I tried dopamine detox for 7 days from 10th July to 17th July 2023. It felt like my life was empty because I wasn’t using Social media or even OTT apps but the good news is, it changed how I live.
That being said, let me share some of the rules for dopamine detox.
Let me first say thank you for reading this. This will be a weekly newsletter, hope you enjoy it. Now I will see you every Sunday at 9:00 AM (IST).
Rules for Dopamine Detox
- Uninstall all the social media apps from the smartphone including Twitter, Instagram, Thread, and even Facebook.
- Remove all the OTT apps including YouTube.
- You can’t listen to Music at all, even while exercising.
- You can’t take a look at the Investment portfolio.
- Don’t look at YouTube likes, comments, or even subscribers.
- Running a website, don’t look at how many users visit the website.
- Don’t eat Chocolate, drink Coffee, Tea, or any other caffeinated products.
- Can’t have s*x, masturbate or watch p*rn.
The simple rule for Dopamine Detox is to not trigger dopamine too often.
This is an advanced level of Dopamine Detox and you don’t have to remove everything for 7 days, I did it because I wanted to see what happens to my body.
You can remove a few things like Social Media and OTT apps or just one of them and see what kind of changes you see in your body and mind.
So first of all, you have to know when to do Dopamine Detox, so let me tell you whether you need Dopamine Detox right now or not.
Is it Time for a Dopamine Detox?
You can’t know whether you need to do Dopamine Detox because from your perspective, you’re living a perfect or good life and you don’t need Dopamine Detox.
So to know whether you need Dopamine Detox, just answer these questions.
- Are you finding it challenging to stay focused on a single task?
- Do you often catch yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media or spending excessive time on your phone?
- Do you feel you’re not having fun doing things that you used to enjoy the most?
- You’re finding 30-minute videos or even movies too long and you’re scrolling on Reals, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts for hours.
- You feel good when you get likes and comments on Your social media account and when you don’t get one, you don’t feel good?
- You’re having a hard time sleeping at night, hence you using a smartphone in your bed for hours?
- You don’t like to do exercise because you feel you don’t have time.
Answer these 7 questions with 100% honesty, you don’t have to write the answer anywhere or tell me, just be honest.
And even if the answer is YES for 4 to 5 questions then you need to try Dopamine Detox because you need one.
Now that you want to try Dopamine Detox, so it makes sense to understand what is Dopamine and Dopamine Detox.
What is Dopamine and Dopamine Detox
To make it simple, Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is sort of a messenger that tells you when to feel good. For example, when you drink Coffee, your mind releases Dopamine and gives you a single that, you have energy and you can do whatever you want and you will do that because you just had caffeine.
This is just a simple explanation of Dopamine, Dopamine is a complex subject to break. I will add the formula down below.
The problem with Dopamine is if you consume Coffee extensively every day for the year then your mind won’t release Dopamine too often as it might feel that Coffee is a normal thing and then you have to consume more coffee to get the high.
Take the example of masturbation, if you do it once a day for a year then it won’t feel that good compared to if you do it once a week or month. This will give you more satisfaction.
This is where the Dopamine Detox comes in,
The concept of Dopamine Detox is for everyone but it is a must for those who don’t feel good even after drinking a cup of coffee or even masturbation.
You just have to do one thing which is don’t release Dopamine too often. That means you can’t use your smartphone for 5 to 6 hours, you can’t masturbate, can’t drink coffee, or even have sex for a few days.
So you can fix the urge for Dopamine.
Now that you want to try Dopamine Detox, so it makes sense to tell you some of the benefits, so you can get some motivation.
Benefits of Dopamine Detox
When you try Dopamine Detox for 7 days and if you go back to normal life then you won’t feel anything new. The idea of Dopamine Detox is to live the life that you were living when you were a child.
In your childhood, you weren’t using a smartphone for 5 to 6 hours, you didn’t know about masturbation, TV shows, movies, Music, Gaming, S*X, and even Money.
The Dopamine Detox doesn’t mean, you have to stop having S*X but it rather means, you have to cut unnecessary things from your life, so you can focus more on important things because you don’t have unlimited time.
Dopamine Detox makes you aware of the actions you took in day-to-day life.
