Why are you so stuck to the phone? Why can't you get off your bed and do your homework? Why can't you get up at 6 AM to go for a run? Why are you addicted to drugs? Why are you sleeping late at night? I am not accusing you of any of the following questions, but you are probably guilty of one of the following. If not, then keep it up and stay on top of it... But if so, please keep reading...
Building great habits is not a very simple and easy task, as you may think. You can't just continually get up at 5 AM all of a sudden and consistently maintain this rigorous schedule. It requires a tremendous amount of effort and determination. Give it a try... Get up at 5 AM for a week and see how many times you can wake up... Now imagine repeating that for a year. Easy? No... Possible? Yes...
Now, why is it so hard? Well, it is because of an enzyme called Dopamine, an enzyme that triggers happiness, pleasure, and satisfaction in the human brain. (Released during pleasurable activities such as eating, sexual interaction, drugs, etc.) Just like drinking, a person who consistently gets drunk every night will become very tolerant of alcohol. In contrast, a person who drinks once a week will continue to have a very low tolerance. This applies very similarly to Dopamine, as dopamine tolerance is the ability to process and the amount of Dopamine an individual is regularly exposed to. Thus, someone who executes activities that release a significant amount of Dopamine regularly will struggle in completing tasks that are much more productive and release a lower amount of Dopamine. This is the evidence behind addictions such as drug, alcohol, sex, etc., and why it is very challenging to bring addictions to a halt. If done incorrectly, this could trigger even worse addictions and have horrible side effects. Drug users know the impact of the drug on their bodies, but due to the amount of Dopamine they are used to, they risk their lives to meet their dopamine needs.
Of course, getting up at 5 AM and learning to control your phone usage is a much less serious matter, but the approach is very similar.
Now productive and healthy tasks do release dopamine. Every activity does, but the only difference is the amount of Dopamine. After a challenging workout, people can relate how amazing of a feeling you experience. After getting your homework done, you feel like a burden is lifted off your shoulder... If we can lower our dopamine tolerance to a certain level, activities such as reading, working out, eating healthy, and doing your homework become very easy.
SOLUTION: DOPAMINE DETOX
Dopamine detox is a strategy to lower your dopamine tolerance to execute tasks that are very productive and healthy.
Pick a day in a week, week in a month, etc. where you proceed with the following steps
Avoid high releasing dopamine activities
Incorporate low-dopamine releasing activities.
DONT: Do not, I emphasize, just completely stop all activities that you enjoy doing (Release Dopamine, such as eating unhealthy, watching television, playing video games, etc.) This can result in even worse habits, as your body is physically and mentally unable to go without a certain level of dopamine for a certain amount of time.
DO: Slowly ease into this strategy and find what periods and cycles work for you. What amount of a certain activity you proceed with.
As you slowly ease into this cycle and start seeing these tasks as easy and habitual, change the cycle accordingly and even the amount of time you do a certain activity to make it more challenging and fitting. This means you dopamine tolerance is getting lower and lower.
Slowly and surely you will be performing productive tasks with ease and very willingly.
DOPAMINE DETOX: Start Now to build good habits