There are always trends, but now SiliconValleyis really surprising us with their latest idea: they reduce the brain’s feel-good chemical – dopamine! Some go so far as to even avoid social activities and eye contact.
What’s the point? Fans of dopamine fastingwant to reset their brainto be more efficient. Will that work? Here are the facts!
Dopamine – What’s the magic word?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain. The chemical messenger is sent through the brain and transmits signals that then influence various functions in the body. These include motor skills, arousal and memory performance. So dopamine is responsible for the reward system in the brain. Rewards like food, sex, social media and drugs have the strongest effect.
But what happens if you’re low on dopamine? You can get diseases like Parkinson’s or depression. To relieve the symptoms, you are often given medication that the body converts into dopamine. The result is more dopamine in your blood and your reward system can learn as you go along. This means that a possible reward can activate dopamine even without a „real“ reward. For example, if you are in a candy store thinking about sweets, dopamine can already be activated.
Now there is only one question: If dopamine plays an important role in your brain, why fast?
Addicted to dopamine: stop it!
The idea of dopamine fasting comes from the psychologist Dr. Cameron Sepah from San Francisco. We know that dopamine promotes addictive behavior, and so came the super idea: No more dopamine. You want to hear an example? A drug addict wants to be clean and decides to fight the drugs. But when he then comes across things that remind him of the drug, the desire system in the brain is activated. Thus the addict is overwhelmed with lust. Dopamine Fasters believe that by not taking dopamine, you reduce these desires for unhealthy behavior.
Fasting against addiction: Does it really work?
First of all, it must be made clear: It certainly doesn’t make sense to lower the dopamine any further than we need it for everyday functions. In addition, small measures such as a social media ban will not lower your dopamine levels, but will simply stimulate your dopamine less. But does this reset the brain? No, so far there is no evidence or scientific basis for this.
Changing your behaviour: That’s the way to do it!
If you want to reduce unhealthy behavior, then you must avoid the environmental influences that trigger the desire for this behavior in you.
- You’re always hanging on your smartphone: what could you do to reduce the desire for your little square computer? Turn it down! So you are not constantly reminded that your smartphone is calling. Due to the missing signals, less dopamine is automatically released.
- You drink too much: Then adjust your activities! Instead of sitting in a bar with your work colleagues in the evening, watch a film at the cinema. Then the boozing will be less.
Dopmain fasting – but in the wise way!