Self-improve Logically
Self-improve Logically

My 24 hours of shocking experience with dopamine fasting will help you too.

Dopamine fasting

In this article, I will discuss the following points:

What is dopamine? 

What is dopamine fasting, and why do you do it?

My 24 hours experience.

How does dopamine fasting reset the brain?

Does dopamine fast make you productive?

Conclusion

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or, in other words, chemical messengers responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells; neurons.

There are over 1,10,000 research papers on dopamine, but the controversy on dopamine’s proper functions is still not solved.

But the basic understanding is that the role of dopamine chemical is connected with our reward system. Dopamine is the primary force behind our motivation.

One important thing to understand is, dopamine releases in our brain before we start our tasks. It encourages us to perform a task to get the dosage of dopamine in our brain.

Our brain loves dopamine because it signals to the brain that we are happy, things are fine, and there is no need to worry about anything. 

But the bad news is, the brain doesn’t know if the activity is good or bad from where we get the dosage of dopamine. It only knows where we get it. 

This is the reason why we get addicted to bad habits, like watching pornography. 

What is dopamine fasting, and why do you do it?

In simple words, dopamine fasting stops us from any kind of activity, which gives us pleasure. It means we are preventing dopamine release from our brain for a particular period. 

The rules of dopamine fasting are:

The Rules:

  • No electronics
  • No reading
  • No sex or masturbation
  • No food
  • No talking or laughing.
  • No music/podcasts
  • No coffee or other stimulants

What you can do:

  • Drink water
  • Meditate
  • Write only on physical paper.

Why do you do it?

Our brains are hardwired because of the daily routine we follow. Also, as I said earlier, our brain doesn’t know the difference between good or bad activity.  

Because of some bad habits, we don’t feel like doing what mattered the most. 

For example, you may want to become a writer, and you have to write and read every day. But, your unproductive habits like surfing too much on social media, doing drugs, or watching adult movies are pushing you back from your goals.

You don’t find that same pleasure in writing or reading that you are finding from watching adult movies.

So, in this case, what your brain will prefer? Your brain prefers where it is getting the biggest hit of dopamine. 

In short, we do dopamine fasting to feel more about life, feel the small things in life, and what mattered most to us.

Dopamine fasting is a realization of our human being. When you starve your brain for dopamine release, you start finding pleasure in the air you are taking.



My 24 hours experience of dopamine fasting.

Dopamine

My dopamine fasting started in the evening. I switched off my mobile, didn’t eat any food or drink except water, and didn’t even sing songs. 

I live alone, so there is no one to talk to, and as I like reading a lot, I stopped that too for 24 hours. What I did was sleeping, meditating, writing about what I was feeling, and self-talk.

I know it sounds boring, but the point is getting bored.

After 4 hours:

Only after four hours, I started writing something that I understood in that period. 

I wrote: 

Rules for success is the effective utilization of dopamine release. When we go to dopamine fasting, the brain craves for it. Supply dopamine only with the right actions.

In my case, my brain is crying to check my mobile and look into Instagram if anybody has liked or commented on my new photo.”

I also wrote, and I don’t know why I wrote that:

“All the bad or unproductive habits formed by accident will be gone with maximum absenteeism of 1.5 years. 

Focused life will create deep and quality work which will give true happiness.”

These are some realizations that hit me only after I took a break from my daily habits.

I walked in my room, sat, meditated, drank water, and I was calm from inside. There was no rush. Rush to do what?

At night:

By night I was feeling nostalgic. I wrote:

My writing is slow now. What is the hurry?

I think about my childhood. Mostly about the evenings I spent in my village after playing cricket the whole day.

We sometimes sat in the driveway, on the grass, and felt the evening breeze on our tired face. 

There was a shop run by a man we called, Oli Uncle. We used to buy mixtures, powdered Amul, chocolates, and ate lavishly.

The night we spent telling stories or playing ludos. Those were good times.

I feel bad tonight. I feel alone, and while I am writing this, I realize how much time has passed.” 

Maybe I was sad that night. But the next day, I felt good as if I was reborn. I wanted to read or start writing my novel, which I was postponing from the last two weeks. But, I had to stop myself, because 24 hours didn’t complete yet.

