What if I told you that you cannot escape addiction. You will inevitably be addicted to something your entire life...
I was listening to a podcast by Ed Mylett and he had a neuroscientist guest named Andrew Huberman. They began talking about our bodies and how chemical secretions are happening every day, all the time based on information that is relayed to the brain.
Our bodies are chemically wired to be addicted. How is this happening? A little thing called dopamine! Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which means it is used by the brain to make the body act in certain ways. It can even have an effect on hormone secretions like serotonin and oxytocin.
Think of it this way - dopamine is the "feel-good" neurotransmitter that activates a reward system in your brain and body.
Basically, any time you feel a hint of "pleasure", that is dopamine in action. This is where it becomes dangerous, because you will subconsciously start to TRAIN yourself to seek these little dopamine secretions based on what you see as pleasurable experiences.
So let's talk about this... every time you get a "hit" of dopamine, your body is saying, "YES, LET'S DO THIS AGAIN!"
How is this dangerous? Let's use an extreme like using drugs. You take a dose of cocaine and your dopamine hit happens. You love this feeling, it feels like a reward, so you want to do it again.
No, I've never tried cocaine, but I hear it creates an intense feeling of pleasure and happiness.
Let's apply this to the real world, because I'm assuming most of YOU have not tried cocaine either.
When you open up your phone, what is the first instinct you have? Yes, that's right, for most of us, it is to check our social media. Did you know that each time you check your social media and you see a message, a like, a comment, or any notification you get a dopamine hit. It feels good to be noticed, seen, and validated doesn't it? So you answer the message, comment on the reaction, or create a new post based on the feedback you received. You check again a while later and there are MORE notifications! Another dopamine hit. Let's say that each time you check your phone there is a new notification. Each of those times you check your phone is a hit of dopamine.
NOW, when you pick up your phone to call someone, check a fact on google, or check your bank account, your finger seems to automatically click on the Social Media icon by habit. You start checking notifications and completely forget why you picked up your phone in the first place. This is EXACTLY what the dopamine reward system created. You now have an unconscious habit that is based on your body's addiction to that dopamine reaction of checking social media to "feel good".
How is this dangerous? Well, I'm not going to tell you that checking social media 50 times a day is dangerous. It could be what helps you with your business, your entertainment, staying connected, whatever that is. What becomes dangerous is the areas in your life when dopamine hits have you addicted to OUTCOME events. Have you ever noticed that when you post something and you get only 5 likes instead of 100 you kinda feel let down? Or you check again and there are NO notifications? You don't really feel good at that point. Your dopamine hits are connected to the OUTCOME of the response you want to see.
Hear me out - Let's say you train every day for a big goal that you have, or you work every day for that big promotion you have. Each day you are doing the necessary actions to reach this goal. You work months, maybe even years on achieving this. Then the day comes and you have finally accomplished it!!! You won the show, or you got the promotion... Now what...
What you need to know is that you actually receive MORE dopamine in the pursuit of your dream than you will on the day you achieve it!
Read that again,
You actually receive MORE dopamine in the PURSUIT of your dream than you will on the day you ACHIEVE it!!
Woh... so what I'm telling you is that if you do not enjoy the JOURNEY... you will ALWAYS be disappointed in the results.
What if you could find a way to get dopamine hits DURING the activities that create LASTING happiness? What if you could train your body to be addicted to the ACTIVITIES that move you forward instead of the result.
What does this look like? Let's stay with the social media idea. What if, instead of doing reels that are trending to get you more views... you did reels that made you feel great about your message?
What if you got a dopamine hit from filming and creating the reel instead of checking on it afterwards?
What if you got a dopamine hit from writing a post that you know will help someone based on your experience, skill and expertise, instead of writing a post that you think Facebook and Instagram will choose for their algorithms based on popular topics?
What if you got a dopamine hit from liking someone ELSE's post rather than checking on who liked yours??
I guarantee this will be a happier, more organic experience for you.
And if social media advertising for your business is just not enjoyable at all, HIRE SOMEONE to take it over so you don't have to worry about it! You won't regret that!
This is the same concept for losing weight, training for a contest, working towards a career goal, raising your kids, rebuilding a broken marriage, fostering new friendships... It can literally shape your life!
Is it easy? No it'll take time.
How do you do it? That's totally based on YOU! I can't tell you how you should do it, because you are so unique.
How did I do it?
Fast track answer?
Yes, it's true. I have beat all of my bad addictions by using brainspotting to rewire my brain to see a true and impactful reward in just making good choices! I do not choose sugar or soda anymore. It actually creates an icky feeling if I even imagine it. I do not overspend based on emotion anymore! That is really exciting! And I do not do things that hurt my body based on FOMO with friends! I do not sacrifice my boundaries anymore to make others feel better. This technique in retraining my brain as literally changed every aspect of my life for the better. So this is my favorite answer, because it is a fast track to your NEW and IMPROVED dopamine addictions!
I get dopamine hits with EVERY post, EVERY good decision, EVERY problem I solve, EVERY conversation I have, etc!
Imagine being addicted to loving yourself, respecting yourself, and protecting yourself! Imagine being addicted to enjoying each moment and finding gratitude around every corner! Imagine being addicted to solving problems so much so that when one comes up you don't get discouraged, but you get excited to find a way to solve it and then having a story to tell afterwards that could help others.
Imagine being addicted to having patience and finding creative ways to love your kids through the obvious struggles of motherhood.
Imagine being addicted to being happy exactly where you are in life because you see where you are going and there is no way you can possibly fail over a lifetime!
Just sayin... it's pretty stinking cool.
Shoot me an email if you want this for yourself. Let's shift your addictions to serve you and make you UNBREAKABLE!
@edmylett @hubermanlab @brandi.babin @reclaimjournal