Get Your Focus Back
There are many people all over the world who use a smartphone for more than 4 hours which isn’t normal at all and the fact is, everyone knows that they have to break up with a smartphone.
So when you try Dopamine Detox for 7 days or even 30 Days, your mind will get more aware of your actions and it will tell you to focus your attention on important things rather than wasting time on your smartphone.
You will be able to restore the attention span that you end up losing because of apps like Tiktok, Instagram, or any other Short Video apps.
You will be able to enjoy the company of your friends without looking at the smartphone screen, you will be able to listen to another person without irritation.
Everything will happen if you accept reality and quit a few things for a few days and test your mind.
Get Back The Awareness
Your brain knows one thing that is how to make you happy, it doesn’t care whether you get high from Smartphone, Coffee, Tea, P*rn, S*x, Drugs, or anything else.
So if you’re not aware of your action then as James Clear says, you’re living Automate life and it will destroy your life in the long term.
So break that Automate process and be aware of the things you do every day whether it’s scrolling on social media for hours, watching p*run for hours, or doing any sort of activity too often.
Dopamine Detox will give you your Awareness back because, during the time of Dopamine Detox, you will have plenty of time to think about lots of things.
So take action now and see whether you’re living the Automate life or not.
Get Your Sleep Back
If you’re a smart person then you know that drinking coffee at night will affect your sleep and still, if you’re doing that then I feel, this is the time to do Dopamine Detox.
When you don’t drink coffee, your mind won’t release Dopamine and you will feel tired for a few days because suddenly your caffeine intake went down.
Now, your mind doesn’t care whether you want to quit coffee or not, it knows one thing: Coffee makes you happy.
For a few days, you will feel tired, like too tired but after 5 days, things will come back to normal and after about 10 days, you won’t feel tired.
Now, the good news is when you try Dopamine Detox, you will quit coffee as well as social media and this will cut your Dopamine intake, so this means, you will get good sleep.
This does feel easy but it’s not, you will have a hard time applying this in your life but if you just cross the 10-day mark then things will get easy and you will have good sleep for the rest of your life.
Do this for your body because it has a long way to go.
Productivity means, focusing and doing the important task in a given time and don’t waste time on other stuff. This is what will happen when you won’t spend too much time on social media, or even Movies.
This way, you will have time that you can spend on important things and the good news is, you will able to perform your task with 100% energy because you’re not releasing dopamine too often as you were doing before.
The more time you have, the more time you will get to execute your tasks.
So give those hours to your work, your family, or your friends because this is the right thing to do rather than spending those hours on social media, movies, TV shows, or even p*rn.
I’m writing this, so this means, I tried Dopamine Detox, and now, it’s the time to express my experience.
I Tried Dopamine Detox For 7 Days
You know everything about Dopamine Detox, but you also want to know what it feels like to do it in real life rather than just reading a few things about it.
So to test the same, I tried the Dopamine Detox for seven days and yes, I went all in, I didn’t skip a single rule.
I will add the rules below, so read those or just download the images and see them whenever you feel like doing Dopamine Detox.
My Dopamine Detox Date:
- Start: 10th July 2023
- End: 17th July 2023
By the way, if you’re from India and you understand Hindi then do watch my video on Dopamine Detox, this way you will be able to understand better because I have shared my routines and the video footage too.
Day 1: Dopamine Detox
I’m someone who loves coffee and I’m someone who doesn’t want to quit coffee because we’re talking coffee here.
This was the biggest challenge for me,
Every day I wake up at 5:00 AM and do all the normal things, like, brush, take pop, and freshen up.
At around 5:30 minutes, normally I make coffee for myself and drink the same for about 30 minutes on the roof of my house.
Also, I walk for 30 minutes while drinking coffee and it feels amazing. I enjoy every second till I finish my coffee.
Now, if you’re drinking coffee then you already know that quitting coffee is not that easy and if you break the habit then the next day will be very hard.
So this is what happened on the first day which was 10th July 2023.
Today, I woke up at 5:00 AM and did all the normal things and at 5:30 AM, I didn’t know what I should do.
For about 10 minutes, I thought what should I do now because the rule says, I can’t drink coffee or even tea?
So what I did is, I started working on the article that I suppose to write after 8:00 AM but that work, I started doing from 5:30 AM.
