Dopamine Fasting

With the new year quickly approaching, many people set resolutions for themselves often including having a healthier lifestyle. Whether you plan to work out, change your diet, or both, a new fasting trend has made its way out of Silicon Valley and it may be one to consider for 2020. 

Some people have probably heard of intermittent fasting by now and have maybe even tried this new dietary trend. However, this new trend is a completely different kind of fasting called “dopamine fasting.” Followers believe that depriving themselves of anything stimulating, such as electronic devices, light, or even other people, dopamine levels can be altered and reset their brains. Essentially, by avoiding things that you enjoy, you are confronting things that would keep you sensitized to the world. 

The chemical, dopamine, is often associated with happiness but what some may not know is that it is actually much more complex as it exists throughout other parts of your body. Experts say that the trends name is an oversimplification of what is actually going on in your brain chemistry, but admit that what fasteners are truly getting after is a great idea. 

Taking a break from stimulation and being more mindful is a healthy practice as Dr. Amit Sood, former professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, says that it is not about emptying the mind, it is more about filling it with the right things. Although dopamine fasting does not alter your brain chemistry, it may be something to try this coming new year as taking a break from technology can have a positive impact.

Adapted from the Today Show’s “’Dopamine fasting’ is how some people are trying to reset their brains” by Meghan Holohan.