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Can You Take the "Dopamine Fast" Challenge?

Discussion in 'General Mindset, Motivation, Beliefs' started by Disciple96, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. Disciple96
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    Disciple96 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Here is a short video on dopamine fasting; What it is, how it's done, and why you should take the challenge.



    For those who can't watch the video, here's the long and short of it:

    Just like drugs stimulate a dopamine release (the "pleasure" or "reward" chemical in our brains), so too will a variety of other stimuli, e.g. social media, YouTube, TV, sex/masturbation, eating carbs/sugar, listening to music, playing games, reading (action-faking), etc.

    The idea behind the "dopamine fast" is just what it sounds like - for 24 hours you will not do anything except for self-reflection, writing down your thoughts/goals, and going for a walk outside.

    Even eating is forbidden, although if you absolutely must eat, stick with only one high-fat/moderate-protein meal for lunch, something very basic, like steak & eggs.

    This will unearth your innermost thoughts, thoughts you might usually drown out with a quick fix of dopamine.

    Our brains are super lazy. They want instant gratification, and in our modern world we are drowning in sources of it.

    These sources of instant gratification cover up what we really feel, deep down.

    By removing all of these sources of dopamine, you will be better able to understand what it is you're really feeling underneath it all.

    Since New Years' is coming up, *Hardmode* is completing the dopamine fast challenge on New Years' Eve, while everyone else is out partying and having fun.

    If you accept the challenge, please comment that you do, and we will all update this thread with our results and how it affected us.

    Thanks for reading!

    The Challenge:
    *Full 24 hour commitment, from waking up to falling asleep (~16-17 waking hours)
    *Goal is to have as little fun as possible
    *No food or drink, except water
    *No phone, except emergencies
    *No internet
    *No watching videos
    *No sex/masturbation
    *No substances/drugs (of ANY kind)
    *No games, music, or reading of any kind
    *No talking to friends/family, except emergencies or for urgent work-related matters

    HARDMODE: Complete the challenge on New Years' Eve

    What is allowed:
    *Self-reflection
    *Going for a walk outside
    *Writing


    Goal of the fast:
    Remove all distracting pleasurable activities and force your mind to unearth any inner pains.

    Spend a few hours with these writing prompts:
    *Do I feel any discomfort today, emotionally or physically? Describe the discomforts you are feeling.
    *What actions have I been taking to cause these discomforts?
    *What actions can I take tomorrow to fix them?
    *What would my life be like in a few years if I fully commit to taking these actions to remove these sources of discomfort? (Be as descriptive as possible)

    Don't feel like you have to share your responses to these prompts with the community, these are purely for yourself. Please feel free to share your general experiences.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
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  2. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
     
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  3. Raoul Duke
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    I don't know man. I still need to do my daily HITS for (0.03) a day! Sorry, I'll have to bow out on this challenge. Maybe next time!
     
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  4. BookwormMitch
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    I didn’t watch the video but I’d like to try this in the new year so I’m just posting to remind myself. I’ll do it around the 10th, maybe for a couple days if I feel one wasn’t enough.
     
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  5. MashaN
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    I would like to do it.
    Do you think it would be double if you work half of the day (5-6 hours) while doing it? Not a lot of stimulation for the brain at my job. Or is the idea to have the whole day off for this?
     
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  6. Disciple96
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    The spirit of the challenge is to have a full day to yourself and your thoughts. So the idea is to set aside a full day to commit to the fast.

    I should have mentioned, talking on the phone/at length in person is off the table. Conversation, while fun, also gives us that shot of dopamine.

    To reiterate, the *only* thing you should be doing during the dopamine fast is reflecting, writing your thoughts/goals, and walking around, getting some fresh air.

    Of course, there are no real "rules" to the duration of the fast in general, but in the context of this challenge it is a full 24 hours of fasting with (ideally) no interruptions, including work or play (except sleep, obviously!)

    Edit: I updated the OP with some cliff notes from the video.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  7. Chx
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    I'm going to do this tomorrow, will post results the day after.
     
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  8. MashaN
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    I think I can work out at least 20 hours for this.
    Do you want to pick a day? Do the challenge on the same day?
    Challenges done in the group at the same time usually have less probabilities of quiting. Nobody wants to be "that guy/gal" :smuggy:
     
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  9. Disciple96
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    Personally, I'm going for hardmode, but I encourage everyone to take whatever day suits them best. We all have different schedules, after all!

    I like the group idea. We can do one for New Years' Eve 2019.
     
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  10. MashaN
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    I thought about every possible way I could avoid talking to anyone on the New Year's Eve.. don't think it's possible.
    Well I'm gonna try to do it before 2019 then, and we can share how it went in the New Year.
     
