DOPAMINE DETOX (Fix Your Brain Forever)
In this video, we’re talking about the power of a dopamine detox & how to program your brain for success. You’ve likely heard about the dopamine detox from people like Iman Gadhzi, Andrew Kirby, Niklas Christl, or Hamza but in this dopamine detox video, we’re diving deep into the effects of dopamine addiction, dopamine detox benefits & how to do a dopamine fast in a way that will feel the benefits of a dopamine detox lifestyle.
In the first part of the video, we focus on the harmful effects of dopamine addiction, the science of dopamine fasting and why a dopamine detox is absolutely essential if you want to feel the benefits of dopamine fasting.
In the second part of the video, we dive deep into how to do a dopamine detox. We’ll explore my favorite strategy for a dopamine detox. The hard reset. And I give you practical tips on how to get started to perform a dopamine detox in the shortest time possible with the biggest impact. Whether you’re looking to improve your productivity, reduce stress, or feel more balanced and centered, a dopamine detox will help you with all of it. By the end of the video, you’ll know why a dopamine detox is important, you’ll be motivated to try it and you’ll know exactly how to do it.
DOPAMINE DETOX – How to Program Your Brain For Success
If you want to be in the top 3% of the most successful people on the planet, you absolutely need to watch this video. Because there’s something that’s absolutely killing your chances, it’s affecting your focus. It’s crippling your motivation, and it’s ruining your ability to think clearly. That problem is overstimulation. I’m not a gambler, but unless you can tackle this, I would absolutely bet money on you being in the exact same place 5 years from now. If what I say annoys you, you need to watch this video to the end because I’m going to help you completely overcome the overstimulation problem to achieve your goals.
Question. Why is it so hard for us to stay motivated and focused without getting distracted by social media, Reddit, porn, YouTube, and video games? In my research for this video, I found a book that blew my mind. It’s a book called Dopamine Nation by Psychiatrist Dr. Anne Lemke. In the book, Lemke argues that the modern world is turning everyone into addicts. People are hooked, not on alcohol or drugs (that too), but on a very addictive chemical called Dopamine.
Listen to this next bit because it’s extremely important. To understand why our motivation and focus are screwed, we need to understand what Dopamine is and why it’s absolutely essential. Dopamine is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that helps us feel motivated. When we do things we enjoy, like playing Destiny 2 or eating a juicy steak, our brain releases dopamine, and we feel good. This effect is called the dopamine-reward feedback loop. But here’s the interesting thing about Dopamine.
If we do too much of any dopamine-releasing activity, our brain becomes desensitized, and we need more of that activity to trigger the same effect. This is what gets you addicted and makes it impossible to focus on tasks that aren’t as interesting (like writing this YouTube script, for example). You’ve trained your dopamine-addicted brain to say, “screw this book. Let’s load up Pornhub or play Zelda instead,” and over time, the urge becomes too strong to resist. Addiction is created, and this is the vicious cycle everyone’s trapped in.
It’s almost impossible to make any decent progress when you’re hooked on these spikes of dopamine that destroy your ability to focus. We’re humans who evolved to hunt, build, forage, and explore the world. That’s what our brain is wired for. But that system has been hijacked completely, and that’s why you’re stuck where you are — hijacked by who and what for? This is where things get dark, turn the video off at 1.5x speed and listen to me carefully because you need to understand this next part.
Something is terrifying they don’t want you to know. Almost every company in our society takes advantage of this dopamine reward system in our brains to release as much dopamine as possible and keep us coming back for more. This is why the most popular video games have a ranking and reward system that keeps hitting you with dopamine surges with every new level. This is why social media platforms switched to an algorithm-based feed.
The algorithm knows the content that triggers the biggest dopamine spikes in your specific brain, and then it feeds it to you. This is also why the type of porn you watch can get more and more extreme just to keep the dopamine flowing. You’re an addict, and it isn’t your fault. Everyone is. But as my granddad Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, it’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. It might shock you, but he’s not my grandad.
You’ve probably figured this out by now, but the modern world is an environment absolutely packed with hyperstimulating, dopamine-triggering stuff. And it kills your potential. Let me prove it to you with a little story about John. John’s a software developer who just started building an affiliate marketing business on the side. He wants to leave his job, build his business and earn his freedom. He’s been successfully carving out a couple of hours a day for it, and he has the time because he’s not a big social media user. He only uses Instagram occasionally to network.
Until one day, a video appeared that caught his eye. It was a meme video that made him laugh. He didn’t know Instagram had decent videos like that, so he started watching more of them. As time went on, John found himself spending more and more time watching Instagram videos. He would spend hours scrolling through his feed. Every time he loaded up Instagram, he’d be pulled into watching another few videos. Sometimes he’d put his phone down to find that he’d been watching for an hour or two. After a while, he couldn’t resist the urge to keep watching.
John didn’t know it, but his brain was being flooded with dopamine every time he loaded up another Instagram video. The more he watched, the more his brain craved dopamine. He’d become addicted to the constant stimulation of Instagram videos, making it impossible to focus on his work. When he sat down to work on his business, he started feeling this anxious, jittery feeling like he’d had too much coffee. John’s progress in his business died.
