Cheap Dopamine Stops You From Becoming High Value

Do you ever wonder why it’s much easier to stay focused when watching YouTube or Tiktok for hours? Yet, it’s difficult to focus on tasks that are meaningful, such as reading a book or performing work.


The obvious answer is that working can be challenging; however, watching videos is simple and easy, but we’ve all met certain people who are proficient in accomplishing difficult tasks and aren’t easily distracted. What is the reason?

What is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter that is produced naturally by the brain. Neurotransmitters are the ones responsible for transmitting messages back and forth between neurons. Dopamine is essential for various reasons, including controlling motor movements, controlling motivation, controlling emotions, and recognizing the sensations of pleasure.


If a person begins to use substances, dopamine, and other transmitters become impaired in various ways. Even without substances that are addictive, dopamine is a problem by excessive usage of technology, diet, and drinking, as well as other bad habits. If someone is trying to attain and maintain their recovery, they must work to restore the dopamine levels in their brains so that they can experience long-term recovery.

Dopamine: What is it?

Dopamine is one of the neuron’s reward channels. When you perform an activity that is perceived as enjoyable, dopamine, a neurotransmitter, signals the brain that it must be able to repeat the experience.

Dopamine is an essential part of survival and learning. It helped humans develop positive behaviours such as feeding, comfort, and reproducing.

In the present, dopamine levels are often dependent on choices such as the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, video games, sugar, and other recreational substances.


Dopamine detox is one kind of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) designed by Dr. Cameron SepahTrusted Source, an experienced psychiatrist based in California who is committed to helping addicts manage their addictions.

Sepah believes that conscious deprivation of addictive behaviours will help people become mindful of their impulsive behaviour and promote more flexible thinking.

The aim of Sepah’s dopamine fasting program isn’t to deprive your brain of dopamine or reduce dopamine levels, as the name suggests. Sepah is quoted in the New York Times, stating that the title of his CBT method shouldn’t be taken literally.

Dopamine fasting is a misinterpretation that has created a well-known trend of not having pleasure-filled experiences based on the unsubstantiated notion that this practice could “reset” your brain or decrease the threshold to which you experience pleasure.

While dopamine by itself is not addictive, it does play an intricate role in motivating and rewarding unhealthy behaviours, as well as driving tolerance to drugs. Knowing what dopamine is and what it does in addiction will help you tackle bad habits. There are strategies that can aid people in dealing with addictive behaviours. A therapist will assist you in determining the most effective approach.

What is Cheap Dopamine?

Cheap dopamine is something that you can acquire without doing anything.

You’re aware of the subject I’m talking about…

– Binge Watching.

– Social media likes.

– Endless Scrolling.

– Watching YouTube.

Cheap Dopamine: What is it?


Both MASTURBATION and PORN are very harmful.

– using the phone shortly after waking

– Smoking and drinking (Please avoid it and put that money into good use)


To be happy and to have a healthy feeling of motivation, dopamine has to be in balance. An excess or insufficient amount of it creates issues. For instance, excessive dopamine is associated with anxiety, obsession, compulsions, psychosis, and violence. Out of the over 100 murderers who have been scanned for brain SPECT in Amen Clinics, nearly half of them committed their murders while on methamphetamines. Methamphetamines increase dopamine levels in the brain.

Dopamine deficiency can lead to depression, low motivation, apathy, boredom, fatigue, Parkinson’s disease, impulsivity, adrenaline cravings, and conflict-seeking behaviours. Dopamine levels are also believed to be the leading cause of ADD/ADHD syndrome (often due to a shorter attention span, distraction, procrastination, disordered thinking, and issues with impulse control). A lot of people suffering from ADD/ADHD play a game called “Let’s have a problem” as a way to boost dopamine.

Finding It Difficult To Stop A Behaviour You Know Is Harmful?