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  11. whiz
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    whiz Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Made me laugh out loud - just came here from that shithole of a thread lol
     
  12. KLaw
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    I
    Im not sure I agree with this. The items stated that are allowable during the fast....thinking, writing your thoughts/goals, or going for a walk outside... release dopamine as well. Right?
     
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  13. whiz
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    Ever since I quit video games, TV, and cigarettes, my brain re-routed that dopamine into the shit I replaced it with.

    So now, working on projects feels like video games...

    Writing on a yellowpad feels like TV...

    etc...

    And exercise (more specifically: physical activity) is 100% the best shit in the world. Both lifting, running, and martial arts (I do BJJ and Muay Thai now) - and sex

    If you're an adult, your dopamine patterns are pretty much set for you - but you can change the "triggers"

    Anytime you're gonna turn on the Xbox or whatever, just grab a book instead...

    If you have a hard time reading at first, just watch some videos. Good videos on marketing, consumer psychology, biz management, etc.

    Then work your way into reading, and then work your way into action-faking

    Then cut the fat, kill the action-faking and just go straight for the action (Pareto Principle)

    Try some shit, fail at some shit, repeat until something works out enough to generate enough income to have a little security

    Then take bigger risks, make more $ to have more security

    Then flip that $ to take EVEN BIGGER risks, repeat until desired results

    ---

    If I wasn't a logical person, I would be sick to my stomach when I think of how many hours I "wasted" on bullshit dopamine hits. I had over 500 days played on World of Warcraft. That's 12,000 hours of time logged in.

    Following the 10,000 Hour Rule, I'm an expert. Yay... I feel so accomplished.

    If I put those 10k into ANYTHING, I'd be an absolute monster.

    I could be one of the best in the world at ANYTHING lol.

    But whatever. Maybe in another dimension. But I don't feel too bad in this one either.

    Because although I'm not still playing video games, I retain the addictive, insane, Mountain Dew-fueled ability to stay focused on something for 18 hours straight if I want to.

    So now spending 70 hours a week working isn't shit... I used to do 100+ hour weeks on WoW lol.

    It is ridiculously easy for me to grind after I did it on autopilot for so damn long.

    The hard part is developing a proper plan where the grind has a chance to pay off big time.

    But when I get going, this shit is easy, because I just channel that dopamine pattern into work.

    ---

    Maybe that was off topic, but I swear I had a point... whatever.

    EDIT - I REMEMBERED MY POINT: my point was that even if you F*ck up your dopaminergic patterns, you can transmute your negatives into positives. The same goes for anything really - it's all about mindset

    Just cut out all the bullshit time-sinkers in your life. You don't want to be 5 years older with nothing to show for it except Fortnite stats or whatever...

    There's nothing wrong with relaxing and/or having fun, but MAKE SURE YOU EARNED IT.

    If your default state is to just please yourself for doing nothing, than you're being a horrible captain of your own ship... Take control. Train your brain. Reward yourself for doing good.

    You just booked your first client at $800/mo? Great! If you wanna drink, go have a couple drinks.

    But get working tomorrow.

    You wanna masturbate? Ok - but make sure you complete your work before you bust out the Kleenex and Jergen's

    I don't see anything wrong with dopamine immersion if it is used to train your brain.

    Just DO NOT watch a movie when you haven't done SHIT all day.

    DO NOT hang out with your friends if you haven't done SHIT all day.

    DO NOT jerk off if you haven't talked to a girl in a week.

    etc.

    Basically, DO NOT reward yourself at times where you shouldn't be rewarded. Think about dogs.

    What would happen if you gave your dog a treat everytime they did something BAD? What would happen if you gave them a treat everytime they pissed on the floor or tore up the garbage bag?

    You'd have a shitty dog, that's what would happen.

    Now think about what happens when you fire up Netflix when you haven't done SHIT to advance yourself in life? Your brain will be like "Ok, I'm doing good!"

    Stop being so silly - take yourself more seriously. Train ya brain.

    P.S. Not proud of working so many hours in a week - it's also not advisable - you're probably being really inefficient

    But I'm just saying that if you can take all the time you spend on bullshit and funnel it into productive stuff, you're gonna thank yourself big time. Maybe not tomorrow or today, but you will thank yourself
     
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  14. whiz
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    Thinking releases dopamine. It's almost impossible to "fast" dopamine.

    A better term would be "greatly lower" dopamine.

    I think it's mainly about shit that is wayyyy too overstimulating at times (video games, junk food, sugar, TV, browsing reddit popular page, etc)
     
  15. Disciple96
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    Well, let me know when you figure out how to stop thinking, from a Buddhist perspective that is of great interest to me :p

    Writing your thoughts is part of the goal of this challenge.

    As for going for a walk, well I peppered that in there for variety's sake. I find walking greatly helps me in self-reflection.

