Dopamine fasting - is it good or bad?
A family member’s church is shortly moving into a month of fasted prayer and we were chatting about the science of this - i.e. about how removing a dopamine high by avoiding certain activities may bring about a greater degree of focus.
This could be an interesting exercise to try from time to time especially if you’re finding yourself more wild (aka more in your emotional Artemis archetype) and less strategic (aka less in your logical Athena archetype) and are finding this disadvantageous.
Dopamine is our addictive hormone - it’s what helps you feel good when you enjoy pleasure based activities. In fact, it’s nicknamed the molecule of more as we are hardwired to repeat behaviours that give us a dopamine high. But that’s not a bad thing.
Obviously there are some addictive pleasure based activities which are self destructive but there are equally as many habitual pleasure based activities that add value and bring balance into our lives.
One person’s idea of pleasure can be wildly different from the next persons and part of what plays into this is if their body is not producing enough dopamine (or serotonin) naturally. People whose bodies are in this category are more inclined to have addictive personalities because they need more of a happy hormone high to just be at the normal baseline.
If your body is producing enough on it’s own, the simple pleasures of life may be enough for you.
For example, for me - reading a book, lying in the sun, self care of any kind, painting and drawing, having a deep conversation, doing my job … posting a new blog post.
What spikes your dopamine and if it doesn’t lead back into your purpose … is it time for a fast?
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