Dopamine Deficiency

It might sound contradictory, and yet, behaviours that cause huge releases of dopamine may result in a deficiency of dopamine. Although these actions may temporarily release large amounts of dopamine, it is a fact that dopamine levels fall to levels below the baseline when the activities cease. According to psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke, the altered brain can create a new kind of balance that counters massive dopamine surges with massive drops called “comedown”. Dopamine deficiencies manifest as symptoms that could be:

  • Lack of Motivation
  • Feeling anxious, angry or hopeless
  • Concentration problems and other changes
  • Feeling a lack of pleasure in things that you used to like
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Socially withdrawing
  • Low Libido

Some illnesses, like restless leg syndrome, depression, and Parkinson’s disease, are all associated with dopamine deficiency. Treatment and medication could be required to treat dopamine deficiencies; however, it is suggested to engage in a variety of activities to relax, and eating a diet rich in magnesium as well as tyrosine can assist.

How to Get Healthier Dopamine Highs

Our brains are wired to restore equilibrium; the peak levels of dopamine could be then followed by a painful crash, which is followed by a desire for more excitement. The repeated consumption of alcohol can cause tolerance, addiction, and eventually depression and anxiety.

We can stop this downward spiral by obtaining better dopamine levels. Here’s how.

Break the cycle to restore equilibrium.

Begin with a dopamine fast. Take a 30-day absence from anything you depend on for pleasure, such as social media sugar, video games, sex, pot, or booze. It’s not a requirement to go all-in on a dopamine fast; however, this first month is essential to getting your pleasure-pain level back to a healthy level. It’s much easier to stop the addictive habit completely initially and then gradually reintroduce it.

Lembke warns you that you’ll likely feel worse before you feel better. But she suggests that you stay for two months when the joy-pain seesaw in your brain will begin returning to its original balance and you’ll be able to enjoy small rewards, such as only 1 scoop of frozen yogurt or only one episode of a television show.

One caution: this isn’t the best approach for substances that are highly addictive, such as alcohol and drugs. The cold turkey approach can lead to life-threatening withdrawal and is best made with the guidance of a qualified professional.

Be aware of any compulsions.

The first thing to do is be aware. Anna Lembke, a Stanford professor, and psychiatrist, suggests keeping track of your everyday activities to determine whether they’re turning into habits that can have negative effects. A good example might be that you’re currently holding your smartphone, which provides “digital dopamine 24/7,” as Lembke said in her book of 2021, Dopamine Nation. According to a study, the average person spends about a third of the day using their smartphones.

Addiction is a spectrum, and even when an action doesn’t fit the criteria of addiction, research shows that overindulging in something good can affect the joy of life, Lembke says. If your dopamine levels frequently rise, your brain, in search of equilibrium, could react by reducing the number of dopamine receptors; this could lead to decreasing pleasure and motivation of all kinds.

In her book, Lembke discusses one patient who was obsessed with shopping online. In the end, new purchases were no longer exciting, and he began accumulating massive debts but couldn’t resist shopping. Instead of taking pills, the doctor recommended an entire month without internet shopping, and the man took her offer. The compulsion was gradually easing off, and he began to feel “natural highs” again, for example, the excitement of anticipation when seeing friends.

“Not everyone needs 30 days,” Lembke says. “I’ve seen people abstain for one week and reset their reward pathways.” On the contrary, this doesn’t work for everyone. Some people require more severe treatments, like medications. “But for many,” says Lembke, “abstinence is the starting point.”

Be cautious when combining pleasures.

Be careful not to mix workouts too often with other stimuli that are exciting, such as texting or blasting your favourite music. “We need some periods of time when we’re not stimulating our brains,” Lembke declares. “We need to experience the pain to appreciate the pleasure.” However, Wendy Suzuki, an NYU neuroscientist who studies exercise, believes that music is a powerful motivational tool. “Without music, most people aren’t going to enjoy exercise enough to do it regularly,” she claims.

Volkow cautioned against another substance that people make use of to boost their performance, such as caffeine. It interferes with the brain’s balance mechanism, hindering the process of eliminating dopamine receptors when it comes to dopamine surges. Her research suggests Many gamers consume energy drinks, making gaming all the more attractive. “You have to be cautious to avoid compulsive gaming,” Volkow advises.

Instead of giving up your favourite combinations, do them less often. A few experts recommend this method, which is based on the principle of reward prediction error. This is because we are extremely motivated by exciting, unexpected experiences. If we are able to give ourselves the same incredibly satisfying mix every single time, it becomes monotonous and predictable, reducing dopamine levels over the long term. However, if we indulge in it occasionally and enjoy it for a while, the thrill never diminishes. 

