Will Dopamine Detox Boost Digital Marketers’ Creativity? Here’s What the Selzy Team Discovered

Will Dopamine Detox Boost Digital Marketers’ Creativity? Here’s What the Selzy Team Discovered
21 July, 2023 • ... • 2164 views
Daria Zhuravleva
by Daria Zhuravleva

In a world full of temptations and dopamine hooks accessible from your pocket, it’s often hard to stay productive and keep your brain working in the right direction. That’s why the practice of dopamine detox has become a fad. The NY Times and BBC wrote about it, and the practice even has its own subreddit. But does it really make you feel better?

Four digital marketers from Selzy Team became devoted test subjects and went on a strict “informational diet” for a week — here’s how it went.

What is dopamine detox?

Dopamine detox, or dopamine fasting, is the practice of identifying the impulsive behaviors that bring the feeling of instant gratification, and quitting them for a fixed period of time — usually it’s from a few days up to a week. The technique was suggested by cognitive behavioral therapist Cameron Sepah as a method to control addictions. He proposes six groups of the said addictions:

  • Emotional eating
  • Internet and gaming
  • Gambling and shopping
  • Porn and masturbation
  • Thrill or novelty-seeking behaviors
  • Recreational drug use

However, the term is misleading. “Detox” implies that you’re flushing something out of your body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced by the brain no matter what — you can’t really detox from it. The name may be one of the reasons why many people thought of it as asceticism. A BBC reporter misinterpreted it as literal fasting and didn’t even eat for 24 hours. A journalist from The NY Times thought of it as total sensory deprivation. And this article from British GQ compares dopamine fasting with “hunger cure” and questions the validity of the practice, calling it a “Silicon Valley Fad”.

Thanks to this representation in the media, some Reddit users took the practice to the extreme too. For example, this r/DopamineDetoxing member asks if an intellectual game that requires niche skills and strategic thinking is “too fun”:

Reddit post about dopamine detoxing where an OP asks if online chess is too fun and is considered a relapse

Let’s get one thing straight. Dopamine detox is not:

  • Sensory deprivation
  • Starvation
  • Robbing yourself of all the good things in life

If anything, dopamine detox is far less romantic than a Buddhist monk routine — it’s simply quitting the behaviors that don’t benefit you in the long run. But will you become a superhuman if you throw away your smartphone? Let’s explore the matter.

Smartphones vs. executive functioning

Executive function is a set of mental skills involved in decision-making, planning, accomplishing goals, and self-control. Some mental disorders like depression, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder may worsen one or more of these skills. Major executive functioning issues are one of the main symptoms of ADHD and may come together with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). What does it have to do with smartphones?

There’s not a lot of research digging into the correlation between excessive social media use and poor executive functioning. This 2023 study showed a significant association between social media/gaming addiction, executive dysfunction, and emotional dysregulation. Another fresh study explored the connection between smartphone addiction and executive dysfunction in the context of Covid-19 and proposed the following relationship model. According to it, the root of all evils is anxiety. It worsens attention and strengthens the executive dysfunction — and all these three factors fuel smartphone addiction. Here’s a visualization:

The model of the relationship between anxiety, attentional control, executive dysfunction, and smartphone addiction.
Source: Pubmed

This study looks particularly exciting to me. My social media and internet addiction got really bad specifically in 2020, during the quarantine — and I’m happy to learn I’m not alone in the struggle! If anything, I suggested the dopamine detox project for the blog because I wanted to find ways to manage it. However, neither this paper nor my case explain if smartphone use worsens executive functioning.

Luckily, there’s more. One study actually showed that phone addiction worsens behavioral self-control. Another study focused on academic procrastination suggested a complex relationship where smartphone addiction directly affects several factors, including procrastination.

Smartphone addiction worsens time management and learning strategic approach, which fuels academic procrastination. Smartphone addiction by itself leads to academic procrastination as well.
Source: Pubmed

So, the problem is more nuanced than “TikTok bad”. However, excessive smartphone use, even if we include a bunch of other factors in the picture, is not good for your ability to meet deadlines and accomplish your goals. That’s why we’re checking out what might happen if you quit.

