Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Dopamine Fasting

2»

Replies

  • Ddsb11Ddsb11 Member Posts: 556 Member Member Posts: 556 Member
    amandaeve wrote: »
    As someone with a lifetime struggle with major depression, the very phrase "dopamine fasting" sounds ill-intended and sensationalist. First time I heard about it here, so I have reading to do, but I feel like I am about to read a "woman's magazine". You know the one, "Simplify your life by strictly following these 132 easy steps every day!". Make no mistake, the joy of having a thing is tenfold after being deprived of it for so long, but this sounds like an argument straight out of my Catholic relatives, "suffering is virtue". No thanks.

    Hahahah! “132 easy steps every day!”... can’t wait (jk) 😂
    edited February 15
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 24,916 Member Member, Premium Posts: 24,916 Member
    Ddsb11 wrote: »
    There's a specific form of lifehacking that seems so aggressively macho in its attempts to rationalize preferences, complicate the relatively uncomplicated, and create feats of endurance out of otherwise unremarkable tasks.

    When I read stuff like this, part of me is like "More power to this guy for figuring out a way that works for him." But part of me questions it, like does this REALLY make him happier? Or is this just a desperate way to try to feel better about stuff he'd be doing anyway? It's hard to silence that voice in my head that is also saying "Dude, get over yourself."

    Most of us manage to cover our daily responsibilities without having to turn it into some kind of dopamine-regulation experiment. We just find a way of scrubbing the toilet AND catching up on our favorite television show and everything pretty much works out.

    (This isn't to say that some people do seem to struggle specifically with meeting their responsibilities and maybe some kind of plan or regulation may work for them in particular).

    (Note: when I say it's aggressively macho, it doesn't mean that only men do this or that all men do it. I just mean I tend to see more men playing in the "life hack" space and when they're doing things like going on 24 hour water fasts or attempting to cut off dopamine by limiting fun or doing things like inventing weird sleep schedules, it often comes across as an attempt to prove how tough or "above it all" they are. Women also do stupid things to demonstrate their commitment to norms of femininity, they just look different than this).

    Exactly my question too- does it make you happier? If so, how? Is there proof? I want to know! I do know if I villainize (is that even a word) something that’s normal, like eating carbs, or not meditating at exactly 10am every morning, that will only make life feel unbearable and joyless. I don’t think that’s where the author of this term was trying to go, or at least I don’t believe so. But people are people and we can be masochistic sometimes.

    Presumably since this is all based on dopamine release, it would be possible to quantify whether or not someone is releasing less dopamine overall or having a stronger response to the dopamine they are releasing. I'm obviously not particularly educated in this field, so that's a guess.

    Now the question would come up for me: Do we know what "too much dopamine" is? Do we know that producing less makes the times we do produce it more impactful? Do we know if there's a difference between different types of dopamine production, like is the dopamine I get from cuddling with my husband the same as the dopamine I get from eating french fries or going for a long run? It seems really likely to me that different types of dopamine producing activities aren't happening in isolation. Other hormones are probably involved. Some pleasurable activities make us feel wired, others relaxed. Some make us feel productive or successful, others make us feel guilty or rundown. I feel like we lose so much nuance when we treat all pleasurable activities as the same. Watching a movie isn't like writing a novel, eating chocolate cake isn't like cuddling with a puppy. These are all distinct things and it seems weird to just lump them together as potentially harmful.

    It seems so obvious that I'm reluctant to even point it out, but different pleasurable activities are different. What is amazingly fun for me is a drag for someone else and vice versa. We're not able to swap different activities and get the exact same result.

