Dopamine Detox: What is It and How Does It Work?

When you hear the term dopamine detox, you likely immediately think of drug-related recovery treatment. However, that is not entirely true as detoxing the pleasure center is an urgent need by many who don’t realize it. Dopamine, the pleasure cell that stimulates the central nervous system, is triggered by even everyday activities. Some of those activities are natural healthy habits that produce a beneficial release. Others are unnatural dopamine overstimulations that result in unhealthy mental and physical repercussions. The following details are everything you need to know about unhealthy dopamine stimulation and why medically-assisted treatment may be necessary for you.

At Lightwork Therapy and Recovery, we treat women who struggle with their mental health in our outpatient mental health programs.

What is Dopamine Detox?

This doesn’t mean you rid your body of dopamine as that is not only physically impossible but fatal. Rather, the term dopamine detox refers to abstaining from unhealthy overstimulation of dopamine while promoting healthy activities of dopamine production. Simply put, unhealthy dopamine stimulation such as screen time, electronic entertainment, or other similar pleasures trigger unhealthy levels of dopamine. Over time this unnatural dopamine release leads to an array of mental and physical health conditions for a variety of reasons.

The other part of detoxing from unhealthy dopamine triggers involves encouraging proactive activities for healthy dopamine release. These healthy habits and activities provide the numerous mental and physical health benefits described in the following section.

What are the Benefits of Dopamine Detox?

Limiting unhealthy dopamine triggers and ramping up healthy habits make a night-and-day difference in your overall health. Here are just a few of the many benefits served by these detox methods.
Increased Energy
Stagnant or unnatural dopamine stimulation causes sluggishness and energy depletion. On the other hand, detoxing such bad habits through healthy medically-assisted methods will give you a renewed sense of natural energy. This will make you want to continue with your proactive activities and diminish your unhealthy ones. Start your detox journey to renewed energy levels by contacting a detox specialist today.
Mental Sharpness
Dopamine and detox specialist training has profound effects on overall mental sharpness. This is achieved through certain physical activities that naturally stimulate your neuronic processes. These physical detox methods give your mind a jolt in improved mental awareness and functionality. This, in turn, has positive trickle-down effects on your memory, work performance, and other daily duties.
Natural Happiness
While dopamine in itself is the pleasure cell, ironically overstimulating these cells by unnatural means has adverse effects on mood. That’s because the highs caused by those unnatural methods produce extended lows to balance out these dopamine releases. Put simply, for every high, there’s a low. That’s why dopamine detox is necessary, to help you improve mood and overall happiness through proactive activities to help trigger healthy, happy dopamine responses. This benefit alone is known to improve numerous mental health condition symptoms and stabilize mood swings.
Stress Reduction
If you have high stress or anxiety for no apparent reason, it may be due to unhealthy methods of pleasure stimulation. Finding healthier ways to release pleasure cells through medical detox is a vital part of diminishing anxiety and stress levels. We’ll teach you to utilize natural proactive ways to reduce your stress and anxiety levels. You may find that the solution to most of your anxiety struggles are due to your natural bad habits
Awareness of Bad Habits
Speaking of bad habits, most people are unaware that their bad habits may be contributing to unhealthy dopamine stimulation. Proper detoxing habits from dopamine specialists help you be more aware of the appropriate habits associated with healthy dopamine stimulation. This also enables you to be mindful of habits that do not promote healthy dopamine release.

What is the Dopamine Detox Challenge?

woman sitting using laptop

This goal-oriented challenge is designed to help you limit bad behaviors and replace them with healthy ones. In no particular order, the following steps outline the little habits that help you gradually promote healthy mental and physical habits. Bear in mind, that the following detox challenge steps are most effective when performed in conjunction with professionally-aided treatment. Reach out to the Lightwork Therapy & Recovery team to learn the full details of this challenge.