We could be heroes, just for one week

Firstly, we have to warn you that we’re by no means scientists and we don’t pretend to be. You can’t extrapolate our outcomes on yourself or other people — we’re only sharing our experiences for funsies. However, it still may be useful for your possible reconsideration of daily routines.  And, if you’re curious about dopamine fasting, it may encourage you to try it yourself. Anyway, let’s get to know our heroes!

Four Selzy team members in different positions related to marketing agreed to go on dopamine detox for a full week, including the weekend:

  • Kate Shokurova, Chief editor at Selzy blog
  • Ash Ritchie, Selzy brand manager
  • Serhii Lukashevych, Head of SEO and Selzy website architect
  • Daria Zhuravleva, Selzy blog author (and hey, this article is written by me!)

Two team members described themselves as people with no prior executive dysfunction issues, two other participants reported having trouble with controlling their internet use. They all have different reasons to take part in our experiment — most of them can be boiled down to improving mental health and productivity.

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I’d like to check less information sources and stop reading the news during the most productive time of day. Ideally, I’d like to prioritize my routines in this order:

  • Exercise
  • Work
  • Studying
  • Spending time with friends and loved ones
  • And only after all that I can check out news and social media updates
Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

Some time ago (like last year, to be more precise 😅), I’ve noticed that the way I sometimes spend my free time is harmful to my mental health and has other disadvantages. So I was interested in learning whether I could abstain from certain unhealthy habits or at least to minimize their effect.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

As I mentioned earlier, my phone addiction became a problem during the pandemic — and last year made it even worse. Obviously, it’s not how I want to spend my free time, let alone scroll instead of working. It slows down my career and personal development, screws up my sleep schedule, and the worst part is, I don’t even enjoy it! Hours of scrolling only make me feel nauseous, overstimulated, and even more tired than before.

The origin stories

All heroes’ journeys start somewhere. That’s why before the detox week we did an extensive interview of our participants’ current situation — what behaviors they’re struggling with and how much it interferes with their work and personal lives. Here’s what they have to say on the matter:

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

The problem is not even about how much content I consume but its quality. If I read books or watched art house movies at a similar pace, it would actually be pretty good and I wouldn’t see it as a nuisance. But I have shelves of untouched books that I want to read! If I keep going like that, I’ll just become a boring and stupid person with severe depression and not a single thought of their own. My brain could use some “learning material censorship” for sure.

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

Looks like my main problem is in consuming too much information outside of work, and my work has a lot to do with information already. The consumption requires too much of my energy and focus that could have been otherwise spent elsewhere, on more suitable purposes. It’s more difficult to work, I feel tired in the evenings more often than before, I sometimes have to work longer hours because of spending too much time not on work during the weekdays.

Despite different levels of executive functioning issues, all of our participants have their own “dopamine needles”, with reading the news being the most popular. Other answers included scrolling social media feeds, watching too many short videos, getting distracted by push notifications, and so on.

Ash Ritchie
Ash Ritchie

Brand manager at Selzy

One behavior that I struggle with the most is constantly checking social media notifications. It often leads to distractions and a decrease in my productivity. Additionally, I find it challenging to disconnect from work-related messages, which can negatively affect my ability to relax and unwind. I believe adding these behaviors to our mandatory list will provide a more comprehensive approach to address the underlying causes of our dependency on instant gratification and enhance our focus on meaningful activities.

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

I have problems with reading too much news, messageboard-style content like Reddit and 9GAG, and reading too much infotainment.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I don’t read news most of the time but my poison is mindless scrolling. I swear to God, the endless timeline of short vertical videos is one of the worst things mankind has ever come up with. Aside from Instagram Reels, I also watch YouTube a lot. And, although some of the content I consume is actually beneficial like long video essays on films, music, politics, culture, and whatever I’m interested in right now, a lot of these videos are just dumb sketches or whatever. Finally, I read a lot of useless information like infotainment articles, long-ass Twitter threads, Telegram channels I’m not even subscribed to, yadda yadda yadda.