Now, I did write for about 2 hours and finished a few articles and I read the same and I realized that whatever I have written is trash. No one will enjoy reading, even Search Engines won’t like it.
So I deleted everything.
After that, my motivation was down big time because I wasted 2 hours first in the morning.
I really wanted to drink coffee, I was even thinking about how it tests and what will I do next but then I thought, this is only for seven days and not for a lifetime, so I kept that Craving and Urge to myself only.
Till around 8:00 AM everyone from my family was awake, so I went outside, had breakfast, and spent time with them.
After that, I had to do something else, I would either drink coffee or sugar or anything else and my Dopamine Detox would end right there.
But I didn’t do such things rather, I set up the lights, cameras, and laptop.
And started shooting videos for YouTube, I did this till evening. Shot two videos, edit the same, and kept them on my computer.
Normally, I don’t shoot two videos in a single day, sometimes, I don’t even shoot one video in a single day.
But, this day was different, I had plenty of time to kill and I used that time to do some work.
At around 6:00 PM, I had dinner with my family and went to sleep at 8:00 PM. This too was different as I normally go to sleep at 9 to 9:30 PM. The dinner was on time, no changes there.
Day 1 ended at 8:00 PM.
(Social Media wasn’t a very hard part because I had cracked that years ago because I had read books like Atomic Habits, and Power Habits and watched a documentary called Social Dilemma. The Hard Part for me was COFFEE.
For those who have a hard time quitting social, I will cover this in the movement)
Day 2: Dopamine Detox
Day 2 was kind of easy compared to Day 1 because I had figured out what went wrong on day 1 and what I should do the next day.
So I woke up at 5:00 AM, did all the normal things, and this time, I went outside at 5:30 AM for a walk.
For about 30 minutes, I was outside of my house. No one was there, and only a few dogs were sleeping.
When I reach my home, I did exercise for about 30 minutes, took a bath, and had breakfast with my family.
At around 9:25 AM, I wrote a newsletter and schedule the same for the evening. By the way, you can join BookiesTalk Newsletter, it’s free.
Now, this too was different because I don’t write a Newsletter on Friday. The newsletter, schedule is every Sunday at 9:00 AM (IST).
After that, I wrote a new article for BookiesTalk and made some changes to other articles.
Around 11:30 AM, I had lunch, and after 1 hour, I shot intro footage for the Dopamine Detox Video. I also edited the video and kept all the footage.
After that, I wrote another article on Bookiestalk along with a new web story.
I know, I wrote a lot on day 2 but keep in mind, I wasn’t allowed to use anything, not even my emails.
Again, the same, I had dinner at 6:00 PM and went to sleep at 8:00 PM.
Day 3: Dopamine Detox
Day 3 was easy because I went to a new city with my family. After that, we went to one of our relatives and spent all day there.
So day 3 ended and I didn’t even know that, I was doing Dopamine Detox because I was busy all day long and I was with family, so everything felt good while I wasn’t trying to think much about anything.
Day 4, 5, and 6: Dopamine Detox
I won’t repeat the same things, like, I woke up at 5:00 AM and what I did because you already know this.
On day 4, I knew that I was doing Dopamine detox, so I just accepted that and went ahead with the day.
Did all the things, like, Shooting videos, writing articles, editing a few videos, reading books, exercising, and going outside with Friends.
What I learned on days 4,5 and 6 was that the first two days are very hard but after that, it gets easy and you start accepting that, this is what it is now.
So what you have to do is, just take care of day 1 and day 2 and the rest will follow.
Day 7: Dopamine Detox
This was an easy day and the last day of Dopamine detox.
I shot videos for YouTube about the Dopamine Detox and I’m writing this on 18th July 2023, now, I don’t know when this will go live but it will.
The good part is, I drank coffee when I was shooting videos which I have added to the final video too.
I tried cold coffee this time, after 7 days and it was great, it felt like heaven. I thoroughly enjoy the process of making coffee and drinking in front of cameras.
So yes, day 7 went faster than day 1 and I didn’t even realize that I was doing Dopamine Detox because I was enjoying my work, I was happy that day 7 has come and I’m about to make a coffee.
