In a generation where wi-fi is one of our necessities, this is completely outrageous, or so I thought. This is something new to me and I thought it was impossible to do.
Yesterday (9 May 2020), I did a dopamine detox (dopamine fasting) wherein one is not allowed to touch his/her gadgets, to read for leisure, to drink coffee or tea, to watch TV or listen to music, and to talk to anyone.
Although, I did converse with my family because I really couldn’t help it. I decided to just tick it off the list.
Here are subtopics for easy navigation:
What I did
Lessons I learned
- One can live without gadgets or books for a day
Imagine living a day in your house and your gadgets went dead, your chargers are broken, you have no powerbanks, no books to read, no radio, and no electricity. Then realize that you are still alive.
- One can also live without coffee for a day
Imagine not having coffee… I slept just after meditating in the morning.
- Talking to yourself is not crazy
Without the things I use everyday (laptop, phone, books), I couldn’t help but talk to myself. I literally heard my own thoughts with my own voice and intonations. Then I started to laugh because I thought it was silly talking randomly to my mind.
- Talking to God and feeling His presence is very real
and it was just on a another level without any of my daily distractions. I could feel that He was responding to me and nodding in affirmation. Especially when I meditated last before sleeping.
- Appreciate the things you take for granted
One time when I was going back to my room, it was the first time I took seconds to look at the paintings on the wall beside our staircase. I did not even know we have 8 paintings — and all of it is beautiful.
- Actually talking to your family can be a form of self-help
I admit I sometimes only talk to them when I need something or when they need to ask me something. Rarely that I open my own topic and share something because I thought they wouldn’t hear me out,
being the youngest in the family.
But having a conversation with your family can practice all the things I learned from the self-help books. Also they are my family and conversing with them can lead to understanding one another. Hence, communication is key.
I intentionally woke up later than the usual so that I would have less time for the detox. I kid. After doing my morning routine without reading and learning something I slept a 2hr-good-nap.
My dream was the coolest I had ever dreamt as far as the others that I’ve taken note of, ie because I almost controlled a lucid dream!
Here is a copy of that short dream
Two male mech engg friends fetched me at my dorm. We went to an amusement park where there is a huge screen playing a Filipino noon time show (Sh*wtime). We sat on a bench to enjoy the show, and I sat between the two.
Two hosts from the show (Jugs & Teddy) were mimicking our friend. Then the camera man back to our friend, our friend notices it and cursed with a shy grinning face. Our friend left his seat until he went to a washroom. next content is rated so I’ll skip this part*
The night went dark and we needed to go home. We walked to the outside of the park and my other friend gone, and my close friend left beside me walking. I asked if the train station is still working at this time because I needed it to go home from there.
He answered “yes but I’ll be willing to take you home.” Then I told him THANKS and headed to his car. In his car, he buckled up and said I don’t have to do anything, just listen to the radio and relax because he knows the way to my dorm.
Again, I said my thanks. But… I realized that I didn’t really know him because I only have 2 mech engg friends in real life (the one on the noon time show and one who isn’t in my dream).
I said, “I had a fun day but it feels like this is just a dream.“
I was insane and this can’t be a dream, he said.
But I was really sure I didn’t know him and I’m pretty sure I was dreaming.
“No really, I think I’m just dreaming.“
And whenever I mention “dream,” he becomes blurry. Dream. Blurry. Dream. Until I only saw darkness. Then I thought I could finally lucid dream because I realized in my dream that I was dreaming.
However, I didn’t get lucky because I failed on even trying to control that dream…. then I woke up… wrote my dream.. and considered it one of the coolest dream ever.
–end of dream–
Since I had a lot to write in the morning, I didn’t really feel like I was on a detox and just having this day focused on writing to my friends (without sending it to them after).
But afternoon came, time was slow, I was still writing. Now creatively, but time was relatively slower. I didn’t want to finish more of the topics I wished I’ve written about. Then I went on babysitting my niece.
Back in my room with yellow papers and my notebooks in front. I resumed my writing and started to draw a site I’d like to build (I wouldn’t tell the specifics but I wish to really build this after learning “how to build a website”). Time flew and it was time to exercise.
My exercise was with a meditation part because after feeling tired, I talked to myself. I lied there on the floor and stared at my ceiling thinking what am I even doing…
Now for the real reflection 🤪
Without gadgets for a day I felt like I’m living back in B.C. but I feel extra fine. I see more important stuff in front of me and I’ve come to appreciate life more.
I appreciate my family more. I realized how great God is (and I missed Him because I wasn’t able to read the bible for a day).
I noticed other people and not just myself. Not anymore.
I didn’t feel the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO). Maybe because I had already eliminated it before the detox and what I mean by FOMO is that I didn’t think about how my friends are doing online. What the heavens they are up to. What does the breaking news say. Things other people fear if they didn’t know it.
I could think more clearly of the better things I can do especially when I don’t have my phone with me. I also realized the importance and the benefits of what LinkedIn and Upwork give to professionals or even people who are looking for a job. I realized that web hosting is really important too if I want my blog to be searched on google.
I wanted to reconnect with my high school friends, the one I left for another school and another.
I also remembered airport guy while reading it from my 2011 journal. He was this cute guy I saw at the airport, hence the name, and I really wanted to see him again. So back then, I continued praying to God and ask him consistently about this guy. I thought he was the one. But I still think there is a chance… (hahaha!)
More reflection about my dream: I realized that it’s okay to let go of it for now. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to pursue it anymore. I still am.
Before, I was having a dilemma of not letting go because I had made it this far or actually accept the situation and move on. Then finally I said that it’s okay, I can decide for myself, I know what I’m going to do, and in the end I’m still going to save lives.
Lastly, I had realized that meditation with prayer is the best thing ever. I sat on my bed, in a meditation position, closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and talked to God. It was a good 30 minutes of praying and crying. Yeah I couldn’t believe, liquids were automatically flowing out of my lacrimal glands.
It was one of the best meditations I had ever done.
Here is a video that inspired me to try the intermediate Dopamine Detox! It’s a video series (see the video description) by Andrew Kirby on YouTube. He also practices stoicism and even tried Marcus Aurelius’ morning and nighttime routine.
💗 Thanks for reading!
Tell me if you’ve already tried this and if not — I do encourage you to watch Andrew’s videos and choose from beginner, intermediate, and time theorist.
PS today is mother’s day! I greet all your moms and all the supermoms out there, Happy mom’s day! 💐💝