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Giving your brain a break: Should you take a digital detox?

12 October 2021 1:19 PM
Tags:
digital addiction
dopamine fast
dopamine

Lester Kiewit speaks to two experts about the pleasure overload and whether a dopamine fast is the answer to digital addiction.

- Could it be time to take a dopamine detox?

- The idea is that you take a break from experiences that bring you pleasure, like social media and video games


Image: © gekaskr/ 123rf.com

When was the last time you switched off your phone?

Are you someone who falls asleep with your device in your hand, unable to stop tweeting, scrolling, and consuming the endless content to be found at the touch of a button?

Perhaps it's time to take a 'dopamine detox', that's the newest fad which a lot of people swear by in order to 'reset' the brain.

The idea is that you take a break from experiences that bring you pleasure, so things like social media, video games, even sex, and food.

According to addiction expert Dr Anna Lembke, our smartphones are making us dopamine junkies, with each swipe, like, and tweet feeding our habit.

Lester Kiewit explores the idea of taking a dopamine 'fast' with experts Dr Sharon Munyaka from the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of SA and communications specialist Nazareen Ebrahim at Naz Consulting International.

RELATED: Meet the man who had pioneering brain surgery to help beat his opioid addiction

Talking about the dopamine effect, you always want a reward in your brain, but the only problem with that is your brain also identifies pain in the same part it identifies pleasure.

Dr Sharon Munyaka - Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of SA

She says we are so overwhelmed with these platforms that offer dopamine rewards.

Those who work in news and media have both a work-related usage of social media as well as scrolling for their own entertainment, she explains.

If you work in media, your consumption is derived from two areas. One is you are scrolling to learn, to research, and the other part of that is you are scrolling to get entertained.

Dr Sharon Munyaka - Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of SA

She says as someone who works in communications she has to guard against becoming sucked in by marketing offerings online.

The dopamine fast is actually ascribed as a technique in addition to drugs that psychologists and psychiatrists may prescribe.

Nazareen Ebrahim, CEO - Naz Consulting International

We're constantly pushing to get pleasure because we're so overwhelmed with an abundance of pleasure-giving sources...

Nazareen Ebrahim, CEO - Naz Consulting International

In fact, your brain identifies pain in the same area it identifies pleasure says Ebrahim.

RELATED: [LISTEN] How former teen heroin addict turned his life around




12 October 2021 1:19 PM
Tags:
digital addiction
dopamine fast
dopamine

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