because social media apps are designed in such a way that keeps us engaged for a longer time. Therefore, to limit excessive social media and improve overall well-being, we must practice dopamine detox at least every week.

How Does Dopamine Detox Before and After Look Like?

When you start practicing dopamine detox regularly, you’re going to notice major changes in yourself. For example, before dopamine detox, you might feel lethargic, anxious, or depressed. Meanwhile, right after practicing dopamine detox, you will be able to feel more motivated, energetic, and mindful as you’ve spent your restricted hours performing activities or hobbies that seek your interest.

I hope this blog helps you understand what dopamine detox is. Comment down and share your views on the same or you can also write to us at Calm Sage.

For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms.

Take care and stay safe!

The post Trying Out The Trend Of Dopamine Detox For Mental Wellbeing appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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