Restrict Use of Electronic Entertainment
While technology is a very useful and productive tool, too much electronic use is more than just a bad habit, it’s individually prohibitive. Studies have found excessive use of electronic devices has detrimental effects on mental and physical health. That’s why limiting social media, phone, or other electronic use is a very positive way to begin the detox challenge. The degree of suppression varies by individual. It’s best to take baby steps with this approach.
Daily Outdoor Activities in 30-minute Intervals
You may notice a common theme of unhealthy dopamine stimulation coincides with technology use. Outdoor activities are no different as exploring the outdoors with technology defeats the purpose. That’s why outdoor activity of any kind, whether it’s exercise, sightseeing, or simply a stroll in a local park has tremendous psychological and physical benefits. Whatever the activity may be, studies show the great outdoors is a good way to promote natural dopamine production and release.
Restrict Caffeine Consumption
We understand many people need their daily cup of joe to get going in the morning. But, did you know too much caffeine is a primary contributor to long-term anxiety and stress disorders? This doesn’t mean you need to cut caffeine out of your life completely. However, limiting your intake can go a long way in reducing stress levels. Many are surprised by how much wonder taking on this specific challenge does for their natural energy and anxiety levels.
Breathing Exercises
Doctors have found a direct link between breathing and healthy neuronic and bodily functions. That’s why, contrary to what you may think, breathing exercises make a night-and-day difference in your daily life. Also considered a form of meditation, our dedicated specialists can train you to utilize specific breathing exercises to improve your daily life. In our mindfulness-based therapy program we guide clients through breathing exercises and teach techniques to improve meditation.
Attempt a New Activity
Stepping outside the norm to attempt a new activity is a fun and therapeutic way to produce a positive dopamine response. New activities broaden your mental capacity in a healthy way that triggers healthy dopamine release. Science also tells us that doing new things from time to time stimulates the creative centers of your brain. This can help you tap into a new and artistic side of yourself you never knew.

How Do You Detox From Dopamine?

woman with her face toward the sun standing beside a body of water

Drugs and alcohol aren’t the only unhealthy addictive impacts on dopamine. Just about any unhealthy activity such as eating or excessive use of tech gadgets can be an addiction. That’s why it takes utilizing the following methods, many of which non-coincidentally coincide with the detox challenge, to recover from dopamine overstimulation.

Document Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions
Journaling your thoughts, feelings, and emotions on paper rather than social media is among the most therapeutic methods of venting. We get so preoccupied with social media that we don’t realize the most stress-relieving form of journalism simply involves a pen and paper. Keeping a personal diary may surprise you with how much the burden of anxiety and stress alleviates from your shoulders.
Be Physically Active
The biggest detriment to naturally healthy dopamine levels is stagnancy. Staying physically active through walking, jogging, hiking, or other physical exercise stabilizes healthy neuronic frequencies and dopamine. Moreover, the dopamine “high” received from exercise will likely become a healthy addiction to keep you determined to remain active. A trained specialist will help you chart an achievable workout schedule to keep you on track.
Meditative Practices
Meditation is an activity that has been practiced for thousands of years as a mental health and well-being preservation technique. These meditations improve your self-awareness of weight control, self-control, discipline, and exercise habits through concentration and breathing-based therapies. In turn, this is reported to have numerous healing effects on mental health disorders and associated symptoms.
Turn off Your Electronics
Electronic entertainment in the form of social media, current events, or streaming services is a part of all of our lives. However, like anything else, it becomes a problem when indulged in excess. You would be surprised what turning off your electronics for a designated time per day will do for your overall health.
Social Interaction
The simplest pleasures and health aids don’t cost a penny, like simple conversations. Nothing is better for mind and body health than interacting with your friends and family, aside from technological contact. Take the time away from your phone to talk openly with your parents, siblings, or spouse. According to recent studies, these simple daily interactions play a vital role in preserving well-being and overall mental health.

The Greatest Healing Solution for Women in Massachusetts Starts Here

Lightwork Therapy & Recovery is a rallying point for all women to discover the power and inner strength within themselves. Not only will your enlightening journey to self-discovery make an impact on your life. You’ll see the true impact and important role you play in being a beacon of hope to the entire world. Begin your healing, find your strength, and discover your purpose by reaching out to our caring representatives today.

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