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How Dopamine Shapes Our Lives

What you need to know about the neurotransmitter on everyone’s mind these days.

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Read when you’ve got time to spare.

Spoiler alert: You can’t actually “detox” from dopamine. The neurotransmitter is always chugging along in your brain, even if you do swear off social media, donuts, and online shopping. But the concept of paying attention to your relationship with dopamine—and what triggers the kind of spikes that lead to discomfort—is very real, and a worthwhile experiment. Read on to explore how our reward pathways work and how they can help you spend less time on the addictive activities you wish wouldn’t suck you in—and more on the parts of life that leave you feeling nourished and energized.

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The ‘Dopamine Detox’ Is Having a Moment

Haley Weiss

Dopamine is just one neurochemical that contributes to happiness, and unplugging for a few days won’t rewire your mind. But it might help you recognize the triggers you’re leaning on.