    This is a really interesting topic to me. Thanks for posting it!
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 24,916 Member Member, Premium Posts: 24,916 Member
    ccrdragon wrote: »
    Ddsb11 wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    As someone with a lifetime struggle with major depression, the very phrase "dopamine fasting" sounds ill-intended and sensationalist. First time I heard about it here, so I have reading to do, but I feel like I am about to read a "woman's magazine". You know the one, "Simplify your life by strictly following these 132 easy steps every day!". Make no mistake, the joy of having a thing is tenfold after being deprived of it for so long, but this sounds like an argument straight out of my Catholic relatives, "suffering is virtue". No thanks.

    Hahahah! “132 easy steps every day!”... can’t wait 😂

    Yeah - I got a book from some guy once purporting to be a life-health-hack expert... he completely lost me in the chapter where he went into great detail about the 150+ supplements he takes (every day) and the order he takes them in and why. I threw the book into the trash and went for burgers with my dad.

    The guy here sounds a lot like the author of the book to me.

    I'm trying to picture how long it would take to simply consume that many supplements, let alone the logistics of even finding 150 things TO supplement!
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,941 Member Member Posts: 30,941 Member
    .
    edited February 15
  • Ddsb11Ddsb11 Member Posts: 556 Member Member Posts: 556 Member
    Ddsb11 wrote: »
    There's a specific form of lifehacking that seems so aggressively macho in its attempts to rationalize preferences, complicate the relatively uncomplicated, and create feats of endurance out of otherwise unremarkable tasks.

    When I read stuff like this, part of me is like "More power to this guy for figuring out a way that works for him." But part of me questions it, like does this REALLY make him happier? Or is this just a desperate way to try to feel better about stuff he'd be doing anyway? It's hard to silence that voice in my head that is also saying "Dude, get over yourself."

    Most of us manage to cover our daily responsibilities without having to turn it into some kind of dopamine-regulation experiment. We just find a way of scrubbing the toilet AND catching up on our favorite television show and everything pretty much works out.

    (This isn't to say that some people do seem to struggle specifically with meeting their responsibilities and maybe some kind of plan or regulation may work for them in particular).

    (Note: when I say it's aggressively macho, it doesn't mean that only men do this or that all men do it. I just mean I tend to see more men playing in the "life hack" space and when they're doing things like going on 24 hour water fasts or attempting to cut off dopamine by limiting fun or doing things like inventing weird sleep schedules, it often comes across as an attempt to prove how tough or "above it all" they are. Women also do stupid things to demonstrate their commitment to norms of femininity, they just look different than this).

    Exactly my question too- does it make you happier? If so, how? Is there proof? I want to know! I do know if I villainize (is that even a word) something that’s normal, like eating carbs, or not meditating at exactly 10am every morning, that will only make life feel unbearable and joyless. I don’t think that’s where the author of this term was trying to go, or at least I don’t believe so. But people are people and we can be masochistic sometimes.

    Presumably since this is all based on dopamine release, it would be possible to quantify whether or not someone is releasing less dopamine overall or having a stronger response to the dopamine they are releasing. I'm obviously not particularly educated in this field, so that's a guess.

    Now the question would come up for me: Do we know what "too much dopamine" is? Do we know that producing less makes the times we do produce it more impactful? Do we know if there's a difference between different types of dopamine production, like is the dopamine I get from cuddling with my husband the same as the dopamine I get from eating french fries or going for a long run? It seems really likely to me that different types of dopamine producing activities aren't happening in isolation. Other hormones are probably involved. Some pleasurable activities make us feel wired, others relaxed. Some make us feel productive or successful, others make us feel guilty or rundown. I feel like we lose so much nuance when we treat all pleasurable activities as the same. Watching a movie isn't like writing a novel, eating chocolate cake isn't like cuddling with a puppy. These are all distinct things and it seems weird to just lump them together as potentially harmful.

    It seems so obvious that I'm reluctant to even point it out, but different pleasurable activities are different. What is amazingly fun for me is a drag for someone else and vice versa. We're not able to swap different activities and get the exact same result.

    This is a really interesting topic to me. Thanks for posting it!

