Many times, addictions are formed because the immediate gratification that come from the things we are becoming more and more addicted to are more pleasurable than the displeasure or discomfort that we are feeling when we are NOT partaking in the thing we are becoming addicted to. It starts by simply being an enjoyable distraction, until we spiral out of control, being consumed by the thing that was once simply pleasurable.
Sometimes our addictions arise from unchecked pain, and the greater the pain, the greater the addiction. I have learned, however,
THE GREATER THE STRUGGLE,
THE MORE GLORIOUS THE TRIUMPH!
Many of us have experienced the effects of alcohol, drugs, sex, food, video games, television/ entertainment, incessantly scrolls through social media, and many other physical things that cause us mind-numbing, temporary pain-killing, pleasure.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the pleasure of these things that we use them in excess, thinking that if we experience more pleasure from using these things more often, the pain will go away and stay away. Then, after a time, we realize this belief is inaccurate. The effects have taken hold on us, and we have allowed ourselves to be controlled by the feelings of pleasure so much that we have lost self-control when it comes to the addictions of our choice. This leaves us feeling weak, stupid, out of control, and vulnerable, and so we comfort ourselves by over-using or abusing the thing we are addicted to all over again.
It can be a self-perpetuating, destructive, harmful cycle that is incredibly easy to get caught up in. No matter who we are or how strong, amazing, or evolved we may think we are, we are all susceptible to this possibility. It is a naturally occurring, human, and physically automated response, instilled within us all, for SURVIVAL.
It is a self-replicating pattern that becomes a habit over time, threatening to destroy our self-confidence, chip away at our character, personalities, and strengths. Eventually, any addiction will have a negative effect upon our personalities, characters, confidence, and mindset, through guilt and shame. This, in turn, will eventually impact our relationships with ourselves and others in a negative way.
Some of us become addicted to destructive, harmful, emotional habits, like over-reacting in every situation presented to us throughout the day, or rage, anger, sadness, a victim state, drama, and stress.
Have you ever known someone who uses these emotional habits as tools to control the emotions of others by getting a reaction-ANY reaction-from others? I’ve been guilty of this. I’ve tried controlling the emotions of others, simply because I felt so out of control of my OWN emotions.
These emotional triggers and addictions can easily become life-altering, relationship-destroying habits, creating an entirely different cascade of chemicals and hormones within us that we mistake as pleasant, when in reality we are on a destructive, harmful trajectory, which only APPEARS helpful, and only results in TEMPORARY relief, through the false sense of control.
By creating stressful situations and drama, in order to get others to react, in ANY away, we may feel like we are in control and winning a game, but are we really? I have used sadness, depression, and the belief that there is simply nothing I can do, as tools to get attention, acceptance, or compassion, or to control the emotional responses of others. I have been guilty of throwing a pity party to get attention, love, and acceptance. Eventually I learned better ways to live. I was able to learn ways that contribute to others, instead of harming them, behaving as an energy-sucking, life-taking, dementor.
Sometimes we become addicted to ideas and beliefs that are presented to us by professionals such as, “You have an incurable mental disease and there is nothing you can do,” thinking our lives will be easier because we now have an excuse to do nothing because we, “can’t.” I have fallen prey to this pitfall, as well.
Most of us have become addicted to our technological devices. I know I am! Each day is a battle for presence.
Emotions play a huge part in our lives. They can affect and impact the way we think, and the way we think can affect and impact the way we feel. Our thoughts, feelings, and emotions can literally cause us to change physically at the cellular level, which affects us chemically and hormonally.
There is absolutely a mind-body connection that affects us all. When the mind and body are sick, or when we are distracted, our vibrational energy drops and our souls become sick. We become far less capable of change and creation.
When we build up and strengthen the body, our emotional wellness, our spiritual well-being, and the mind, we create a stable and healthy environment, in which our soul can THRIVE, and change and creation become fun and easy.
We were not created to live a poor life. There is a better way! The beauty of this life experience is that there will always be a better way. There will ALWAYS be something we can do differently to optimize this life experience, grow, progress, expand, improve, and evolve. As we take action and do these things and have these experiences, we are empowered to add more value to others, because we are a better version of ourselves. Though our actual WORTH will never change, the more value we add to others, in any way, the more valuable we become.
The most helpful tools available to us all are, in my opinion, visualization and meditation. Counseling, mentors, family, loved ones, friends, support groups, listening to podcasts, books, empowering content, and reading are also incredibly helpful. Connections with others is key. Researching ideas, tools, tips, tricks, and methods which have helped others, and which may also help us, is paramount to our personal success and growth. The internet has made this incredibly helpful. YouTube has unlimited amounts of videos with helpful, useful information and podcasts.
Books are a great way to gain wisdom and fill our personal toolbox with the tools which will help us the most as individuals. Books are especially helpful because the author usually only shares the VERY BEST, MOST EFFECTIVE AND USEFUL things they have learned, after decades of life experience. To read a book is to meditate and study with the author.
We can literally compress decades of knowledge into two weeks or even two days by reading or listening to a book. See an incredible book list here for the top books that highly successful people read.
People like me, who have failed their way through life, only to tire of the pain and suffering, have dedicated their time and resources to doing this research for themselves in order to grow, heal, improve, progress, and evolve. They then share what they have found with others, in hopes that others will be able to avoid the pitfalls, pain, suffering, and mistakes that have already been made.
For many of us, it is literally, CHANGE, OR DIE.
It has been said that a stupid man never learns from his mistakes. A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man will learn from the mistakes of others.
For me, personally, the most helpful thing I have found to help overcome addiction is in redirecting all of my attention not on fighting the old, but on building the new, with INTENSE FOCUS.
The key, for me, has been to completely REFOCUS all of my energy and attention from one thing to another. It becomes easier the more I do it, though I still find myself distracted throughout the day. I have to re-focus, all day long, on that which I want to focus on the most. There are so many possible distractions in life.
Placing all of my energy, attention, and focus on that new thing, and doing it repeatedly, until it has become a deeply ingrained habit, has helped me to completely restructure, remodel, repair, and improve my belief system, personal philosophies, thought processes, confidence level, mindset, and therefore, my entire life. I am no longer the man I was five years ago, and isn’t that the point, really, for all of us? Happiness is found in growth and valuable changes we work hard and put forth effort to achieve.
Today I will look inward to find anything, physically or emotionally, that I turn to in times of difficulty for comfort or distraction. I will ask myself the question, “Is this helpful or destructive?” If I know I need help, I will seek out the help. I will strive to improve every day, in some way, and add value, confidence, and happiness to my life. By doing so, I will then be empowered and capable to support those I love to HELP THEMSELVES.
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our realities.