The next morning:

When I woke up the following day, I stayed lying down on the bed. I was aware of myself. I was aware that I was here, lying on this bed, on this date, on this day, and this very minute. I was present in the present. 

I took out my notebook and wrote:

Sometimes, we say we don’t have time for this and that, or it will take a long time, so we can’t do it.

The irony is, time is going to pass no matter whether we utilize it or waste it.

Time is passing.

I guess maturity is understanding pain, embracing it, and doing the right thing at the right time. Maturity is to keep moving forward.

I have been stuck in this position for all of my life. I am 27 now. And I wasted 27 years holding things that I didn’t know I was holding them.

I ruined my own life because of the bad habits I was unaware of. My reward system works differently now. 

But I will change my own life from now on. I will build my life from scratch. Because time will pass on its own.”

When 6 hours was left:

When 18 hours passed, I wrote:

“I am not sure 24 hours will fully reboot my reward system, but there are certain changes I am experiencing:

  1. I started noticing the environment. The winds, the birds, empty roads, etc. It is giving me nostalgic happiness. I feel like going out and sit on the balcony for a long time.
  2. I am more interested in my writing and reading. I can feel the ability to create an organized plan to improve my life. No more clutter of things.
  3. But my sleep was poor last night, maybe because of my sinus problem.
  4. My meditation is still weak, but let me try some more.”

And that was it what I wrote that day. The most significant change I felt was the feeling of small things and the burning passion for writing.

This was proof that these habits of surfing social media or eating  junk foods or watching inappropriate content were ruining my creativity. 

After that, I quit all the social media, video games, junk food, and other activities, which gave me short term gratification.

Of course, I couldn’t quit all of them in one day. It took seven months, and I am still quitting one after another. There are still urges to go back to my old ways because I believe seven months is not enough to shrink your bad habits.

It takes 1.5 years to make our new habit a way of life.

But, 24 hours dopamine fast is a realization of yourself, and you can too try it to see it’s value. Try it; you are not going to lose anything except gaining. It’s only a day.

How does dopamine fasting reset the brain?

As I mentioned earlier, dopamine fasting stops the spike of dopamine in our brain. Our brain loves dopamine, and because of that, it starts to crave for it. Our brain searched in that fasting period for the source of happiness, anything that will give a spurt of dopamine.

The release of dopamine is not continuous. It spurts with the possibility of potential activity and shuts down until the next trigger.

We find happiness in small activities like walking, talking with people. 

But this will be short term. Our brains are wired after years and years of following the same routine. Switching everything off at the same time will be okay for a few hours, but eventually, that will lead to unexpected results. 

There are two ways to change our neural pathways, according to neuroplasticity:

  1. To repeat the same work over and over again, until it hardwires into your brain and 
  2. To remain absent from doing it until that pathway is shrunk and becomes dormant.

I have talked about neuroplasticity in my previous post. If you are interested, you can go here:

The complete guide to human habits.

Does dopamine fasting make you productive:

Have you heard about intrinsic motivation? Intrinsic motivation is the motivation that comes from inside. The feeling of working more and remaining productive.

When you start to find happiness from inside, there will be little possibility of not doing your work. Dopamine fasting gives you the head start to begin a better and meaningful life. 

You will understand why staying in social media for fun is a bad thing and why watching pornography is the worst. You will start doing what is right, what is meaningful, and eventually, you will begin to smile every day you wake up.

You can say there is no proof that it works. Whatever you are saying is rubbish.

I don’t argue with that because I was in the same position before. 

All I did was to try it for myself and see the result. I did with an open mind and not with a pre-notion that it will work, or it will not work.

I was just curious about the findings.

Conclusion

The conclusion is if you are trying to improve yourself, have a new perspective about life, then give it a try. If it is too hard to do, then you have an addiction, and any addiction is bad.

I hope you write down your thoughts about what you feel during the fasting period and share it with me if you like at: admin@basicideaz.com

I would be thrilled to read your journey. 

I hope this article is a bit helpful for you and if you like it, you can share it with your friends and family. 

Good luck.

You check my other articles here.

 Resources.

Best books on understanding our brain and improving our life are given below:

NOTE:* These are affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links, I will earn a small commission on your purchase.

1. Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin by Loretta Breuning

Highly recommended, this book is expensive but worth every penny.

2. Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels