This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.
Podcast version: HERE
Quote: “People do not decide their futures. They decide their habits and their habits decide their future.”
"The media is such a black hole.
I get sucked into it every single day, and it's impossible to escape from it. It's not possible to uninstall every single app or deactivate all my accounts since I do need it to study, so really the only thing I could do is to tell myself "stop scrolling." It's so damn hard.
My brain wants more dopamine rather than doing a relatively boring task such as studying. I'm in my first year studying engineering, and the amount of workload has made me realize that I must concentrate on my school work now.
I'm so addicted to scrolling and I'm so screwed. I'm falling behind on my courses and my brain does not realize this is a problem once I click on a video or open a reel. It often happens too fast, I click on the clickbait and get dragged into the hole again. It's ruining my life and distracting me from my studies.
How do I quit scrolling 24/7?”
My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.
Emotions beat logic, every time.
Logically you know it’s a waste of time. Logically you know you could remove all apps, notifications, and lock up your phone where you can’t get to it but you will still find a way. Logically you know media is a black hole and keeping you locked into this habit loop, pattern, cycle.
You’re not in control of your brain. Your brain is controlling you.
Your identity and beliefs are that you NEED the phone for your dopamine, stating you are addicted further creates this way of being, and you’ll continue to gather proof that you are this title, this is your personality. You may even seek out proof that it’s normal that other people do it, all these things keep you stuck, shrink you and don’t break this habit.
It’s purely a habit of thought.
Certainly a strong one, and the cost is falling behind, getting rather disappointed in yourself, there’s probably other areas of your life suffering as a result as well.
Believing it’s hard is keeping it stronger in fact it’s feeding this way of thinking, and being.
Believing the alternative to the media is boring is also feeding this habit loop.
It’s fantastic that you recognize your brain is the issue, that’s a great first step.
You’re right your brain’s job is to protect you, keep you safe. It’s never going to help you look hot, cute, sexy, help you study, or be popular. It’s job is to seek out patterns in your daily routines and repeat them to conserve energy. It’s job is to keep you safe, twice a second your brain is scanning your surroundings to ensure you are ok from being at risk of dying. That’s it, that is all it’s job is. So your brain as a result will repeat patterns that prove to keep you safe, conserve energy, move you towards what feels good and familiar.
When you’re focusing on the good and dopamine that you get from being on media, your brain of course gets the dopamine but also it feels good, and familiar. Like any habit, thought habits are not different they take time, patience, commitment and persistence to change. Your brain is malleable meaning it’s capable of adapting, changing and willing to create a new habit, and it’s easy if you realize how your brain actually functions.
Focus on a new habit of thought.
You are a thinking, feeling being, this means establishing new thoughts that generate a feeling that results in a new action/behavior and repeat it frequently. This will work WITH how your brain functions, rather than against it. Negative thinking, beating yourself up, getting upset keeps you stuck in the same loop.
So, how do you want to feel on a daily basis, sounds like you want to study, what else?
Fully embracing thoughts, and feelings and energy of how you want to feel verses focusing on how you don’t want to feel will also reassure your brain and nervous system you are safe, and doing what feels good and familiar. What I would also like to suggest is figure out what healthy dopamine sources you can use AFTER you study for 55-90 minute bouts. Create a menu and rewire your brain.
If this sounds difficult, hard or impossible, your brain is resisting changing, fully normal. Reframe it to how you want to feel and thank your brain for trying to keep you safe, choose how you want to feel.
Once a person sees how their brain actually works, and work with it rather than against it, you become unstoppable.
What matters most to you? How do you want to be remembered? What matters most to you at the end of your life?
I hope this helps. I wish you all the best. Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!
If you want to send a question, please send to email@example.com please include:
- A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
- And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it.