While that may help, you've basically dedicated a portion of your life to not enjoying your life.
Instead, I've taken a different tack. I've chosen to do those addictive things less, but instead of not-doing-fun-things, I do fun things that are at least somewhat productive.
For me, that's making something or learning a new skill, usually in order to make something. Programming, woodworking, drawing, etc. Even just putting together Lego or Metal Earth figurines, though it's harder to justify them as "productive" rather than just fun.
I still play video games. But I don't play those mobile games with the "gacha" mechanics. It's not that I don't enjoy them, but that I realize they take over my life and are not productive at all. At all.
It's not at all easy to kick these bad habits this way, but it's way better than "dopamine fasting", IMO.
Yours is the most down to earth approach to these issues. No need to look for an extreme, or fast solution (which I think is what drives these things; no data to back it up). Just some dedication and moderation.
I don’t really like exercising, yet I try to find excuses to walk to the supermarket or to work (half an hour). I don’t really like drinking, much less destroying myself in the process, yet I enjoy the moments I share with my friends and drink in moderation... but very few times there is no moderation, which is the beauty of it! (Please don’t drink too much, it’s quite stupid)
People these days it seems cannot live without being in an extreme. There is no middle ground; no possibility of it either.
Keep it up. Nothing like a good balanced approach to enjoying life.
I have tried doing a bit of woodworking when I need a break (I work from home), and I've found it's much better for my mental, emotional, and physical well-being compared to going down a social media rabbit hole (like I'm doing presently). Not only do I feel like I've accomplished something and have gotten some exercise, but it also doesn't usually suck me in for hours at a time—especially since I mostly use hand tools that tire me out fairly quickly.
tl;dr: rabbets instead of rabbit holes
I’m on my feet. I usually don’t have music or TV on so my brain gets a nice bit of breathing time and original thoughts bubble up.
And then if I’m doing dishes maybe I will turn music on, get a bit of dance on.
I love the smells of things as they sauté, or roast, or bake. And the sounds of the knife hitting the chopping board, or the water coming from the faucet, or the coffee grinding and gurgling (especially in the mornings).
And then I get to eat something delicious (the vast majority of the time). And I love learning about new flavors, and how I can combine them and using new techniques with high quality ingredients.
Very pleasant. My Pops does woodworking and stained glass making and photography and cooks and bakes and I imagine it’s much the same. Tactile, not a lot of screens, on the feet, keeps the brain energized and making new neural connections.
Definitely better than looking at page 12 of Reddit (for me, although I do that sometimes too).
It's true. I'm no health nut but I can't even consider a sugar-free lifestyle without going very much out of my way since everything has some sort of added sugar or sweetener.
I also try to do interesting things that are productive (studying certain topics, writing code, etc). I'd like to think that anyone can find a hobby like that (playing a musical instrument looks like could work for a lot of people, for example), although judging from some people I've met, maybe I'm wrong. What I'm pretty sure of is that discipline can be learned, and that certain level of discipline is needed at least to kickstart a hobby.
I've observed that when the internet has gone down, or I've been unable to play videogames, I'm more likely to fill the downtime with building things.
If by "internet" you meant "fscebook, twitter, Instagram and the like", you already see the problem.
I'd say that delaying gratification somewhat is key. If you stop the internal monkey from getting its immediate hit of dopamine, and get the conscious part of you involved, you can be productive and enjoy it.
I mean, how mAny individual creative action require to be online once you chose tools that don't require it?
The goal maybe shouldn't be to have a day of isolation and no enjoyment, but instead taking time to find enjoyment in different ways.
(Though, this raises the question - is there some woodsman out there who might take a vacation from hiking and outdoors-ing by hiding inside with a laptop and some videogames?)
"You don't need to “do nothing” or meditate during a dopamine fast (unless you’d like to). Just engage in regular activities that reflect your values:
- Health-Promoting (exercise, cooking)
- Leading (helping, serving others)
- Relating (talking, bonding over activities)
- Learning (reading, listening)
- Creating (writing, art)
If you want to seriously rebut the New York Times piece, find a serious article.
- Health-Promoting (exercise, cooking)
- Leading (helping, serving others)
- Relating (talking, bonding over activities)
- Learning (reading, listening)
- Creating (writing, art)"
It's been 38 days since I stopped smoking, and it seems that things are starting to improve. I'm able to work on my creative endeavors again in multiple short bursts. I've also massively cut down on porn consumption (from daily to biweekly on average, but trying to get rid of it all). As well as halved my newsmedia consumption (an avg of 10 hours a week down to 5, another thing I want to get close to zero).
I've been reading a lot more, mostly philosophy (stoicism, daoism), but also worked through some other self help books as well as some science fiction. Still playing lots of games but, Im using it as my support system for the time being. Eventually I want to get even games down to just a very select few titles.