The end goals were also quite similar across all our participants. The reports included more mindful social media and internet use, better focus on work and improving work-life balance, and consuming less information during free time.

Ash Ritchie
Ash Ritchie

Brand manager at Selzy

At the end of the experiment, my primary goal is to achieve a greater sense of self-awareness and mindfulness in my daily life. I want to understand how these dopamine-driven habits influence my overall well-being and productivity. Additionally, I aim to discover alternative ways to engage with technology and social media in a healthier and more intentional manner, fostering a better balance between my digital and offline experiences.

An asian woman in a red suit tells you it’s time to put that phone down
Source: Giphy

XP points: before

Qualitative data is not enough to check out the effects of dopamine detox. So, aside from a long list of questions, we asked our participants to rate their average productivity, creativity, and mood from 1 to 10, where 1 is awful and 10 is excellent. Here’s our starting point:

📚 Productivity 🎨 Creativity 🎭 Mood
Ash 7 6 8
Kate 5,5 5,5 7
Daria 5 8 4
Serhii 7 8 4

The rules

As we mentioned, dopamine detox doesn’t mean getting rid of all the fun things in your life. The rules of our experiment are focused on social media and content consumption — here’s the list of behaviors to quit:

  • Scrolling short videos — this includes Instagram Reels, Youtube Shorts, and TikTok
  • Social media — no reading, no posting anywhere, unless you need it for work
  • Reading news from any sources (unless you need it for work) — no doomscrolling!
  • Reading infotainment like Buzzfeed and reading articles online in general unless you need it for work
  • Watching TV shows and long-form Youtube videos unless you need it for work
  • Listening to familiar music — for example, you can’t listen to the songs you know, love, and play on repeat, but you can listen to a new album each day
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Consuming any type of erotic content and engaging in *interesting* activities

The rules also included quitting alcohol for a week and a list of optional behaviors our test subjects can quit if they considered them problematic:

  • Drinking caffeine
  • Consuming added sugar in foods and drinks
  • Texting, unless for work
  • Using a smartphone, unless for calls
  • Ordering takeout and eating junk food
  • …and whatever else tickles your dopamine receptors in an unhealthy way
A character from Good Trouble says “Cell phones are an addiction”
Source: Giphy

And here’s what we can do instead:

  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Talk to and spend time with your friends and loved ones, online or offline
  • Read books and watch movies from your backlog
  • Learn something, work-related or not
  • Engage in your hobbies
  • Sleep
  • Try cooking with a new recipe
  • Finally wash that pile of dishes in the sink
A fluffy beige cat is lying on a chair, looking tired
Or pet a cat, some say, it relieves stress — ask Kate if you want to learn more on that. Source: Kate Shokurova’s personal archives

The preparation

Quitting several problematic behaviors at once requires discipline, dedication, and maybe some external help. That’s why we asked our participants to tell us about how they would prepare for the experiment and make sure they don’t relapse.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

Since I’ve already tried website and app blockers in the past, I’m excited to check if willpower alone is enough. The only adjustment I’ll do is removing Twitter and Instagram apps from my phone. Luckily, I recently had to reset Google Chrome on my laptop to get rid of hijacker malware, which means all the saved passwords were deleted. It will require more actions to log in to social media platforms which counts as a disciplinary measure 🙃

Answers included using blockers, having the thought of the experiment in the back of the head, seeking support from the social circle, establishing new routines, and even putting the phone away in the drawer. This one is our favorite though 🙂

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I’ll just hang a sticker on the wall to remind myself of the experiment.

A sticky note pinned to a piece of cardboard that says “Use freedom.to”
This is a reminder to use an app that blocks websites and messengers. Source: Serhii Lukashevych’s personal archives

The journey

We instructed all our test subjects to log their experiences in the standardized diary form that consisted of rating productivity, creativity, and mood on a scale from 1 to 10, and four additional questions each day. Here’s what it looks like:

A questionnaire for describing the experience of dopamine fasting that includes 4 questions, a place for notes in free form, and numerical ratings of creativity, productivity, and mood

Not everyone is used to journaling as a practice and a little bit of structure wouldn’t hurt — that’s why we made this questionnaire instead of forcing our participants to just do freewriting sessions each day. However, that wasn’t enough. One team member still forgot to log his daily experiences, so further we’ll include abstracts from the extensive post-experiment testimonial. 

