2/21/2024 - Entertainment and Well-being

Dopaminated: Why does it cost us to fulfill our 2024 goals?

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Dopaminated: Why does it cost us to fulfill our 2024 goals?

When you wrote yours digital media they affect us. In an interview about his research, he mentioned that in 2004, they mediate average attention on a screen in two and a half minutes. A few years later, they found that attention was about 75 seconds. It is currently believed that people can only pay attention to a screen for an average of 47 seconds. Today there is the idea that our attention spans between 8 and 5 seconds.

Although it is not about being less intelligent; it is indeed different in each person. It is the situation that in modern life we battle to do things that require focused attention. When we have so many distractions that offer us dopamine rewards without effort or even. Not only do we get distracted easily. Feel, that also, when being in an active task that requires focused attention, once distracted, it takes 25 minutes to focus back to 100%. The cost of multi-tale takes you almost half an hour of concentration reorientation in its original goal.

The “artificial dopamine”, generated by social networks, television, videos and everything that surrounds you, the screen and its precious concentration time, is a growing obstacle. Dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter to regulate our mood and our daily decisions, is influenced by artificial stimuli that provide instant gratification. It is also important to regulate sleep and wakefulness. An intensive consumption imbalance of this “artificial dopamine” gives us a bad rest, irritability and even anxiety. It’s like a cycle, where we say “good enough” “I’ve lost a lot of time in this” and we’re back to the task we were doing, but we’re far less motivated and the task becomes unapproachable. Duplicating even more when we try to establish a new habit, because it requires more effort.

This is because when picking up the phone after a notification, seeing a series or listening to music we activate dopamine, sending signals to various parts of our brain that gives us a reward feeling. In case of running, the reward is not immediate as when seeing a video of kittens. Throughout, we would be much more proud to have done physical activity for years and prevent diseases, which accumulate 4799 hours of kittens. We don't really remember any of them. In other words, our brains are rewarded each time we lose focus on a task.

So, although it makes a lot of illusion to reach your goals. Sometimes this cannot compete with spending 5 minutes looking at a social network, which then become 20, to finally realize that you have been 2 hours and will not remember the video you saw in the first 5 minutes. It's true, sometimes we don't even try. But it is often because we cannot compete with dopamine that generates social networks and other digital stimuli.

The new fast is dopamine

In this artificial dopamine scenario, the challenge becomes even more complex, it is no longer a matter of implementing this habit you need to fulfill your goals, now you must also resist the gratification that gives us the infinite scroll of micro information. But it is not all lost, in recent years started a practice called ‘dopamine fasting‘. This term reflects the tendency to temporarily disconnect from digital platforms to restore a balance in the dopaminergic response of the brain.
Eye, doping a dopamine fast does not mean that we will literally stop producing. It is not so simple, but behaviorally the detox that produces fasting yes. By failing to do these negative conducts that bring us much space in our lives, such as video games, computer, mobile, internet, television, sexual videos, etc. The actions driven to replace the consumption of this “artificial dopamine” allow you to improve the attention of the concentration to focus on what is worth to you.

The professor at the Faculty of Psychology of UNAM, Hugo Sánchez Castillo states that: “It doesn’t work because dopamine has decreased, but because other care and execution systems are improved. In fact, these behavioral changes lead to an improvement in the central nervous system. ”
The idea is based on breaking with the addictive cycle of constant reward that generates us the consumption of “artificial” dopamine. Refocusing power, lower the cortisol levels (stress hormone) and use time on screens to replace it with diverse activities that interest us. So we can reduce the toxic behaviors that will degrade our quality of life. This strategy consists of avoiding substances or situations that increase dopamine artificially which gives us the fictitious reward. Let's go back to the goal example in 2024: if your goal is to run 12km this year, for each training session will release dopamine. In this case, fasting ceases to consume those things that do not require effort to obtain reward.

Dopamine producers Artificial:

  • Video games.
  • Social networks.
  • Audiovisual entertainment.
  • Alcohol, drugs.
  • High cuisines in carbohydrates and/or sodium.

These are some triggers that keep us in the immediate gratification cycle. By replacing them for 3 to 7 days, we began to notice some neuronal benefits. As greater attention and productivity in our tasks, a greater sense of connection with ourselves aligned with what we want to do. Personally, I think it's more important, the sense of self-consciousness. By reducing or eliminating all that time we spend on the behaviors that harm us daily, we suddenly have a lot of hours we can use for what really matters, like finally learning French, walking out the park or starting to learn a new code language.

Tips for Countering Artificial Dopamine:

For people who work with social networks we cannot give us the benefit of turning off for a week of compu or mobile. One option to balance our artificial dopamine consumption is to avoid screens in the morning until an hour after you get up. You can leave the phone away at night (it is enough to load next to the bed). Introducing a new action when we will see that we are losing control of what we consume, can be to put in possession of superman for a minute, stretch or meditate 5 min by controlling breathing.
Then for social networks, entertainment or videos, there are time blockers, clearly if we spend 5 hours and the blocker is set to 30 min daily is not a very realistic goal. If you don't work with these elements, you can simply put your phone in black and white when you see social networks, you will see that it is much less attractive without the need to think how long it stays in a timer so that the app is blocked. Instead, if you work with it, then an option between both goals is to write content ideas on paper, investigate computer trends instead of mobile, or for content creators, propose to create more content than they consume.

If one of your goals is to eat healthier and incorporate the necessary nutrients in your meals to feel better (and you are sweet/or like me). Sometimes the problem is where we're all the time out of the house, so we have to be smart when we go to the super. Yeah, like you read. So we can replace high foods in carbohydrates or with a lot of sodium. Eating well before going to the super is a technique to help us think about buying better and not driving us by the desire of the anticipating moment to the “I” of the future that has no time and ending buying food to get out of the step.

(Personally I'm an uncontrollable fan of chocolates, I just buy a lot when I'm debuted and I end up wanting more for the underlying and came down from sugar. Although no longer consuming chocolates would be great, sometimes starting to buy, but doing it in a diet with a little less sugar is enough for those moments that instead of cutting and staunching more, implementing a more convenient option. )

It is not about blaming current life and modern “exigities”. It will build little by little a system that allows us to balance what we really want to be with the tastes we can give this dopamine that we can achieve effortlessly in the day to day. So we can get better brain health, have better mood and connect with what really matters to us. As we leave the constant cycle of reward that we are involved, we have more motivation to achieve what we propose, being willing to have more sacrifices to achieve what we propose. You only visualize yourself this year after fulfilling your goals. More difficult are these same, more motivation and more sacrifice we will need to fulfill, finally, these goals that you have for this 2024. You can!

To move forward to fulfilling our goals is to stop imagining to start creating our future.

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