Challenging work is the most popular problem in our busy lives. You probably do not have a problem with video games or browsing social networks on your mobile phone. There is no doubt that you can hold your phone in your hand and do each of these activities for two whole hours (and even more) without losing focus. But what about half an hour of studying? It’s a lot harder, isn’t it? What about working an hour? It does not seem to be very attractive.

While you logically know that studying, exercising, starting a business.
Or any other helpful activity will bring you more benefits in the long run, you still prefer to spend your time watching TV, playing video games, and surfing the net. Socialize. Really, why are we doing this?

You may say that the reason is apparent: activities such as watching TV, video games, etc., are easy and do not require much effort and energy; While activities like studying, exercising, starting a business و are challenging and require more effort do them.

But some people do not seem to have any problems with studying, exercising, or working on their projects regularly. So the question that arises at this moment is how do some people have more motivation to do challenging work? Is there a way to make challenging work easier?

To answer this question, we need to look at a hormone in the brain called dopamine, which transmits stimuli and messages to the nerves.

Reward hormone to doing challenging work

Dopamine is often referred to as the pleasure molecule. But we can say that creating pleasure is not exactly what this hormone does. Instead, dopamine is a hormone that makes us want something. It is the desire that motivates us to get up and do things. If you still have doubts about dopamine’s potential, let me show you some of the neuroscientists’ tests on mice.

Researchers implanted electrodes in the brains of mice. Each time the mouse pulled the lever in the laboratory, the scientists stimulated the reward part of the mouse’s brain. The result was that the mice were very interested in doing this and pulled the lever for hours in a row. They even stopped eating and sleeping and only removed the lever until they fainted from fatigue. But then the scientists reversed the process.

They blocked the release of dopamine in the reward brain of mice. As a result, the mice became so lazy that they could not even get up to drink water. They did not even eat or mate. They did not want to do anything at all. It could be said that the mice had lost their desire for life.

However, if the food was placed directly in their mouths, they would eat it and enjoy it. They just did not have the motivation to get up and do it.

Is dopamine more important than food?

You may think that thirst or hunger motivates us to seek water and food. But it is actually dopamine that plays a very crucial role here.
Testing mice may be the worst-case scenario. But you can see the exact effects dopamine has on humans and our daily lives. In fact, your mind prioritizes your actions based on the amount of dopamine you expect to receive from them.

If an activity releases a little dopamine, you will not be motivated to do it. But if an activity releases a lot of dopamine, you will be encouraged to repeat it several times. So now the question is, what behaviors trigger dopamine secretion?

Any activity you expect a potential reward for will release dopamine.

But if you know you will not be rewarded immediately for doing something, your brain will not secrete dopamine. For example, your brain releases dopamine before eating the food you enjoy; Because you expect to eat that food to make you feel good and happy; Even if it actually makes you worse (for example, it is terrible for your health).

This is because your brain does not care about the harmful activities that cause the release of large amounts of dopamine. They just want it more and more. An example of this is a person addicted to drugs or anything.

He knows what he is doing is harmful to him, but all he wants is to use drugs. In addition, cocaine and heroin release large amounts of dopamine in the brain, which ultimately increases your desire to use these substances.

Of course, you should know that almost any activity triggers some dopamine release, even drinking water when thirsty. But most dopamine secretion occurs when you accidentally get rewarded for doing something.


In today’s digital world, our brains abnormally secrete large amounts of dopamine daily, even if we’re not aware of it. Social media scrolling, video games, and. These are examples of behaviors that cause high dopamine secretion in the brain.

We expect to be rewarded for each of these behaviors. That’s why we check our phones regularly: we’re waiting for a new message or any other notification, and we know we’re going to get it.

We become mice that pull the levers to release a wave of dopamine into their brains. You may think, “So what?” “It does not hurt me.” But you are wrong.

This is because of the “homeostasis” system of our body. Our body likes to keep the physical and chemical conditions inside the body in balance. So whenever an imbalance occurs, our body adapts itself. Let me give you an example.

When the weather is cold, our body temperature drops. As a result, our bodies tremble to produce heat. But, conversely, even when the weather is hot, our body temperature rises. So we start sweating to reduce the heat a little. Basically, our body seeks to keep its temperature constant near 37 degrees Celsius under any circumstances. But there is another parallel that manifests itself.

This symmetry is called “tolerance.” For example, a person who rarely uses painkillers can relieve the pain by using a low dose. But someone who takes painkillers regularly should take more painkillers to ease the pain; Because his body has adapted to it or has reached adaptability.

His body is basically accustomed to the drug and is less sensitive to its effects.

The same is true of dopamine. Your brain gets used to high dopamine levels, and this high level becomes your new natural level. So you achieve dopamine adaptation, and your dopamine neurotransmitters become weak. But what is the problem with this?

Digital Age Addicts

This can be a big problem because things that do not release dopamine will no longer attract you.
Therefore, it becomes challenging to get motivated to do those things. In addition, these things seem tedious to you because they release less dopamine in your brain than work that emits high dopamine levels.