Now, let’s find out how it went for our participants.

The good

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I woke up a little earlier than usual and started working right away instead of spending my morning drinking coffee and scrolling social media. I also went for my daily walk/lunch break earlier, and I guess it was less disruptive to my work routine. And I walked more steps today, during the lunch break and after work combined, compared to last Monday!

Most team members noticed positive effects on their workday routines since Day 1, such as:

  • Starting and ending the work day earlier
  • Distracting less and doing more within the same time period
  • Feeling more energized than usual
  • Finishing postponed tasks and resolving issues not related to work
  • Spending more time outdoors and being more physically active

Personally I was curious if I would start walking more steps a day during the experiment. I compared my Huawei Health stats for the detox week and the week before it started, and the difference was shocking.

Two Huawei Health weekly walking statistics screenshots from before and during dopamine detox, the no-detox week has 7138 average steps and the detox week has 9104 steps

Some participants also noticed positive changes in their content consumption habits. Two of them have a habit of constantly revisiting comfort content instead of getting acquainted with something new. It’s not a good pattern because it prevents expanding knowledge and tastes. During the detox week, both team members started exploring new media:

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

During the trip, I decided to listen to something new and chose “Railsea” by China Miéville. It’s not particularly highbrow, but not Buzzfeed, that’s for sure 😄 I’ve only read one book by Miéville before, his prose is strange enough for intellectual stimulation and the language is something else.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

After work, I went for a long walk, had some delicious iced coffee, and listened to Quiet Life by Japan. This band was in my listening backlog for months and I finally got my hands (and ears) on a random old album of theirs — and I liked it! I also finished listening to The Waking Hour by Dalis Car, which I started two weeks before. This one though was too much for me and I only liked the closing track. Anyway, I’m happy I got out of my listening burnout at least for one night.

The experiment also gave our team members some food for thought about their daily digital habits and the reasons behind them:

Ash Ritchie
Ash Ritchie

Brand manager at Selzy

Reflecting on my pre-experiment routines, I realize that there is a need for change. I have come to understand the importance of establishing healthy boundaries with technology and social media. I will consider implementing new routines that prioritize focused work, mindful breaks, and meaningful interactions with others. By integrating these changes into my daily life, I believe I can create a more fulfilling and productive environment.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

Right now, I’m thinking of two things. Firstly, I may or may not use mindless scrolling to deal with the frustration, which is probably not the best way to go. Secondly, I actually can both feel uncomfortable with certain tasks at work and still do them without postponing and getting motivated by deadlines when it’s too late.

An SNL sketch GIF where a woman says “I think everybody needs to get off the dang internet for a few days”
Source: Giphy

Our team also noticed a boost in creative thinking — both at work and outside it:

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I had a nap during a lunch break and came up with how to automate reports. It’s not full automation but it increased the working speed and now this task is not that stressful to me because now the algorithm is crystal clear. To do this, I used my own ideas, research, and ChatGPT.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

When I came home from a walk, I wrote two verses, an outro, and two variations of the chorus for my new song, which I haven’t done in two months or something.

Finally, one particularly interesting effect I noticed was being more attentive to how I feel and what I need right now to feel better. I guess, it can be attributed to being less dissociated than usual.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I started noticing more subtle things that worsened my executive function and concentration like hunger, thirst, physical discomfort of different sorts. And I started fixing these issues on time more often than usual, instead of ignoring them until I have a meltdown or lose the ability to work for hours.

The bad

Drastically changing your routines for a week is by itself quite a task — but we didn’t expect that dopamine detox has its drawbacks, with one of which being lower stress tolerance.

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

Today, I decided to get up earlier and go to the beach before work. Good idea and it felt very nice at first but after that… Big mistake! Lots of traffic jams (or maybe I was just unlucky). So I was able to start working later than usual and just made it to my first business call of the day. Stress! This resulted in a less productive and more chaotic day.

