Low Motivation and Dopamine Detox
Updated: Mar 17
Do you ever feel unmotivated, non-driven, lazy, or just extremely bored with life? What am I saying? You're human so you've probably experienced these emotions at some point in life. Being human is so complicated yet sometimes the answers to our problems can be so simple.
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What is Dopamine and what does this have to do with anything?
Dopamine is basically the main chemical in your brain that drives you to do anything. It's one of the most powerful chemicals in our human brains. Dopamine can be and is manipulated by the things you see, hear, feel, touch, eat, and smell. Our High-Tech devices and the programs on them are designed to spike our Dopamine in every way. Video games, videos, music, social media platforms, etc. As you can see, it's a very important chemical in our brain functioning. You also have the option to "manipulate your dopamine", just like exterior forces can as well.
When doing something like playing video games all day long or consuming too much sugar or watching too much porn, you increase the amount of dopamine it requires for you to get to a level of feeling good. Your dopamine tolerance is like a muscle. It can grow or shrink depending on how you use it. Dopamine abuse results in low motivation, bad moods, and can even lead you to do things you normally wouldn't consider. Things you used to love doing become dull. Spending time with others becomes harder because your brain isn't getting the Dopamine hits its used to. You can start to see how too much Dopamine can affect you.
No matter what level of addiction, Dopamine is at the center of it. There are ways, depending on what triggers you, to Detox from Dopamine addiction. In basic terms, you have to just stop doing things that give you high dopamine hits.
That doesn't mean you stop doing everything, because almost everything is linked to our dopamine somehow. However, you will have to examine yourself and ask yourself what am I doing that could be triggering my dopamine a lot? Some of you may already know what it is, it's that addiction you've been fighting, that soda you just gotta have every day, those hour-long video game and anime binges, those drinks you gotta have to feel good, no matter what it is, it's all linked to dopamine.
Do I completely cut off Dopamine?
Like I said earlier, you don't have to stop doing all these things to lower your dopamine levels. You can cut them out slowly or temporarily, and if you have a severe addiction, dopamine detoxing could help you take steps to be free. Dopamine detoxing is a method you can use like a medicine. I guarantee you just one week without your phone, video games, sweets, porn, tv shows, and you'll notice a huge difference in levels of excitement you can reach. It can be 2 days, 1 day a week, a whole month, who knows, experiment and figure out what works for you.
How do I Dopamine Detox?
Here below I'll list a few ways you can dopamine detox
#1 Leave Social Media
I have this listed as #1 because this is personal for me. Social Media is literally designed to manipulate your dopamine and control your mind. This can be one of the biggest reasons why you are unhappy, unmotivated, and uninspired. It was for me, and that's why I decided to detach myself from it. Even though I'm an Artist and I want my music to be heard, I made the decision to leave Social Media. After doing so, I no longer have that fear of my art being unheard. In fact, I'm more fired up than ever to be an Independent Artist. Here is an entire Blog I wrote about how Artists CAN Succeed Without Social Media.
Fasting can look different for everyone. You can either fast from all food, or just solid foods. You can fast from certain foods, sugar, high-sodium, etc. You can fast from soda, beer, liquor, marijuana, sex, parties, you get what I'm sayin.
#3 Cut Some Ties
Whether you have to stop hanging out with a certain homie, or you gotta stop visiting that one page, you will have to cut some ties in order to be free from dopamine addiction. Now I'm not suggesting you completely cut off your homies, but you do have the option to spend time with them or to not. You may need a break from all the drinking and smoking, and that's totally cool. If they're really your friend, they won't hate you for it and they'll understand.
If you're dabbling in pornography, you are a prime candidate to be someone who suffers from dopamine deficiency and depression. The same thing that gives you that great feeling is also taking it away from you. (I use pornography as an example because it's an addiction that I struggle with, dopamine isn't always linked to pornography but pornography is always linked to dopamine).
You may need to cut ties with Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, maybe even your phone for a while if you just can't stop. Jesus said "if your right arm causes you to sin then cut it off". We can cut off these things in order to walk in freedom.
However, there are people who are born with dopamine irregularities. Take people with ADHD for example. They're naturally too low or too high in dopamine levels so life can be a bit of a challenge for them.
#4 Get comfortable being uncomfortable
Doing boring, strenuous, and painful activities can help you regulate your dopamine levels. Working out, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, taking a cold shower, mowing the yard, etc, can all lead to you being motivated, inspired, and in a better mood overall. Starving yourself of all the pleasures you're used to will allow the inner beast inside of you to come out. The version of you that's HUNGRY for life.
#5 Evaluate Your Habits
This is basically a collection of the last 4 sections. Your daily habits will heavily influence your dopamine levels. If you get used to doing hard things, then the fun things will be fun again like they're supposed to be. If you're always living to satisfy yourself, then you'll never actually feel satisfied. Do things for others as well. Thinking about those around you every day and making yourself do something with their well-being in mind is a great way to help you achieve a sense of accomplishment. Which in-turn leads to you being in a much better mood.
If we learned anything from all this it's that there really such thing as too much pleasure. The same way we need the downs to see the ups, we need the boring to get the fun. I hope this article helps!
-Written by WOAHDANIEL