To Reset, First Abstain - Deepstash
The Philosophy Of Alan Watts

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The Philosophy Of Alan Watts

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To Reset, First Abstain

If and when you decide to go back to using your drug of choice, remember to create literal and metacognitive barriers between yourself and it. The bottom line is this: To reset your dopamine brain, first abstain.


560 reads


The Balance Wants To Stay Level

One of the most important discoveries in neuroscience in the past 100 years is that pleasure and pain are co-located. The same parts of the brain that process pleasure also process pain. And pleasure and pain work like a balance. When we feel pleasure, the balance tips on...


792 reads

… So Pleasure Will Be Followed By Pain

When we feel pleasure, our brain releases a little bit of the neurotransmitter dopamine in our brain’s reward pathway, and our balance tips slightly to the side of pleasure. But no sooner has that happened than our brain adapts to the increased dopamine by down-regulating my dopamine receptors an...


749 reads

Innocent Drugs, Same Effect: Dopamine Overload

If you haven’t met your drug of choice yet, it’s coming soon to a website near you. Yet despite this increased access to all these feel-good drugs and behaviors—or as Anna Lembke hypothesizes, because of it—we are more miserable than ever. Rates of depression, anxiety, physical p...


531 reads

We’re Titillating Ourselves To Death

We’re Titillating Ourselves To Death

“Throughout my 20-year career, I have seen more and more patients, including otherwise healthy young people with loving families, elite education, and relative wealth, presenting with depression, anxiety, and full-body pain. We are titillating ourselves to death.”

Anna Lembke


526 reads

Just Wait Long Enough

Whatever your drug of choice, give it up for a month, a week, or even a single day. When you do, notice how, at first, your pleasure–pain balance tilts to the side of pain, and you feel restless, cranky, and most of all preoccupied with using your drug. Your brain is screaming out all the reasons...


439 reads

Dopamine fasting

Anna Lembke put a patient of hers that was suffering from debilitating anxiety and depression on a dopamine fast: instead of prescribing antidepressants, she suggested he abstain from all screens, including video games for one month.

The patient returned a month later and reported feeling ...


509 reads

What If We Tip The Scale On The Pain Side First?

In the late 1960s, scientists conducted a series of experiments on dogs. Due to their obvious cruelty, these experiments would not be allowed today. Nonetheless, they provide important information on brain homeostasis, or leveling the balance.


553 reads

The Balance Tips More And More And Then Some

If we wait long enough, neutrality is restored, and the hangover and the comedown pass. But what if we don’t wait? What if, instead, we go after pleasure and then again after pleasure?

Once that happens, we’ve changed out joy set point. We need to keep doing what gives us p...


624 reads

To Dopamine, Any Drug Is A Drug - And Today’s Drugs Are 24/7

The access, quantity, variety, and potency of highly reinforcing drugs and behaviors has never been greater, including drugs that didn’t exist before—texting, tweeting, gaming, gambling, sugar, shopping, vaping, voyeuring. The list is endless. Online products with their f...


560 reads

A Life-Saving Mechanism In Non Life-Threatening Times

This fine-tuned pleasure–pain balance of ours has evolved over millions of years to help us approach pleasure and avoid pain. It’s what has kept us alive in a world of scarcity and ever-present danger. But here’s the problem: We no longer live in that world. We now live in a world of over...


615 reads

Pain As A Pathway To Pleasure

With repeated exposure to a painful stimulus, the dog’s mood and heart rate adapted in kind. The initial response (pain) got shorter and weaker. The after response (pleasure) got longer and stronger. Pain morphed into hypervigilance, which morphed into a fit of joy. It’s impossible to read this e...


501 reads

Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence

Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence

Anna Lembke, medical director of Stanford Addiction Medicine, program director for the Stanford Addiction Medicine Fellowship, and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, shares key insights from her new book, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance i...


1.26K reads




“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison

How our smartphones kill a mechanism that works to keep us alive

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Hedonic Reset

Life, when lived normally, creates a base level of happiness. We tend to fall back on this level, no matter what happens. The secret is to reset this base level by doing a hedonic reset, stuff that appears comical and absurd, but helps you understand life and its true nature:

  • Start o...



  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends signals from one neuron to another.
  • Whatever your drug of choice, chocolate, nicotine, amphetamines, sex, social media, or shopping, dopamine is the final common pathway for all pleasurable, intoxicating and rewarding exper...

The tendency to slump

If you tend to slump, you need to learn to lengthen your back. Use the time that you're sitting to stretch yourself against the backrest.

  • Sit with your bottom well back in your chair while moving your upper body away from the backrest.
  • Place your fists on t...


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