Dopamine levels : Are we in control Or Are we being controlled?
Have you ever had that tenacious thought that why aren’t you able to get things done? Why do those important things seem so boring and why is this big bucket of procrastination hanging in your hand? Well, one would argue that this is because one has likes and dislikes, a person will obviously favour doing the things that he likes more often than what he dislikes but is important.
This seems plausible in some sense, but the world doesn’t work like that, we have to get some things done no matter what we feel about them, that is if one is ambitious to make one’s life meaningful. Let’s get to addictions now, since they play a major role in wasting our elixir of life and raise a monumental question of we being in control.
Now let’s take a look at current young adults’ or teens’ rough daily time utilization – The world median of teens using social media is about 3 hours a day, concentrating on America, which shifts to 6hrs of Entertainment media daily. And behold! That’s just one addiction we are talking about, the giants like ‘Food cravings’ & ‘Drugs’ are yet to be noticed! Dopamine – A neurological reward our likes and dislikes or our channelling of energy to a particular work is controlled by a special neurotransmitter known as Dopamine. This little playful hormone has a fabulous work of rewarding the brain when we concentrate on things that we like.
For example – Let’s say you find pleasure in playing video games and today you played video games for an hour, thy brain shall release dopamine into thy system letting you experience the joy. So far so good, No problem, But now your brain has an increase in the level of Dopamine, and that is going to be a problematic cause later.
Our brain being a smart piece of architecture will induce a slight tolerance against your current dopamine level and when tomorrow, you will sit to enjoy your time playing video games, your brain shall say, ‘Nah, One hour isn’t enough.
I wants more.” See, the interesting point to note here is that it’s the brain’s tolerance that is driving us to spend more time on pleasurable activities and the more time you spend the more dopamine will be secreted, the more peaks this dopamine level achieves the less pleasure you are going to receive.
Reward and Pleasure I would like to cite a little philosophy here, that ‘As an aspect of reward, pleasure provides a definition of reward’. This being true, it is important to note that while all pleasurable stimuli are rewarding, not all rewarding stimuli are pleasurable. Reward and pleasure have a subtle difference between them, reward mainly focuses on receiving something in return while pleasure focuses on the consumption of something that one likes. Reward induces appetitive behaviour while Pleasure induces consummatory behaviour.
Loss of controlThis is where things start to get messy, something that the old times knew very little of. Modern world has provided man with a multitude of savory flavours to try that, man has certainly lost his true-self while running behind wanton phantoms. This is what lexicographers call ‘Madness’. A non-contagious disease that strikes the perfect strings which might lead the human to carry out magnificent miracles or even drown him to those deadly perils of utter misfortune. In this world, where a normal human finds himself subjected to so many pleasurable and rewardable things that he finally faces the fluctuation of dopamine levels and ultimately loses his control over things, he then becomes a prey of his own past, by trying to keep up with his nasty habits that he had once developed by wasting the sweet elixir of life – time. It then becomes steeply difficult for him to really understand his nature for himself, for he is no more himself but a worshipper of materials that keep him pleasurably content.

MaterialismMaterialistic love, Oh! How void and incomplete a thought that a man can possess! The world is so much more than the world that we perceive as material, so much more.

And how wonderful a role Dopamine plays in making people fall into the spider’s traps of ignorance as if nature knows only the values of pleasure and pain. Pleasure and pain, the natural equivalents of biological positive and negative, seem to play an intrinsic fundamental role in nature’s genetic language.

Now that we think of it, it is perfectly natural and humane to run behind pleasurable things may it be material or not, if it pleases the body then it’s very nature of the body to want more and more of it. So much that our demand keeps on increasing, driving us deeper into the realm of madness. But then, are we beasts to let such meagre materialistic things take control of our life? Are we really driving our intellectual property straight into the wall of blissful ignorance ? Dopamine detox – Coming back to the ground An elegant solution to many questions is ‘Time’ itself.

Just as water plays the role of universal solvent in the science of chemistry, Time plays the role of a moderator, a keeper of tranquil harmony, in the algebra of pains and pleasures, and turmoil of emotions.

Dopamine Detox, a rather fancy word for a simple process, involves nothing but abstaining from all the materialistic pleasures, for a specific amount of time, that seemed to have trapped oneself.

The logical explanation behind this detox is pretty trivial, spending sufficient time away from one’s desirable things gets our dopamine levels back to normal.

It can include various things according to one’s lifestyle, for example – keeping away from social media for a week, abstaining from junk food for a month, resisting alcohol, drugs, etc.

By now you must have picked up the underlying idea, we are trying to take things slowly so that we learn to appreciate details of life and the world, by keeping ourselves in control. Go ahead then! Give it a try, for you will only understand its importance when you get your mind free from all sticky external influence and its natural pure state.