Taking a Dopamine Detox


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Darryl Taylor, OwlFeed Opinion Editor

Many sources, including MedicalNewsToday define dopamine detoxing as “fasting from dopamine producing activities, or ‘pleasures,’ for a certain amount of time with the hope of decreasing reward sensitivity.” (Lindsey Todd, Paragraph 1)


It is also known by the name of dopamine fasting. However, upon doing research on Healthline you get results telling you to avoid eye contact because it causes you to get dopamine. This seems like very antisocial and bad advice. But this is not what I am talking about. I am talking about abstaining from activities or habits that give you a sense of pleasure (dopamine) with no work put in to get it, especially if it isn’t beneficial for you. The only positive thing you get from binge watching Netflix, eating tons of junk food, and scrolling endlessly on TikTok is the feeling. And as a matter of fact, those activities don’t even give you a lot of dopamine anymore because you’ve been using it up. So you are essentially numbed.


A dopamine detox should be a lifestyle, not in the way that you can never watch Netflix or eat junk food but rather enjoying these activities in moderation, maintaining your self control, and keeping your discipline. Quitting these “feel good” activities which have no tangible benefits, only benefits your future self. 


As stated by MedicalNewsToday, “It is very important to note that a dopamine detox is not a scientifically researched approach. Evidence of any benefits is anecdotal, and most benefits come from refraining from potentially addictive activities. However, they are not related to actually detoxing from dopamine.” This means that while there is no verified scientific evidence to support a dopamine detox, thousands, if not millions, of people have testified that dopamine detoxing has improved their mental health and overall happiness and helped these people quit addictions. It is impossible to stop dopamine, as in the chemical, completely. But the idea is to reduce the everyday stimulation we get from social media and other life sources.


A huge step in dopamine detoxing includes limiting time on social media, not only because you compare yourself to the picture perfect lives people show on there but also because the content is very stimulating and more often than not fast paced. Scrolling on fast paced video after another dramatically decreases your attention span.


A dopamine detox is not meant to make your life depressing or without fun. It is about regaining control of your impulses and your life. Because how much self-control do you have if you can’t stop yourself from going on TikTok every hour of the day.