This is what hyperstimulation and a dopamine-addiction do. It makes it impossible for you to focus. It trains your brain to only respond to meaningless and pointless content. And it cripples your motivation by turning you into a hamster on a wheel, constantly craving that next dopamine hit that your work will never satisfy.
So now we’ve blown the lid off. How do we reverse this process and get our brains back? How do we take back control of our lives and say a big F YOU to the companies that are making money off of making us addicts? How do you become a part of the 3% who create things instead of being just another passive consumer?
I’ve got a solution. I need to warn you, though. Your dopamine-addicted brain won’t like it in the beginning but it’s going to completely change your life. And it won’t take long. This is just gonna be 7 days. It’s called a dopamine detox. Dopamine detox (otherwise known as dopamine fasting) is a term first coined by Dr. Cameron Sepah, a Harvard psychiatrist from California. What is a dopamine detox? A dopamine detox is where you fast from dopamine-releasing activities for a set period of time.
This will allow your brain’s sensitivity to dopamine to reset back to normal baseline levels. It will take a bit of time, but eventually, your brain will stop craving hyperstimulating sources of dopamine like social media or your smartphone. As it does this, it’ll start getting hits of dopamine from normal activities that actually help you achieve your goals, like writing, reading, or even just sitting there thinking about a problem you have. Basically, hard things will become much easier and more pleasurable.
Your work will become interesting again. You’ll be more able to focus and perform deep creative work that will give you the biggest results in your life. Also, you’ll become more present and able to enjoy things. For example, can you imagine eating plain rice for a year and then eating a piece of chocolate cake? You’d probably go crazy with pleasure. This is the kind of effect we’re looking for with the dopamine detox but don’t worry. You’re not just gonna eat plain rice.
Although there is a diet called the Potato Diet that people are using to reset their dopamine when it comes to food, you can explore that on your own. So exactly how do we do a dopamine detox? We’re going with a system that I call a “hard reset.” It’s high impact in a short amount of time, and it absolutely works. For 7 days you’re gonna follow a set of strict rules, which I’m going to explain now…
Rule #1 – Break up with your phone
The first rule involves something that will change your life if you take it seriously. Pretty much everyone is a smartphone zombie right now. But not you. Not anymore. You’re going to reclaim your focus by killing the thing that drains it the most. Your smartphone. You’re going to break up with it. Now, because we’re just doing 7 days, we can be quite radical in our options. There are two options you can choose from here.
Option 1 involves switching out your smartphone for a dumb phone. Buy a cheap Nokia 105, which should only cost like 10 bucks or something. Do not use your smartphone AT ALL for the full duration of the reset. Now you might be thinking, “Dylan, I need my phone for work,” but I ask you to challenge that. Do you REALLY need your phone for the things you think you do? Will you die without google maps or Ubereats?
Or is this just the addiction talking? Now, assuming you’ve answered honestly and actually do need your phone, we’re gonna make some big changes to the way you use it. Firstly, you’re going to delete all of your apps that distract you. Social media apps. Games. Definitely games. While we’re on the topic, if you’re looking to be successful and you refuse to delete games from your phone, I’m placing another bet.
Next, once you’ve deleted all the useless distracting apps, there’s another super important step. But let me ask you something important: isn’t it insane that your phone has successfully trained you like a dog? You hear a bell or a ding and come running for a little dopamine hit. It’s crazy. You should use your phone. Not the other way around. That’s why we’re shutting it up. We’re turning off all notifications. Yes, ALL notifications are gone.
Lastly, have you ever wondered why a lot of apps use the color red? Check your phone now if you don’t believe me. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Why? It’s an intentional choice by developers because the color red triggers something in our brains to pay attention. That’s right – even the color on your phone is intentionally designed to get your attention. That’s why we’re taking a tip from the amazing book Atomic Habits by James Clear and making your bad habit (in this case, your phone) boring.
We’re turning it to grayscale. On an iPhone, you can find the grayscale option by going to Settings – Accessibility – Display & Text Size and then Color Filters, where you’ll see the grayscale option. On Android, go to Settings > Accessibility > Colour and display, then choose greyscale > Toggle color correction on. Easy.
Rule #2 – No social media (if you work then only 30 minutes a day)
We all know that non-stop social media use destroys your productivity. But for a moment, let’s dive into how social media hooks your dopamine-reward system. Pay attention because when you understand this, you’ll want to delete your accounts pretty much immediately. What keeps a user coming back to a social media platform like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook are likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.
When you check your phone and get one of these reactions, your brain gets a flood of dopamine. It feels wonderful, but it also makes us want to check our social media accounts more often to get that same feeling. The problem is – it’s extremely addictive. Potentially more than alcohol or food. Why? Because of a weird mechanism in the brain called “intermittent reinforcement,” Let me explain with a little thought experiment. Let’s say I wanted to get you addicted to pressing a button. What I would do is put you in a room with a button that gives you cake.
