Saturday, July 9, 2016

Destressing Addiction

Destressing addiction is what I'd like to discuss this day.

Hello there, my friend. How are you on this beautiful day in July? I pray you are doing alright. It is always my prayer that you are not only doing alright but that you are doing better and better every day.

To destress from an addiction, we ought to consider several things. First, what addiction is; second, why we are addicted; and third, the very first step we can take to relieve ourselves from it.

As I see it, addiction is a habit with tremendous momentum that we can't, don't believe we can, or do not want to quit. There are healthy addictions and unhealthy addictions.

Some healthy addictions are eating right, exercising, getting plenty of rest, relaxing, having good hygiene, and being kind. These are things that some of us do that we simply cannot quit because the habit of it has such an influential force.

Some not-so-healthy addictions include alcohol, anger, anxiety, debt, depression, drama, drugs, eating way too much, gambling, insomnia, meanness, and worry.

I understand that you may say that your anger, anxiety, depression, drama, insomnia, meanness, worry, and/or any other things I mentioned are not addictions. Believe me when I say I get that, but if addiction is something that you cannot, don't believe you can, or don't want to quit, then just consider the thought for now. Consider that if you have an unhealthy behavior and are unable to stop it, it may be an addiction.

Now, one reason why we are addicted is that we start something, it becomes a habit, and then our subconscious mind kicks in and solidifies it with great energy and power.

Our subconscious mind is our habitual mind, and it is there to help us, and it does that by sustaining the idea that if we practice something a lot, we will get nearly perfect at it.

Consider your daily behavior, like getting up, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, getting ready for the day, and driving to work. You have done this so often that you are nearly perfect at it and could even do it in your sleep. As a matter of fact, you most likely have. This is all possible because the subconscious mind sustains habits.

Before I discuss the step to relieve the self from addiction, I want to share how you may tell the difference between a healthy addiction and a not-so-healthy addiction. A healthy addiction makes you feel really, really good about yourself. A not-so-healthy addiction may make you feel really, really good at first, but then it ultimately makes you feel really, really, not so good about yourself. The unhealthy addiction may be a love-hate relationship; you love the feeling of doing it and then hate yourself after.

An excellent example of a not-so-healthy addiction is drinking alcohol. Alcoholics love that first drink, but sometimes, in the middle of the drinking, they feel horrible about themselves because it may ruin their family, finances, relationships, and careers. Trust me, alcoholics verbally beat themselves up for drinking. It's a love-hate relationship. They love the alcohol but hate themselves for not being able to quit.

It is the same thing with any behavior we want to quit deep down in our hearts but are unable to for some crazy reason.

An unhealthy addiction is a thing you can't quit, and you do not like yourself for it.

An unhealthy addiction is a thing that you beat yourself up over.

The unhealthy addiction is the thing that you know is, deep down inside, ruining your life.

An unhealthy addiction is a thing that keeps you in a constant state of going nowhere.

An unhealthy addiction is a thing that is digging a hole in your life that you may not get out of.

An unhealthy addiction is a thing you believe, no matter what you do, you cannot quit, and that brings me to the step that will relieve you from addiction just a little bit. Sometimes a little bit at a time is all you can do and all you need for now.

The first step you can take to begin relieving yourself from addiction is awareness.

Awareness that we want to quit the addiction that hurts others and ourselves so much. 

Awareness that we are constantly convincing ourselves that we cannot quit when we can convince ourselves otherwise.

Awareness that we are absolutely capable of quitting whatever it is that we are determined to stop, even alcohol, anger, anxiety, debt, depression, drama, overeating, and worry.

This awareness that I am articulating comes from being still, quieting the mind, and recognizing the hurtful thoughts holding us back. Painful repetitive thoughts like, "I need it," "I've tried everything, and nothing works," or "I can't quit." These thoughts are negative affirmations that keep the momentum of the addiction going. 

These negative thoughts are on autopilot from the subconscious mind and are the mantras we repeat moment by moment.

Once we are aware of these thoughts, we can, and will, change them more positively, like, "No! I don't need it," "I can quit," or "I really want to quit." These thoughts are much more encouraging and more deliberate.

The subconscious mind keeps our thoughts on constant autopilot, and we can be more deliberate in our self-encouragement rather than being unaware of the hurtful thoughts that keep us in the steady state of going nowhere.

Do you want to quit?

Do you want to quit whatever unhealthy habit is keeping you in the constant state of going nowhere?

Do you want to quit whatever the unhealthy habit is that is digging that deep hole in your life that will, someday, be very difficult to get out of?

If you want to quit, begin with awareness. Begin with understanding the habitual mantras you are stating to keep you in the addiction. Begin with the attention that you can quiet your mind, and deliberately create the new healthier mantra.

Lookie here, it may not happen overnight, and neither did your unhealthy addiction, but it will happen if you practice it.

Practice makes it nearly perfect. However long you have practiced your unhealthy addiction, is how long it has been gaining momentum. So, it's time to start practicing the healthy and removing the harmful.

Your thoughts have value!

Your thoughts are governing your life!

When we govern our thoughts, we begin to be more deliberate in our lives, and this caution and care will create more happiness, joy, and vitality.

One more thing!

It is human conditioning that makes us despise people who condemn, criticize, discourage, or judge us; that is why I have tried with all my might to eliminate these behaviors from my life. This includes condemning, criticizing, discouraging, and/or judging myself.

If you tend to condemn, criticize, discourage, or judge others, I can almost guarantee it's a habit. Therefore, I can almost guarantee you are condemning, criticizing, discouraging, and judging yourself.

What I am trying to say is, do not beat yourself up! 

Part of practicing awareness is recognizing all unhealthy thoughts, including self-condemnation.

I want to teach the world to meditate because it is the only way to practice awareness. When I work with anyone, I always try to persuade them to meditate because I know the power of it. Many people I do work with end up meditating and have for years.

If you'd like to begin meditating, try sitting in a quiet, uninterrupted environment for five minutes a day, the same time every day, and just focus on your breath and heartbeat.

You could also focus as you listen to the sounds of this meditation video

Never give up!

Have faith in yourself!

Have hope for you!

Well, that's it! My ramble on destressing your addiction.

Have a fabulous day, my friend.

Love you lots!

Speak soon...

Elizabeth Stanfill 

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