Put obstacles in between you and your addiction behaviours

There are three strategies for you to bind yourself from, or limit the behaviours that you’re accustomed to. These strategies can allow you to indulge in a variation of the behaviour without letting it dominate.

  • Physical self-binding Make sure there is a real distance between yourself and your addiction. It could mean taking the substance you are addicted to from your living space and home. If you’re dependent on video games, it could mean having a different laptop for work and one for playing.
  • The binding of time or chronology The 30-day fast you have from your addictive habits can be considered a time-related or chronological binding. This can also be described as intermittent fasting for people with an addiction to food or a time limit setting for social media apps.
  • Categorical bindingThis is a way of excluding yourself from certain types of “substances” – maybe reality television is a trance that’s out of your control; however you are able to watch the sitcom with moderation. Eliminating reality TV from your daily routine is categorical binding.

Get some healthy pain.

The best alternatives to unhealthy fixes make the most of the seesaw effects of dopamine. Dopamine spikes can cause unpleasant lows accompanied by cravings; however, the reverse is also true: some initial difficult experiences can lead to increases in positive mood and motivation minus crashes. This is known as hormesis. “Well-timed deprivation can do wonders for pleasure,” claims Robert Sapolsky, a Stanford biologist who wrote about dopamine in his book from 2017, Behave.

A good example of hormesis can be found in taking a cold shower, Lembke says. It is important to conduct more research, but some studies suggest that the body responds to the coldness of water painfully by regulating feel-good chemicals such as dopamine. “These are modest natural rewards without a big comedown,” she says.

Getting healthier Dopamine highs

To make a lasting change, radical honesty and the power of community are essential.

In her treatment of patients with addiction issues, Lembke says she sees tremendous success in long-term recovery when people are honest. She explains that, even though we’re usually scared of being completely honest with people as we fear they’ll go running, the exact opposite occurs: radical honesty fosters intimacy. “And intimacy is an incredibly valuable and potent source of dopamine,” she states. “We know that when we make intimate human connections, oxytocin binds dopamine, releasing neurons in the reward pathway and dopamine is released and it feels really good.”

Another aspect of this is being completely honest with ourselves. Lembke says that if you create stories about yourself that aren’t real, you will repeat your mistakes; however, if we’re brutally transparent about our flaws and how we’ve contributed to our own issues, we can work to correct these errors and look at the future differently.

“People in recovery are modern-day prophets,” Lembke declares. To maintain balance and completeness, We must strike an equilibrium between pleasure and pain; this, in the midst of excess consumption, is about consciously abstaining from pleasure and looking for the kind of intentional pain which keeps us healthy, like exercise, or avoiding certain desires.

“By doing that,” Lembke states, “We will reset reward pathways and be happier. It’s easy, but not simple to do, but it’s definitely worth it.”

Increase dopamine levels by influencing flow states

“We’re living in a pain-phobic culture,” Lembke declares. When people recognize that pain in their life will always be there, they tend to have a better quality of life and greater satisfaction. This is evident in state flows.

Flow happens when people are distracted by their work and lose sight of themselves. This is often accompanied by an infrequent but constant dopamine surge, according to Rian Doris founder of the Flow Research Collective, studying the neuroscience of flow states. To achieve flow it is necessary to step out of our comfort zones, which can be a source of struggle and pain, Doris says.

“It’s tough to get into flow activities,” says Paul Bloom, a University of Toronto psychologist who co-authored The Sweet Spot a book about the importance of suffering you choose to endure. “It’s easier to sit on your sofa and watch Netflix.”

Let’s say that you want to create your memoir; to master the art, it requires intense, consistent repetition and “there’s a high drive to distract with stimulating activities for rapid dopamine releases,” Doris says. Doris, however, you might eventually find flow while writing chapters if you keep going. 

When dopamine is involved, it is vital to be in control. Do not spend long periods of time in a state of the flow Doris suggests, and even at work. For sure, Lembke says, “work has become druggified like everything else.” Pause to have fun. If you’re looking for a way to relax, Social media and video games are great.