This is why people are more interested in playing video games or surfing the Internet than studying or starting their own business. Video games or watching series make us feel relaxed and comfortable; Because they release a lot of dopamine. Unfortunately, activities such as challenging work or study release very little dopamine.

This is one of the reasons why drug addicts who try to quit can hardly dedicate themselves to everyday life. The adaptation of dopamine in their body is so high that ordinary life can not produce that amount of dopamine. They look like mice that have no motivation to do something that does not produce enough dopamine for them. This is not just a problem for drug addicts.

People addicted to video games and social media experience a similar situation. Once their dopamine levels become accustomed to high levels, they can no longer enjoy low-dopamine-releasing behaviors. So the question that comes to mind is: Is there a way we can prevent this from happening?

Dopamine detoxification or dopamine detox

One way to prevent this is to detoxify dopamine or quit dopamine addiction. You can probably guess what dopamine detox will look like.

All you have to do is set a day for yourself. Then, avoid any stimulant activity that releases large amounts of dopamine into your brain on that day. You need to prevent large amounts of dopamine from entering your brain and allow the dopamine receptors to repair.

[Note: If you suffer from drug addiction or any other addictive substance, be sure to seek help from a specialist. Because you may have physical and mental conflicts and doing such cleansing will harm you.]

You should try to have a little fun as possible for a full day. Do not use the Internet or other technology such as cell phones or computers. You are not allowed to listen to music or eat in a hurry. Basically, you will completely eliminate all external pleasure sources for a day. You are going to be very bored. However, you are allowed to do the following:

  • Take a walk.
  • Meditate and be alone with your thoughts.
  • Think about your life and goals.
  • Write down the ideas that come to your mind. Not on your phone or computer, but on a piece of paper.

It may be challenging to do this, but if you are looking for basic and fast results, you must be able to go to extremes. So now you may be asking yourself: How could such a thing work?

Boring challenging work becomes enjoyable

This is how you look at it. Suppose you eat all your meals at the best restaurant in town. As a result, it turns out that those excellent promises become your natural expectation of food. If someone compliments you on a simple bowl of rice, you will probably reject them. This is because the food will not be as delicious as your daily meals.

Now, if you are stuck on a remote island and hungry, suddenly that rice dish does not look so bad anymore. This is what dopamine detoxification does.
This detoxification deprives your body of all the pleasures you usually receive, and as a result, you will be more inclined to do less pleasurable activities.

To put it simply, dopamine detox works; Because you get so bored that doing boring things will make you more enjoyable. Now, if you do not want to do it with such intensity and deprive yourself of all pleasures, you can do detoxification on a smaller scale.

Choose one day of the week and eliminate any high dopamine activity on that day. This activity can be anything from checking your phone all day long to playing video games, watching TV series in a row, eating junk food, surfing social media, and more. You should avoid doing it one full day a week from now on.

Of course, you can still do other things, but the activity you have chosen is your red line, and you should not do it.

Yes, you will be a little bored, but that’s the goal. You allow dopamine neurotransmitters to repair themselves from a large amount of dopamine abnormally released in your brain. Boredom also leads you to do other things that day. Stuff you usually procrastinate; Because they do not release enough dopamine. But it is easier for you to do these things because you are bored.

Reward yourself

Avoiding behaviors that release high dopamine is good from time to time. But ideally, you should avoid doing these things altogether or at least as little as possible. Instead, you can get more dopamine by doing something that benefits you the most.

In addition, high dopamine activities can motivate you to do exercises that will help you in the long run. In other words, you can consider activities that release high dopamine as a reward for doing a challenging workout. After doing daily activities such as cleaning the house, reading books, practicing piano, exercising, and. You can do some high-dopamine activity “at the end of the day.”

The keywords here are “at the end of the day” and “after…”. If you do high dopamine activity first, you will no longer feel like working with low dopamine; Because you are no longer motivated enough. So always start with challenging work and then allow yourself to do high dopamine activities.

For example, you can reward yourself with 15 minutes of high-dopamine workout at the end of the day for every hour you work out. In this case, if, for example, you work 8 hours with low dopamine, at the end of the day, you will have two hours to work with high dopamine.

Of course, it is essential to note that if you are addicted to something that endangers your health, you should not consider it a reward. Instead, think of these as actions that you must take regularly. Something worth trying.

But make no mistake. This alone is not enough, and some days it is best to avoid doing things with high dopamine altogether.

The choice is yours

Finally, we can say that it is possible to turn challenging work into something that seems easier to do. But when your brain receives a lot of dopamine all the time, you will not be excited to do things that release a little dopamine. For this reason, it is better to limit the time to do something with high dopamine, such as using a phone and a computer, and know that it will be worth it.

So if you have trouble staying motivated, start dopamine detoxification from your brain as soon as possible. Stay away from abnormally high dopamine levels, or at least expose yourself to it less frequently.

Only then will normal daily activities with low dopamine be exciting again, and you will be able to do them for a more extended period.

We are all somewhat addicted to dopamine, and that’s a good thing; Because dopamine leads us to achieve our goals and improve ourselves. But it’s up to you to decide where to get your dopamine.

Do you want to get it from things that do not benefit you? Or the challenging work that drives you to your long-term goals? The choice is yours.

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