Last week I read this post about Dopamine Fasting and decided to give it a try. It seemed like a good way to boost the navel gazing I’ve already been doing since ditching alcohol. In case you’re wondering, dopamine fasting, as explained by Man of Myth involves isolating yourself from all pleasure in order to look within and find what’s hidden.
If you want the short version of my dopamine fast story, I failed dismally.
Being a stay-at-home mum, I’m not sure I stood a chance – although I guess I could have done this on a day when the kids were at school and nursery. I confess my reason for choosing today was that I didn’t want to waste a day when I would normally be able to work. I had originally scheduled it for yesterday but I had a podcast I wanted to record.
I guess that says it all really. I have to face up to the fact that I was never fully committed to the idea, even though I see its merits and absolutely see its benefits. I wrote yesterday about the 5 elements of transformation and since I clearly hadn’t made enough effort to understand how today’s challenge linked to my values, I hadn’t internalised the benefits of it for myself. I had no clear ‘why’ for doing it. A vague notion that something might help you achieve something is never going to be strong enough to get the job done.
This type of challenge would also benefit from a change in environment. Being surrounded on all sides by things you’re not allowed to interact with is simply too taxing unless there’s a really strong reason for doing it.
It’s a great help though, having a diagnostic tool for habit change. Even though I was never intending to make this a habit – it was only ever something I was going to do for a day – it’s easy to identify why it didn’t work and what I would have to change if I was committed to making it work some other time.