“I wouldn’t frame flow as a cure for your Instagram addiction,” Bloom states. “It’s an additional thing in life that’s worth trying. Everyone wants enjoyment, but we also want worthwhile activities even when they’re bound up with struggles.”


Another way to get better dopamine boosters is meditation. Eric Garland, a distinguished professor at The University of Utah’s College of Social Work, created a Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement program, also known as MORE which has successfully addressed chronic pain and emotional stress. In a study released in February by JAMA Internal Medicine, 45% of the participants who took MORE were able to stop using opioids within nine months of following up, more than doubling the rate when people received standard psychotherapy. MORE encourages regular mindfulness and mindfully enjoying sunsets, as well as other “natural pleasures.” These activities increase dopamine levels, without the spikes triggered by addiction to drugs or other substances, Garland says.

More also involves teaching addicts how to manage negative emotions. “Life involves pleasure and pain,” Garland declares. “Mindfulness allows us to embrace both aspects of human existence and accept them deeply.”

What is dopamine fasting NOT

Sedah says explicitly in his protocols that dopamine-free fasting isn’t:

  • reducing dopamine
  • avoiding all pleasure
  • social isolation
  • Stopping the exercise
  • A form of meditation

A dopamine detox won’t decrease your natural levels of dopamine.

If you’re concerned about unhealthy practices, such as drinking excessively or engaging in social media usage. A dopamine detox can reduce the behaviour associated with impulsivity, cravings or addiction.

Read More: Getting your brain to focus

Read More: How to Increase Your Mental Focus

Read More: How Extroversion in Personality Influences Behaviour


Maintaining a healthy level of dopamine is essential to happiness. Here are methods to achieve it.

Consume foods rich in the chemical tyrosine.

An amino acid that is a building block for dopamine. Tyrosine can be discovered in almonds, avocados, bananas, eggs, fish, beans, chicken, and dark chocolate.

Try a diet that’s higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates.

In research conducted on animals, the ketogenic diet has been found to boost dopamine production within the brain. The consumption of sugary and processed foods can lead to food cravings and excessive eating and leave a lasting impression in the pleasure centres within the prefrontal cortex. This can result in a weight increase. Being overweight can impair dopamine pathways.

Naturally balancing your Dopamine

Create a routine of physical activity.

Exercise can boost levels of dopamine while slowing the ageing process of brain cells. Exercise is also linked with improved mood and a more positive outlook on life.

Say “om.”

Numerous studies have proven the health benefits of meditation and prayer (or the ability to focus your mind). A study discovered that dopamine levels increased by 65% after one hour of meditation.

Do an ointment rubdown.

Intriguing studies have shown that massage therapy boosts dopamine levels by 30% while reducing the cortisol stress hormone.

Get enough sleep.

To ensure that the brain grows dopamine naturally, ensure that you’re getting enough rest. Insufficient sleep has been proven to decrease the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, as well as their receptors.

Listen to calming music.

It’s no reason to be surprised that listening to soothing music can enhance the enjoyment of life, increase mood, lower anxiety, and improve concentration and focus. Studies have proven that a large part of this happens due to an increase in the levels of dopamine.

Go outside.

The exposure to sunlight increases the amount of dopamine inside the brain, as per studies.


Dopamine addiction is a popular misconception; however, dopamine can play an essential function in creating and maintaining addiction. Dopamine is released as part of the natural reward system that, in normal circumstances, serves as an effective motivator; however, certain behaviours and substances can trigger massive releases of dopamine, which inundate the brain and cause an imbalance, which could trigger a deficiency in dopamine.

Substance abuse disorder and other addictive behaviour are difficult to tackle due to the ways they affect the brain and affect, however, there are proven strategies that can effectively alter negative behaviours. Support systems that are strongly incorporating healthy lifestyle practices, seeking out a medical professional, and participating in sessions with a therapist can be helpful. Online therapy is the preferred method of therapy for the majority of people suffering from an addiction disorder. It could help reduce the frequency and severity of relapses for certain people; however, it is still a matter of research.

How I Tricked My Brain To Like Doing Hard Things (dopamine detox)
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