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May 3rd: Dopamine Detox

Do you ever feel foggy in your mind? You have a million things running in your head and you feel a sense of not being present or lacking clarity?

I feel this way a lot of times. I am the type of person that needs constant stimulation in my brain. I am comfortable when there is a podcast, YouTube video, or music playing in the background at all times. This habit is so extreme that I never spend more than 30 minutes in silence (which feels horrifying to admit). Even my showers are occupied with podcasts in the background and my cooking is supplemented by a good Netflix binge. Although, this can be momentarily gratifying – it is terrible for my brain and my mental health. It makes me feel foggy and distracted. It also makes me feel like I have no free time (scrolling in social media and watching content eats away at my time).  It turns out I am not the only one that has this issue. Talking to my sister and my friends, I noticed a lot of us are addicted to our distractions. We cannot turn away from our phones for too long without reaching for it again and again.

This is way, I decided to do a dopamine detox.  Dopamine detox or a fast is a day where you do not have access to anything that brings instant gratification: social media, content (Netflix, YouTube, etc), television, porn, alcohol, drugs, etc. It allows for certain things such as journaling, reading, and walking. 

I personally allowed myself these things:  I can write for this blog, I can journal for myself, I can eat healthy foods, I can study and work, and  I can talk to friends and family. 

I feel a sense of clarity that I haven’t felt in a long time. I actually feel like I have free time rather than just letting the day get away from me. In moments where I have been tempted to reach for my phone out of habit, I have been just staying still or writing in my journal. It has been a really great experience so far but, it has also made me realize how many hours I spend on mindless activities. 

If you can, please do a dopamine detox for one day. The clarity you will feel will be worth the efforts. 

Be comfortable with silence.