    Same, thanks for entertaining the topic 🙏🏻

    The link between happiness and wellness has always been intriguing to me, especially when we start diving into the neuroscience of rewiring our brains with intentional thought, which is fairly in line with this topic. I’ll be a geek and digress for a sec and give an example:

    There’s a neuropsychologist named Rick Hanson who wrote a book called Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom. He mentions the research shown that as people activate their insula more, such as through meditation, the insula actually gets thicker. Neurons make more and more connections with each other, which actually measurably thickens your insula. So as a result, people then become more in touch with themselves. But even beyond that, research has shown that the insula is also crucial for empathy. Because when we get a sense of the emotions of other people, we actually light up the same neural circuits in our own brain—they light up as if we’re accessing those feelings ourselves. So on and so forth it goes. So the discovery- meditation is scientifically proven to change and improve your health and happiness, and it’s practical. Great!

    So when I read the theory of Dopamine Fasting, I wanted to wrap my head around it scientifically, and ask, if it’s true is it even practical? What does dopamine do, the good and the bad? When is the increase in dopamine too much? How can we even control that and live a normal life? Basically all of your questions.

    Apologize for rambling! Just enjoy reading your insightful responses! I learn something new everyday.

  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,605 Member Member Posts: 3,605 Member
    We get one life. While there is nothing good about going after pleasure in a way that hurts yourself or causes you to neglect other responsibilities, I don't see the point of deliberately denying myself the small, but meaningful, pleasures of a fun game or a good book or a perfect cup of tea or lazing in bed on a Sunday morning with a dog.

    Exactly! Although I don't experience any pleasure from the constant barrage of texts/IMs/DMs/phone calls that pummel me all day, they're more annoying than anything. I think I get more of a "dopamine fix" when I occasionally forget my phone at work on my lunch hour.

    But I see no value in abstaining from the simple things that do give me joy like cuddling with the dogs, or hearing the sound of birds through an open window on a summer day, or seeing the little shoots of perennials coming up in the spring.
  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 59 Member Member Posts: 59 Member

    Presumably since this is all based on dopamine release, it would be possible to quantify whether or not someone is releasing less dopamine overall or having a stronger response to the dopamine they are releasing. I'm obviously not particularly educated in this field, so that's a guess.

    Now the question would come up for me: Do we know what "too much dopamine" is? Do we know that producing less makes the times we do produce it more impactful? Do we know if there's a difference between different types of dopamine production, like is the dopamine I get from cuddling with my husband the same as the dopamine I get from eating french fries or going for a long run? It seems really likely to me that different types of dopamine producing activities aren't happening in isolation. Other hormones are probably involved. Some pleasurable activities make us feel wired, others relaxed. Some make us feel productive or successful, others make us feel guilty or rundown. I feel like we lose so much nuance when we treat all pleasurable activities as the same. Watching a movie isn't like writing a novel, eating chocolate cake isn't like cuddling with a puppy. These are all distinct things and it seems weird to just lump them together as potentially harmful.

    It seems so obvious that I'm reluctant to even point it out, but different pleasurable activities are different. What is amazingly fun for me is a drag for someone else and vice versa. We're not able to swap different activities and get the exact same result.

    This is a really interesting topic to me. Thanks for posting it!

    Indeed; I started reading up on this, and in addition to dopamine there's at least serotonin, related to general wellbeing and happiness, endorphins, released during exercise, and oxytocin, released when getting cuddly. I guess these dopamine-fasting advocates concentrate on that in specific because it's associated with activities like sex, drugs and gambling that can be problematic in excess.

    But according to this other article, only really intense continuous stimulation of dopamine receptors (e.g. sex, drugs, gambling) is enough to exhaust them, and then you presumably need an ever increasing hit of that activity/substance to reach that same high. I guess that would qualify as "too much dopamine". But everyday pleasurable activities aren't intense enough to cause any decline in that neurotransmitter system.
Sign In or Register to comment.