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“Dopamine fasting”: what Silicon Valley is doing to improve quality of life

James Sinka is one of the many people in the world’s technology center who are adopting dopamine fasting for their lives. It’s the latest trend in this neighborhood of the future, which is also known for creating wellness initiatives. But what does this novel fasting consist of? Below, we are going to explain it very well, maybe it can be one of the resolutions that you should start putting into practice in this new year that is beginning.

So, dopamine fasting consists of abstaining from as many external stimuli as possible. Sinka, for example, stops eating and only drinks water to avoid dehydration, ignores her cell phone, computer, television and even avoids interacting with people at all costs.

Sinka says that days before her fast, she tells friends and family the following:

“I’m booking November 17 for a dopamine fast, sorry, you won’t hear from me. It’s not that I don’t love them, it’s that I have to do this for myself.”

Dopamine fasting: a very restrictive practice, but really worthwhile

To begin with, dopamine is a neurotransmitter directly related to the motivations we feel to do things. It is also known colloquially as the “pleasure chemical”.

According to Joshua Berke, professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of California:

Dopamine release can be triggered by a variety of external stimuli, especially salient and unexpected events. These can vary and range from sudden unpleasant noises to stimuli that, through previous experience, have been associated with reward.”

For their part, promoters of dopamine fasting claim that humans become overstimulated by the dopamine “hits” provided by social networks, food and technology.

For this reason, they claim that by avoiding these overstimulants, dopamine in our brain can be considerably reduced. After fasting, as we re-engage with these stimulants, they are more enjoyable and our lives improve.

Sinka adds that quick “hits” make us:

“You numb yourself in the same way as someone who uses cocaine and develops a tolerance. But with fasting, you try to undo that developed tolerance, so you can look at things with a different perspective and reevaluate.”

Sinka says that, every three months, he sets aside a day in his busy schedule to do his dopamine fast. Therefore, he does not listen to music, does not use electronic devices and avoids artificial light. In addition, he does not talk to anyone, stops eating and dispenses with supplements and drugs.

So are you up for your dopamine fast?

You can also read: Humans in the year 3000: What they would look like due to excessive use of electronic devices