What if you could be living your ideal self and will a dopamine detox help you achieve this? In this blog, I take you through my journey venturing off into the wild to detox from the overstimulation I had grown accustomed to.
But first, what is a dopamine detox?
There are many different types of dopamine detoxing but it basically removes any activity which stimulates the receptors of the brain giving you a dopamine release, (the feel-good response).
Why are people taking this journey?
In a vastly overstimulated society with dopamine hits being gained from gaming, social media, porn, exercise, masturbation, food, caffeine, nicotine, drugs and more, it’s now difficult to find the simple pleasures in life without jumping on social to get a quick fix. The days of kids going out to play to explore and discover themselves amongst the earth are quickly fading and the use of technology is exponential. No wonder much of humanity is suffering from the expectations of fitting in with an evolving culture of constant distractions.
When researching this whole dopamine detox thing, I watched other YouTubers and listened to podcasts about dopamine detoxing and there was loads of information about the detriments to humanity being overstimulated. These YouTubers also talked of their personal experiences and I gained great insight as to what served others but I needed to know what served me.
I was not in alignment with my soul purpose, I was addicted and stuck in a cycle of distractions that prevented me from living free, passionately and true in my own authentic being. I decided to go ROGUE, RESET, RECONNECT, REALIGN AND REAMURGE and to do that I needed to get back INTO THE WILD. Lucky for me I already live Van Life here in Australia and could venture into these wild lands without reception, without temptation.
So, this is how it went down: 7-day dopamine detox 5 pm Friday – 5 pm Friday but let's start with the first 40 hours which was 5 pm Friday – 10 am Sunday.
First 40 hours
· Screen time (phone and PC turned off)
· Heavy exercise
· Hot showers
· Coffee or any other caffeinated product
· Fragranced candles (cause they give me a dopamine hit)
· Food including sugar (exception of fresh fruit and veg)
Your list of No/Yes will depend on what gives you a dopamine hit and what you need to tidy up in your life. What would you have on your no list?
· Reading self-growth books
· Writing/drawing/colour in/craft
· Cold showers
· Planning for work
· Spiritual activities such as meditation, cards, crystals, healing, tantra etc
· Fresh fruit and veg (as I am currently intermittent fasting no food from 5pm – 10am each night I included this with the exception of only eating fresh fruit and veg for 8hrs of the fast (which was the middle day)
What would you have on your yes list?
The first 40 hrs in summary
I felt like I had been placed on a stretching station of time and couldn't get off. I had very limited energy to do anything but sit and stare into the wild but even that didn’t give me the normal feel-good hits and It was also stinking hot. I did the only things I could muster and that was colour in, read snippets of books and nap. Yes, I actually fell asleep a few times during the day in this 40-hour period, definitely not something I would normally do. I had some huge insights and recognized how far backwards I had slipped and this was definitely not the life I knew I was capable of living.
OK I made it through 40-hours, what about the next 5 days?
It was a slow introduction but included the following activities
· PC (Sasha) so I could get work done
· More healthy food (not just fruit and veg)
· Music and podcasts
· Phone calls and msgs when I popped up for reception
· The internet for information and research
· Finally, and I say finally, I allowed myself social media, this was the very last day.
What would you include on your next few days?
The 7 days in summary
The last days weren’t as tough, I have lived without reception previously and it was the most woke time of my life. As the days went on, I started to feel more alive and my creativity started to flow naturally again. I found that coffee was easier managed however food was a little more difficult as I have always loved to overindulge. I absolutely love food, the tastes, experience and the sensation when it goes into my body! I plan on indulging here and there but mindfully. When using the phone again I realized it was way too easy to pick up and check like I had been doing over the past few months, this routine was not broken within 7 days so keeping it at a distance was easier for me.
So was I able to reconnect and realign to my soul's purpose as I had intended? The answer is yes! I found myself in the flow of purpose and started creating in this alignment. I had given myself the respite needed from overstimulation and my whole being was thanking me.
The question I still ponder is how do we live in an overstimulated society whilst detoxing from the many distractions available? I believe having a good plan in place is key, know your limits and create a routine and stick to it. (I have added my plan down below to give you some ideas). To further add, 40 hrs is not enough, 7 days is not enough, this change in lifestyle needs to be long term to gain maximum benefits.
How will I use this experience to improve my life, what changes can I implement full time?
· Limit social media time 15 mins mornings and evenings
· 1-hour Saturdays and Sundays
· 1 social media free day per week
· 1 Netflix movie/doco per week
· 1-hour educational podcast per day
· 30 mins per day YouTube
· Delete social media apps
· Turn off all notifications except for phone messages
· Ask ‘am I hungry’ before chomping down food and if not ask ‘where is this coming from’ to unpack the emotional aspect
· Know my food limits and serving sizes, stay focused (and then indulge) haha
· Keep caffeine at 1 to 2 small coffees per day unless I have a coffee date (stronger coffee)
Could you benefit from any of these changes, what others could you add to your list?
It's easy to get caught up in an addictive cycle of receiving those feel-good chemicals but for many, the overstimulation becomes too much. It is crucial to balance these out with silence, with space, with connecting to the earth or any other activity which gives us respite and in doing so we connect to our equilibrium.
This vlog may give you some insight into my experience however I am definitely not an expert and I would advise you to seek professional advice and your inner knowing as to what is best for you.