    Have you ever noticed when you're in motion, like going for a drive or a walk, creative thoughts spring to your head with ease? But when you stop moving, they seem to evaporate? That is why I include walking around outside. It is very simple, yet highly effective at channeling those inner thoughts and giving them clarity. Which is a useful thing when it comes to this challenge!

    But by all means, you can be as restrictive as you'd like! If you think you can do an extreme version where you're literally meditating for 16 hours straight, I'd love to hear your experience!
     
  16. Disciple96
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    Damn, thank you for the post. Truer words have never been written. Hit the nail on the head with my motivation for taking on this challenge.

    It's not as if I expect to completely remove dopamine from my brain, but just like you said, just to greatly lower the dopamine I'm receiving from external sources for a short time to understand what's going on at a deeper level, to improve my processes and optimize my working habits.

    More importantly, identifying how these dopamine shots affect me, so I can understand how detrimental they really are.

    I think rewarding yourself for hard work is important. If we never rewarded ourselves for busting butt, man, that's a life I don't want to live.

    But, the important thing is to bust your butt *first*, and reward yourself after.

    It's a balancing act for sure, yet it really needs to be unbalanced in favor of working hard. If it's unbalanced in favor of having fun, well I think we've all been there! It's not hard to have fun - but those things that are fun just cease to entertain us if we don't put ourselves through some trials and tribulations to make them feel earned. Regardless of what they are. It's
     
  17. RazorCut
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    Yes, taking a long walk in nature is brilliant for clarity and mental focus but it is also an excellent way of releasing dopamine as time spent in sunlight correlates directly with serotonin and dopamine synthesis.

    I think I'll skip this challenge. I'm already fasting 22 hours a day so no food, just water wouldn't be a problem.
    I'm living life like a monk at the moment (self imposed) so don't think I'd gain that much benefit. lol

    As an aside I have never had anyone compliment me on the fact that my watch strap matched my belt and shoes. He really needs to work on his watch selling abilities.
     
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  18. MashaN
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    Was my thought exactly: "does that happen to guys a lot.?" :rofl:

    Do you ever sneak in a black coffee in your fast? Personal curiosity.
     
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  19. Timmy C
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    I will struggle with this but I'm going to do it. I can see it being beneficial.

    Edited.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
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  20. MashaN
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    Good luck. Post how it went after.
    Doing it tomorrow as well. Can't do full 24 hours, unfortunately. About 18-20 hours is a good start.
     
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  21. RazorCut
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    Well I guess if your belt, shoes and watch strap were yellow with black polka dots and you wore them with shorts and a tee shirt you'd probably get a lot of comments. ;)

    Yes I have black coffee at 5:30am and again at 12 noon and a couple of pints of carbonated spring water in between. I'm on a Keto OMAD diet so I could take cream in my coffee without it kicking me out of Keto but usually I don't.

    Having said that I took 3 days off at Christmas so this is the first day back. It made me feel rotten in comparison and I couldn't wait to get back to (ab)-normal. :rofl:

    It did make me wonder if what I was feeling was what I normally felt like before I discovered Intermittent Fasting.
     
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  22. MashaN
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    I'm sensing a new product line here lol

    Sounds very much like my eating routine. Although, OMAD didn't stick for me. Rather 16-8 Intermittent Fasting and 21 hours fast once a week.

    How long have you been OMADing for?

    I often wonder that myself, when I look back at pre-Intermittent Fasting days. However, it's difficult to separate physical from emotional when looking back, especially when relying on your own memory only.
    Example: before I discovered IF, I had an 'okay' diet - 3 meals a day, somewhat balanced. However, some other things in my life brought a lot of mental suffering that contributed negatively to my emotional state.
    Once I started practicing IF, things were much different for me in other areas of life too. I found a purpose and I started working proactively towards my entrepreneurial goals.
    So, it's difficult to run the exact analysis on this, cause we all know that one person who has the worst diet on the planet but always the happiest person in the room :rofl:
     
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  23. Disciple96
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    Updated OP for clarity:

    24h does NOT mean you must stay awake for the full 24 hours. The 24h includes your 7-8 hours of sleep. Get good rest before and after your fast!
     
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  24. MashaN
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    Of course.
     
  25. RazorCut
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    Just a couple of months. I started on 16/8 then found that easy so went on to OMAD a few weeks later. Then I thought I may as well make my one meal a day Keto friendly as that way I wouldn't bounce out of Ketosis. It's taken a bit of experimentation to balance the fat intake so I still lose weight but have it sorted now.

    I find that not having to worry about eating during the day and the extra mental clarity you get from IF has proved very beneficial. Also aches and pains are certainly less intense with IF and a whole host of benefits.

    I did think that as I had eaten several times a day for the last 3 days that going without food for 22 hours today might be difficult but it's like the last 3 days never existed. Very strange.
     
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