A pebbly seashore, the turquoise water is calm, a shadow of a person taking the picture with a phone is visible on the sand
Source: Kate Shokurova’s personal archives
Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I woke up pissed off because there was still no water at my apartment and I didn’t want to live through another day like this — especially when it’s hot outside and you can’t even take a shower. Also, I had the same not-fully-woken-up thing because of no morning scrolling session.

Personally I was angry and frustrated most of the time, and I reached the breaking point on Thursday:

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I can’t do things anymore, I don’t want to do things because nothing feels rewarding tbh. I’ve even noticed a decrease in productivity — and I feel like I only worked because I had no other pastime options.

A member of The Lonely Island sitting in a driver’s seat and yelling “I’m so sick of this”
Source: Giphy

There was more than one reason why I felt that way. That week was a lot both at work and outside it, and being robbed of a coping strategy didn’t make the situation better. But my biggest mistake was not coming up with alternatives to scrolling beforehand — what to do during breaks, after work, and so on. I should’ve exchanged some knowledge with my team members:

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I was sometimes forgetting about the experiment but when I wasn’t, I was replacing quick dopamine behaviors with short walks in the courtyard that has cats and dogs.

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

At first, I didn’t know what to do even during the shorter breaks during the day that wouldn’t involve using my phone. I decided on short cleaning sessions.

The struggles

Since social media use counts as a behavioral addiction, we expected some kind of dopamine withdrawal and the struggles coming along. Here’s what our team had to say on the matter:

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I craved quick dopamine, sometimes I was opening social media and closing the tabs without reading anything.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I still don’t allow myself to go on social media and I’m less distracted but I get distracted DIFFERENTLY. For example, instead of social media, I started chatting with my colleagues on Slack or mindlessly scrolling through other people’s tasks in Jira, which is a very *meaningful* way to spend your time.

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

Felt VERY difficult not to read while eating. How do people do it?! Or do they? But I decided to learn to focus on my meals anyway.

Keeping up with the detox routine on a weekend was a challenge on its own too.

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

The first day of the experiment, which wasn’t a weekday, was definitely tricky and unusual. No specific situations, but I had these recurring light “spasms” to take a phone and look something up.

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I kept forgetting about the experiment! To ensure I at least don’t make it worse, I watched a movie and took a nap in the afternoon.

The outcomes

Ash Ritchie
Ash Ritchie

Brand manager at Selzy

The Dopamine Detox experiment has made me feel relatively better overall. It provided me with a pretty heightened awareness of the impact of instant gratification habits on my well-being and productivity. By taking a step back and intentionally disconnecting from these dopamine-driven behaviors, of which I’ve come to realize are really frequent, I was able to rediscover the value of focus, somewhat deeper work, and genuine human connections. While it was challenging at times, the experience has taught me valuable lessons about balance and intentional technology use.

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I think I started feeling a little better and I benefited from the practice — I’m less anxious now, for example. However, I can’t really jump to conclusions — I was a little burnt out so I often lacked the self-control to follow the rules letter by letter.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

Surprisingly, one week of abstinence is enough to stop considering scrolling short videos as a viable pastime option. During the first day after the experiment, I only watched a couple of videos from the creators I actually found interesting — and stopped right after. It’s been a week and I still engage in scrolling Twitter and Instagram drastically less than usual — I just don’t find it fun anymore, if anything, it’s irritating now.

As you can see by the answers above, no one went through this completely unchanged — but what about the numbers?

XP points: after

During the post-experiment assessment, we faced a couple of issues. We mentioned that one person didn’t write a log journal. Another team member did but he had trouble rating creativity, so he put question marks in this field across the entire journal. That’s why we can’t show you the full picture. However, the numbers we got are still pretty interesting. Here’s the spreadsheet with our participants’ average productivity, creativity, and mood, and how it’s different from the pre-experiment ratings.