Now you might think that to get you addicted, I would give you cake every time you pressed the button. Not at all. What I would do is carefully engineer the system so that roughly 1 out of every 5 button presses give you cake. The fact that a reward appears randomly will keep your brain way more engaged and addicted to the button than if a reward appeared every time. That might sound insane but this is what researchers discovered when they ran a series of experiments on rats.
They found that rats pressed the button more frequently and for a longer period of time when a treat came intermittently. This is intermittent or partial reinforcement. It’s why casinos have slot machines that are so addictive. It’s the same effect. But what else does this remind you of? Every time you refresh Instagram, aren’t you spinning that roulette wheel, too?
You’re like that rat pressing a button, hoping for a treat. Except your treat is a like or a comment. Social media has addiction built right into it. So for this 7 day hard reset, it has to go. There’s a small caveat, though. If you need social media for work, only allow yourself 30 minutes per day. You might even find that it’s all you need and the rest was just wasted time anyway.
Rule #3 – No video games
Video games are one of the strongest sources of hyperstimulation you can find. There’s a reason you can spend hours on a video game but only 15 – 20 minutes on something challenging. But it isn’t just focus it kills. It’s your creativity and ability to solve complex problems. Have you ever noticed that when you get really into a video game when you stop playing, you still end up thinking about the game as you go about your day? This is the crazy part.
Instead of solving problems and being creative in ways that matter in the real world, your brain is stuck figuring out how to progress in the game world. It’s completely wasted mental energy that could be spent on other, more meaningful things. That’s why games have got to go. Unplug your console. Log out of all accounts and do not allow yourself to log back in for the full duration of the reset. You might find that 7 days isn’t enough. Commonly, life starts feeling good again, and you don’t need to escape as much. Maybe you won’t even want to go back, which can only be a good thing.
Rule #4 – No porn
Have you ever heard of the Coolidge effect? It’s a pretty crazy phenomenon that describes how males can become sexually exhausted after having sex with the same partner repeatedly. However, if they’re introduced to a new partner, sexual interest comes back again. If you ate your favorite food every day for a week, you’d eventually get tired of it. But if someone offered you a new and exciting dish, you might suddenly feel hungry again.
This effect is driven by (you guessed it) the brain’s dopamine system, which responds to new sexual stimuli with a rush of pleasure and motivation. Our sexuality is linked to our dopamine reward system because survival is the number 1 motivation for us as humans. And it’s also why porn can become so addictive. We become desensitized and need to look for new types of stimulation to get the same effect. This is why porn is gone for our 7-day reset. You’ll thank me later.
Rule #5 – Replace it all for reading, meditating, writing, walking, working.
At this point, you might be thinking, “Jesus Dylan, I’m not trying to be a monk,” and to that, I would say…Yes. Yes, you are. A modern monk. But I admit that just giving you a massive list of stuff you can’t do is just unsustainable. We can’t just take things away without thinking about how we’re gonna replace them. These dopamine-releasing activities were giving you something. What we want to do is scratch a similar itch but in a way that helps you create the life you want to live and become the kind of person you want to become.
This is why I want you to create a list of approved stuff you can do during the 7 days. If you don’t have it written down in times of emergency, you’ll be more tempted to back out of the challenge when it gets tough. I recommend picking a decent book. Fiction or nonfiction. Doesn’t matter. Just reading anything will do. I also recommend meditation because it’s gonna help you handle the cravings when they come (and they will). You could also try writing, walking, drawing, playing an instrument, and working with a deeper focus than you usually do. You’ll have a lot more time on your hands, so plan ahead how you’re gonna use it wisely.
BONUS – Set yourself a meaningful goal for the 7 days
This next thing isn’t so much a rule. It’s more of a question I want you to ask yourself. It’s deep, but it’s important. The question is this – When was the last time you did something you were really proud of? And a follow-up question, if you could achieve something you were proud of in the next 7 days, what would it be? Seriously. Think about it. Most of us waste so much time that it’s pretty much inconceivable that we could achieve something big in just a week. But you can. When you free up your time, your focus, and your energy – you’ll be able to do things you couldn’t before. You’ll be like a newer and better version of yourself.
What I suggest is this, think of one goal you want to focus on for this 7 day hard reset. It could be learning to play a song on the guitar or writing a 5000-word article on a topic you love. Reading a book you’ve been procrastinating on. Whatever it is, pick something where if you completed it, you’d be proud of yourself for it because the world is full of cheap dopamine. But ultimately, when all is said and done, absolutely none of it can compare to the feeling you get when you set a goal that’s important to you, go through the challenges, and come through the other side.
So with that in mind, good luck on your 7 day reset, and tell us all about what you’re gonna do by posting a comment below. And listen, if you’re interested in how I personally make money online, check out the free training in the description below this video. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, I reply to all of my subscribers, so make sure you subscribe. Next, check out this video you see on the screen to go deeper, and I’ll see you in the next video…