While many of us are on a quest for eternal happiness and fulfilment, some of the most successful and innovative humans on the planet are trying to do the exact opposite to become even more productive with their time.
Welcome to the world of “Dopamine Fasting”, where having fun, eating delicious things, and generally keeping your brain in Netflix and Chill mode is forbidden.
De rigour in Silicon Valley, “Dopamine Fasting” requires participants to reduce the brain’s feel-good chemical dopamine in order to reset and appreciate the simpler things in life. Think digital detox with a dash of fasting thrown in for good measure and you’ll be in the right track.
According to San Francisco psychologist Dr Cameron Sepah who coined the phrase, the process of “Dopamine Fasting” works to reduce the brain’s desire for treats and rewards by removing cues that trigger this want. By reducing triggers, he argues that you can essentially stop feeling stressed and overstimulated.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Dr Sepah advises doing “health-promoting” activities like exercise, cooking, helping others, reading or making art as a way to reset the brain and give you an appreciation for activities that don’t offer instant gratification.
Could you hack it? Answers on a postcard… because email is forbidden while on the fast.