When To Dopamine Detox & How Often Should You Do A Dopamine Fast?

dopamine dopamine desensitization dopamine detox dopamine fasting


This video is a short snippet from my online course Dopamine Focused Fasting

Wondering when to do a dopamine fast?

Or how often you should do a dopamine fast?

Or perhaps when to jump back on a dopamine fasting protocol?

Or maybe you are wondering what to do after a dopamine fast in order to keep the benefits you cultivated during the dopamine detox?

Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions today's content is for you.

When Should You Dopamine Detox And How Often?

You can do a serious, strict dopamine fast whenever you feel your brain really needs it, and then you can just allow yourself to do pretty much whatever you want in between.

Or then you can try to stay as healthy and as productive as possible in between your fasting protocol as well, to try to keep your dopamine system fresh as long as possible. So those two are kind of like the two opposite of the spectrum. And then you can obviously find something there in between those two as well.

Try to aim for a healthier lifestyle after your dopamine fast...

Now of course I'm not going to recommend that you spend the time in between your fasting protocols in complete hedonic decadence, of course not, since healthy living is always to be preferred. 

And also, if you have any addictions, or even if you have a so-called addictive personality, then you need to be careful flirting with instant gratification stuff. Especially activities that are close to, or highly related to, your core addiction.

That said, the reality is that most people are going to fall somewhere in the middle of these two on the spectrum. Even if they don’t really plan on it, simply because of the fact that we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with supernormal stimuli, in so many different forms. 

But with dopamine fasting it is possible to have the cookie and eat it too...

And also, it’s also important to know that just as long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying good things that the world has to offer. 

I personally love the idea of going hard and being super dopamine healthy for 12 weeks or so. Followed by a few weeks of vacation where I take a more relaxed approach to life.

Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s not like I’m going to jump into an unhealthy way of living, no, I will still keep enjoying my newfound drive and productivity as I keep working on my goals. But I will divide my year into periods where I’m super focused follow by a more relaxed, so-called 'vacation mode', where I allow myself to bring back some of the good things life has to offer. 

After a dopamine fast your brain will be more sensitive to dopamine (this is good)....

It is important to understand that, after you have done one of the fasting protocols, your dopamine system will be much more sensitive to dopamine again. 

This means that you will perceive almost every activity imaginable as more fun and exciting. And this is obviously also true with all those low value dopamine activities we tried to avoid during the fast.

Now, obviously most of you are going to want to explore this, and take advantage of the newfound sensitivity and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. 

You get more pleasure from all of your normal, day to day, activities...

So if you, for example, want to use one of the fasting protocols to get more enjoyment out of playing video games, after your fast is done, then hey, that’s totally possible. It is your life and your rules. 

Or if you want to use this course to get more excitement out of dating or meeting new people, then hey, go for it!

However, here comes the warning...

Avoid the temptation of using dopamine fasting in order to get more pleasure from your addictions...

If you for example have an alcohol addiction or a porn addiction, I would really stay away from the temptation to try to get “more pleasure out of your addiction” by resetting your dopamine system in between your binges. Because even though that might work, that's  a dangerous path to walk.

Studies have shown that so called intermittent relapses can create an even stronger addiction, so I would strongly recommend against doing that.

There are so many things that you can draw pleasure from in life, besides your addictions, so if you want to use the fasting protocols to get more pleasure out of instant gratification things, then please go for some of the ones that you’re not addicted to.

However, of course, at the end of the day it is still your life and your rules, but please consider my words carefully.

How often should you do dopamine fasting?

So, how often should you do these protocols and when should you jump back on a new protocol?

Well, since we now know that these protocols really can be used as tools for both your productivity, as well as your ability to feel excitement and pleasure, if we are a bit creative here then obviously the possibilities become almost endless. 

Let’s take a few examples...

Job interview...

Let’s say that you know that you are going to have a number of job interviews a month from now and you want to be extra sharp that week. Well, then it would not make that much sense to start a fasting protocol the week of your job interviews.

It would be better to start a fasting protocol that is coming up to and end that week, or that is still ongoing that week, but that you have been running well prior to it. As it takes a while for the brain to change its set point. The dopamine focused explorer could be a good protocol for this. Just as an example.

Important event...

I know I myself am definitely taking things like that into account, and for me it can be things like having an important trumpet gig coming up, 20 days from now, for example, and I want to be extra sharp for that.

Productivity period...

Or, if I don’t have anything special at all for a very long time, I’m still going to be doing some of the longer protocols in periods. And then I’m going to consider those periods the super productive parts of my year, as I already told you. Then I’m pretty sure I will always follow those periods with a few weeks of so-called 'vacation mood'. 

Speaking of vacation...

Going on a vacation...

Let’s say that you’re going to be traveling for 2 weeks to some amazing pacific island in March, and you want to do everything you can to really make that trip as pleasurable and memorable as possible. So you’d want to go into that trip with dopamine receptors highly sensitive to dopamine, but you don’t want to be spending several weeks for that...

...well, the dopamine focused apprentice would be perfect as 48 hours is enough to fine tune your dopamine system at least a bit. 

By doing a 48 hour dopamine fast before you leave, I guarantee that the trip will be even more amazing than it would otherwise be.

Post vacation reset...

And say you went a bit crazy during that trip, or during any vacation for that matter, and you would like to clean up a bit after your vacation, then you could do another apprentice protocol when you get back home.

The point is, there’s really no end to how much you can do with this. And I really would like to encourage you to keep dopamine fasting for the rest of your life, in periods…at least on some level. Just as long as you don’t feel that you’re pushing too hard and too often. 

Keep using it as a tool and keep it there on some level going on and off, and on and off, and then be smart about when to use what protocol and so on.

And remember, there’s really nothing stopping you from combining any of the protocols. And modifying and changing things around is also something you’re going to get better at with time, simply because you’ll learn to know yourself and your dopamine system better.

You can read more about the Dopamine Fasting course right here.

-Scandinavian Bob

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