It's am ongoing process, tempting to want to rid myself of everything but that would be setting myself up for failure, too overwhelming. Must ease into things. the benefits have been manifold, discipline, concentration, memory, emotional control have all improved, which cascade into fitness, eating better, getting work done, less procrastination, and my favorite: more time. Bill Burr said "a year sober is the longest year of your life" and it's true, the clock passes so much slower, which is great, life is starting to feel plentiful again.
Anyway, I digress. But what I did notice is that is all comes back to dopamine. Some activities seem to give it more sustainably, others supernormally. And by limiting supernormal stimuli, we should expect to see positive effects.
I'd recommend yoga in combination with weightlifting or HIIT training.
The "have to be fit to join" is a myth. You can go whatever your fit/fat levels are.
The mindset is "do what you can" and improve step by step.
If you're not already doing this, I'd like to suggest journaling this effort in detail. This will be an amazing journey to look back on. And in the mean time, when things are tough it's always nice to be able to see all your accomplishments thus far.
I made it about a month clean before I had a drink which pulled me back into everything else. I'm trying to clean up again. I want to re claim my attention and be able to mindfully focus my time on more productive and helpful things.
One day at a time, I guess.
* eat your normal breakfast while fasting from food
* engage in your normal lunch routines with friends while fasting from food
* have a hearty, family style dinner with your loved ones while fasting from food.
Why does this person require abuse of the term "fast"? Fast means to abstain, but the entire list includes point for point the opposite of "abstaining" from dopamine. Exercise releases dopamine. Learning and creativity release it. Helping others release it. It's not a fast, and anyone who calls it that is just lying (or abusing our language in a very doublespeak 1984 kind of way, "eating is fasting" kind of way)
This comes across as a ridiculous fad with better branding than substance.
Helping and serving others is not leading at all. And leading is not helping and serving others.
And while good leaders help on occasions, they are not serving not the bulk of that role does not consists of helping and serving.
To the rest of you: beware the PhD who insists that everyone call him "doctor". It's a huge red flag.
Is he being misleading?
For the record, I have all my clients call me Cam and only use the honorific online and when being introduced to speak. Step up and tell us your name, instead of being an anonymous coward.
Note that I neither defend the news media here, nor argue against news fasting. This particular study just isn't the final argument in the matter, in my opinion.
I just calculated it for this study: With an estimated small effect size (0.1), 95% confidence (α=0,05) und 1 degree of freedom you have guaranteed significance at n=197. Phase 2 of the study at hand had n=167, so almost guaranteed significance from the sample size alone.
The problem is that the confidence intervals are huge and their range covers the negative space, too. In other words: It is quite possible that a reproduction of the study would show negative results.
The original sin of the controversial title is what made it go viral, so it's the price to pay to get it to help more people.
Toxic Masculinity does not mean being male is toxic (i.e. harmful). It refers to specific ideas about what it means to be male or how men should act that are toxic. Like not sharing emotions other than violence, not asking for help, never admitting weakness, etc. If you think those things are silly and we shouldn't be doing them: great! But many people (especially men) hold onto these notions and that's what the term refers to.
If it is the case, it looks like an attempt by some groups to shame and to dictate men, who value those qualities, that they must adopt the views of those groups on the male character and behaviour - seen, as usually, as only acceptable and morally superior.
I thought toxic masculinity is more about seeing men superior to women, telling sexist jokes and remarks, expressing an explicit sexual interest to female colleagues, etc. Anyway, it is a misleading and confusing term in general.
I don't "hate men" either. I neither hate myself nor do I hate other men for being men. I do however hate that some people (including men) have very harmful ideas about what it means to be a man and that they mock and bully men and boys who don't conform to these ideas for "not being real men".
If I don't regularly exercise, I'll get burned out very quickly on some task I would have normally found fun previously. E.g. some highly-intense game like a competitive multiplayer shooter, or even a difficult programming challenge. Even interacting with other people can suck in this mode.
If I am regularly exercising (I.e. 30 minutes of cardio every day or better), I can carry through marathon sessions of gaming or coding with a smile on my face the entire time. My social tolerance levels are infinitely higher than without.
I still don't fully understand all of the biology behind this, but it seems that regular exercise is a great way to pay-forward the debt that is incurred when you stimulate your dopamine receptors. Maybe there is some relationship between exercise/sleep/dopamine/serotonin, because I find that regular exercise yields substantially deeper sleep, and when I wake up from this I feel like I want to engage in challenging tasks.
See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asceticism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vow_of_silence
>In many monasteries it is the custom to begin the "Great Silence" after Compline, during which the whole community, including guests, observes silence throughout the night until the morning service the next day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compline
This seems to be a scientifically proven and effective treatment which has proved benefits. But the name makes people have incorrect assumptions (and apparently also at least one practitioner). So it’s getting a lot of bad press.
All because of a bad name.
Anyways, knock the dopamine fasting practice all you want, I sure do xD. But it’s not a first world problem at its core, people have had these problems in much less active times in humans history and across different societal structures.