📚 Productivity 🎨 Creativity 🎭 Mood
Kate Total: 6.6 (+1)

Workdays: 6.8

Total: 6.5 (+0.5)

Workdays: 6.6

Total: 7.3 (+0.3)

Workdays: 7.2

Daria Total: 6.3 (+1.3)

Workdays: 7.2

Total: 7 (-1)

Workdays: 7.6

Total: 2.6 (-1.4)

Workdays: 2.2

Serhii Total: 5.3 (-1.7)

Workdays: 5.4

Excluded from the analysis Total: 5.7 (+1.7)

Workdays: 5.8

We can’t jump to conclusions since the data is a little murky and we don’t have a large enough sample. However, it looks like a week of strictly limited internet use will not make you the most productive, creative, and cheerful digital marketer in the world.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I guess I developed a scrolling habit to dissociate so I didn’t have to be 100% mentally present when bad things happen in the world and to me personally. Now, since I don’t do it anymore, I have way less brain fog and I’m more focused on the present moment. The problem is, this moment pisses me off in most aspects.

Most unhealthy habits didn’t appear out of thin air. Maybe you started overusing social media to cope with something, or you need external stimulation for passive work — for example, you scroll videos while thinking of a problem and figuring out its solution in “the background mode”. That’s why maybe quitting all these habits cold turkey is not the one-size-fits-all solution.

Homer from Simpsons says “You and I are very different people”
Source: Giphy

Will we do it again?

Kate Shokurova
Kate Shokurova

Chief editor at Selzy blog

I’m really hopeful of how this experiment is going to influence my life. I don’t think I’m going to stay away from certain things altogether but practicing a “diet” (which had been my plan from the start) feels pretty doable.

Ash Ritchie
Ash Ritchie

Brand manager at Selzy

Yes, I will go on Dopamine Detox again. The experiment has opened my eyes to the power of intentional disconnection and the benefits it brings to my overall well-being. I plan to incorporate regular Dopamine Detox sessions into my routine to maintain a healthy balance with technology and avoid falling back into old patterns. By periodically detoxing from excessive dopamine stimulation, I can continue to cultivate mindfulness, creativity, and deep focus in my life.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog author

I don’t think there’s a point in temporary “detoxing periods” if they don’t affect your regular routines. For example, if you want to stop getting blackout drunk on weekends, three months of sobriety followed by resuming the whole “blacking out every weekend” routine won’t cut it — you need to break the pattern instead. That’s why I’m more interested in changing my relationships with social media — which content I consume, how much of it, when, what makes me crave this kind of pastime, and so on. The idea of short-term dopamine detoxing as a regular practice for weekends or deep work periods still seems great — in fact, I actually started doing the latter in milder forms.

Serhii Lukashevych
Serhii Lukashevych

Head of SEO and Selzy website architect

I’d like to get rid of most of these habits and focus on my own goals. I can’t stop reading the news completely though but at least I can decrease the amount of sources I read. I also consider removing my social media accounts forever. And of course I will go on a dopamine fast again for a better focus.

Should you go on dopamine detox then? We don’t know you, so we have no idea. If you feel like it may benefit you right now or in the long run, go for it. And if you want to make the most out of the practice, here’s some advice based on our experience:

  • Personalize your approach. Instead of taking pre-made lists of rules from the internet or listening to maximalists on Reddit, think of your sources of quick dopamine that count as unhealthy habits. 
  • Don’t rely on willpower. If you have a problem with scrolling TikTok, you already have a problem with self-control. Use blocking apps and extensions like Stayfocusd and Freedom.to to ensure you don’t relapse. Also, by doing this, you put less pressure on yourself and end up less stressed during the detox time.
  • Think of a replacement. Don’t repeat my mistake! If you want your dopamine detox sustainable and useful instead of it being one more stress factor, come up with what you will do instead of scrolling.
21 July, 2023
Article by
Daria Zhuravleva
I'm a writer with 3 years of experience, knowledge and interest in all things IT and marketing, and a passion for the English language. As a staff author at Selzy, I see my mission as an educator who makes your life easier by explaining complex topics in a digestible and somewhat entertaining way. Hobbies include birdwatching, all things music and art, writing freeform poetry, and hiding in the woods.
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