So the question is, will I quit coffee and the answer is NO. I won’t because I’m not someone who drinks two to three cups of coffee every day, I enjoy Coffee but only one cup in the morning.
Because I know, Drinking Coffee in the afternoon will affect my sleep because I go to sleep at 9:00 PM.
Day 7 has ended, so it makes sense to share the screen on time of my smartphone. Just see above, I have added all the screen on time for seven days.
Look, I’m running a few websites and I need WhatsApp, this is the reason why I was using WhatsApp. After all, WhatsApp is a messaging App.
What to Do after Dopamine Detox
If you have followed every step then after 7 days, you will know where to spend your time and where not to but keep in mind, your mind is complex and it has all the memories.
So make sure you’re aware of it and don’t start using social media too much, movies, P*rn, or anything else.
You wanted to do Dopamine Detox because you wanted a change and now that you have changed, so keep it and don’t lose it because it will be hard when you do it everything all over.
I would suggest you write your thoughts when you do Dopamine Detox for the first time, especially, write the first two days.
So whenever you feel like using social media for hours, just go back and read it and this will remind your mind that, social media is not that good if you gonna use it for 4 to 5 hours every day.
It doesn’t matter, where you write, just write your feeling.
In the same way, start adding extra few things to your daily routines. Like reading books, doing meditation, exercising, going outside, or anything that you love doing.
Deal with Social Media Addiction
When you do Dopamine Detox, you’re not quitting Social Media for a lifetime, you’re just quitting for a few days and after that, you can always use all these websites that you love using.
So keep this in mind when you try doing Dopamine Detox because this is very important to trick to fool your brain.
Now, if you tell yourself that I will quit social media from now for a lifetime then you won’t be able to do it. After a few days or even hours, you will come back to zero.
When you say, I will only do it for 7 or even 2 days. Your mind will be like only 2 days, this is not that hard, so do it, I’m with you.
Now, even after this, you will have the urge to use social media but you just have to keep it inside and don’t use it because this is the key movement of your life.
If you manage to keep your distance from social media for the first 24 hours then the next day will be very easy because you have completed day 1 without social media.
Your mind got that reward and you got Dopamine as well.
The key part here is to complete the first 24 hours and you will be more than okay on the next day.
So if you try this and you manage to keep yourself away from social media then keep in mind, you can get addicted to any movement, again.
So be aware of your actions and see where you’re spending your time. Whatever you do, just don’t start using your smartphone and social media for 5 to 6 hours.
You’re not doing this for me or anyone else, this is for you and only you. Whatever benefits you will get are for you and not for anyone.
So take care of yourself because that’s your job.
Risk of Dopamine Detox
Dopamine Detox is not scientifically proven and some scientists even believe that quieting social media, movies, tv shows, stopping masturbation, or even S*x can lead to,
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep problems
The reason for these problems is, you might feel empty after quitting everything and the end result might be, finding a hard time doing other stuff.
The reality as per scientists is, Dopamine detox is not scientifically proven but it can be helpful, for those people who have an addiction.
So my advice would be, don’t try what I tried.
Don’t quit everything, start with only a few things whether Social Media, Coffee, masturbation, P*rn, Movies, or anything else.
Don’t quit everything.
Also, Dopamine Detox will be very different for different people. You might not feel anything new after seven days while other people can feel like they are in heaven after Depamine Detox.
Dopamine Detox FAQs
The idea of Dopamine Detox is not to unplug yourself from social media, masturbation, p*rn, s*x, video gaming, movies, or even materialistic things. The idea is to have control over Dopamine and use this neurotransmitter to your advantage rather than being addicted to it.
Be aware of your action and see,
- How many hours do you spend on a smartphone
- How many cups of coffee do you drink every day
- How many p*rn videos do you watch every day
- How many times do you masturbate
- Why you don’t feel like exercising
- Why do you love reading threads on Twitter rather than reading books?
So try the Dopamine Detox for a few days and see what kind of thoughts you have and what kind of changes you see.
Dopamine Detox won’t change your life drastically but it can give you the right path that you can follow. In the end, you have to take action and keep in mind, you have a choice.
Also, do share your experience in the comment box, this will surely encourage another reader to try.
I have shared my experience and I hope you will do the same, see you there. Also, if you don’t feel like commenting then say Hi to me on telegram.
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