I'm currently traveling in Asia and it's jarring to see the number of people sitting idly, watching some random YouTube videos or Facebooking to pass the time.
Why is it jarring?
Yeah, $2k/yr's probably not an uncommon amount of cellphone-related spending in the US, I bet.
> [...] Dopamine Fasting is based on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the gold standard treatment for compulsive behaviors like internet addiction, which I train psychiatrists in as a Clinical Professor at UCSF Medical School. [...]
> [...] This has been a wonderful opportunity to teach people a behavioral therapy technique to manage specific problematic/addictive behaviors (like excessive internet/gaming) by purposefully withdrawing from them for periods of time at the end of each day, week, quarter, and year. [...]
Another quote I liked
> [...] The American Psychiatric Association, who publishes the DSM-V, the bible of psychiatric disorders, now recognizes internet gaming disorder as a condition when the behavior becomes truly problematic and impairs social/occupational functioning. [...]
The whole article is an informative read. Much more informative and factual than the one which is linked to (nytimes.com one). The latter is basically about these 2 persons and how they applied the principle to their life, according to their vision. But they exclude also IRL social contact, which Dr. Sepah actually recommends.
p.s. it is also a great non narcotic solution for pain relief, more effective than NSAIDs alone.
I'd say it can sometimes make you an asshole along many dimensions.
It has the same quality of mind emptying meditation that you can get from a Sam Harris workshop. It is fundamentally opposite from being on top of the world, having everything in order. It instead encourages you to clear out a valuable part of your life and society as if exiting downwards is productive.
The article is on point for current trends, clear the air to let in the water gods. It's predictable.
It seems like they might enjoy meditating?
Come on, that's just ridiculously pretentious no matter what your goals or intentions are.
I am sure - my impression from reading the article - these guys have already transcended meditation.
They must have accumulated a lot of negative karma to be on such a wheel of suffering.
"Yeah I'm doing JJ to really reset those D-P receptors, you know?"
> “I hadn’t seen her in six months, and it was extraordinarily exciting, super-stimulating, and I could feel how excited I was,” he said. “So I had to cut it off and I just said, ‘Listen, it’s not you, it’s me, doing this dopamine fast.’”
If this were on HBO's Silicon Valley, we would dismiss it as too over-the-top.
"My life is too good, I need to make it worse" but still be as self centered as possible.
God forbid someone does difficult volunteer work instead of this "dopamine fast".
Incidentally, why is it that so many people argue that wealth comes from doing things people value, but then support volunteer work? If it's the case that helping people makes money, all the people needing help should have entrepreneurs all over them, rather than hoping for unpaid volunteers. And why would people tend to become volunteers if continually told that virtue comes from measurably productive money making?
My tangent has nothing to do with you; not everything is to do with you.
It's all incredibly ridiculous. If this man were really on a "dopamine fast", the conversation still would have ended, but not in the same way.
It would have ended because he would be wiggling around on the floor and making noises like a dying cat. His basal ganglia, starved of dopamine, would not be able to make any of the neural connections they need to coordinate any of the muscle movements in his body, including the muscles needed for speech. This guy seems like he was more interested in informing this person that he was fasting than actually keeping his "fast".
This incident reminds me of the Desert Fathers, the early christian monks who lived in the desert in Egypt. They took fasting very seriously as a way of keeping their religious purity. Many of their parables caution against keeping your fast for show. Here's one:
"Once two brothers went to visit an old man. It was not the old man’s habit, however, to eat every day. When he saw the brothers, he welcomed them with joy, and said: “Fasting has its own reward, but if you eat for the sake of love, you satisfy two commandments, for you give up your own will and also fulfill the commandment to refresh others.”
From "The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks" https://www.amazon.com/Desert-Fathers-Sayings-Christian-Clas...
Don't listen to this garbage without talking to your doctor first.
This is absolutely safe. If you brain is healthy, it will produce the dopamine it needs either you want it or not. Abstaining from Facebook, or even abstaining from all activity and spending the day staring at a wall will not change that.
'Purity is not goodness, it is having clear and undistorted communication with all our levels of experience.'
'The teaching of purity and simplicity is therefore not an attempt to narrow down our life and experience, it is not a type of punishment, it does not invalidate our individuality neither does it bring special dispensations with it from God. It is nothing more or less than what is understood in scientific terms as a law of condition of nature which we must accept and work with because it is not within our ability to change. To be pure is not to be in fear of making mistakes which will make God angry with us and thus punish us. It is rather to eradicate from our attitudes the hesitations and suspicions which prevent us acting and experiencing with intensity and conviction.'
It isn't necessary to be formally religious to understand that the object of purity is to make the varying intensity of one's responses be truly integrated with the situations that one encounters, whether one is being attacked by a lion, at risk of ostracism, receiving good news, celebrating a birthday, etc.