[DAY 68] Dopamine Detox

This is a scheduled post. I have never done this before, and I really, really hope it will get published as expected, because I want to keep my streak. 🙂 Over the past week, I ran one mile, as opposed to 9 miles written on the plan. I biked 60 minutes instead of 85 minutes as I self-promised. I have not done many things and done a lot of things I don’t want to: watch 爸爸我们去哪儿, read Chinese comics without putting effort into learn the words, and spend slightly more time worrying about the future. I also noticed that as I watch Youtube constantly, I found it less enjoyable to read and run. I believe there is a strong correlation between these activities, and yes there really is.

I came across a video I watched a long time ago. It’s about dopamine, a chemical released when we do fun and exciting things, and how our brain releases different amount of dopamine when we do certain activities. For example, watching Youtube videos or playing games are easy but fun, and while we do those, dopamine level is high compared to when we read or study. As a result, it is hard for most people to focus on reading a book or doing exercising because it’s really just not as fun. Thus, a good way to get out of the craving cycle for this chemical is to do a dopamine detox, by turning away from our phones, laptop, and all things that we believe to add little value in our lives but are addictive. For 24 hours, one can only write, drink water, and go on walks. (There are more I can’t remember.) Dopamine detox doesn’t sound at all interesting, huh?

But I’m going to that, tomorrow. That’s why I schedule this post for the day, because I don’t want to fight the urge to go write a blog without being tempted to listen to music or check what my friends text me. Even though I am highly disciplined, I admit it’s the hardest thing ever to do what I know is good in the long run. So there, let’s see how it goes. I half expect tomorrow to be a normal day, half wish for something quite out of the ordinary. It’s like how addicts feel: you know drugs and alcohol aren’t good stuff but you keep doing it. You know you love your family but you prefer your harmful activities. My case is not so extreme, but I want to again fall in love with running, with reading, with learning a bunch of stuff and doing all sorts of productive things. I’ll update on this soon. 🙂

Published by Thi Le


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