Do you ever feel hopelessly unable to control an aspect of your behaviour? Does the feeling of self-discipline seem like an alien concept? Well, if so, you’re not alone. National statistics revealed that in 2014 nearly 6% of adults in England were alcohol dependant and around 2 million admitted to having a problem with reoccurring drug use. Although these substances are associated with damaging behaviour more than most others, addiction isn’t just about drugs and alcohol. It is indiscriminate and diverse, ranging from smoking, gambling, food, and technology to just about anything else you can think of. There are no rules where addiction is concerned – except that it will most likely have a debilitating impact on our lives.
Trying to overcome an addiction can be difficult and uncomfortable at best; it brings to the surface all sorts of unpleasant thoughts and feelings that we may have tried to bury. Yet, although this feels like it may be doing more harm than good, it could be the key to ridding ourselves of addiction forever.
You see, the addiction is not the cause of the problem but the effect. An addiction to alcohol, or any other substance, is the manifestation of a deeper issue – one that we are trying not to see. It may be related to our self-worth, a particular fear or even a need to punish ourselves. There is always a deeper issue, so in order to overcome the addiction we must search for the reason why we have it. This means digging deep and being honest about how we really feel.
This seems unpleasant, but it doesn’t have to be. One way to minimise the impact of our soul searching is to take more control over our mind through the likes of meditation. Engaging in meditation is one way to encourage your mind to bring all sorts of thoughts to the surface; ones that may be the root cause of an addiction and can lead you down the path of recovery. Not only that, mediation can actually help to control your addictions by supressing the part of your brain that has memorised self-destructive behaviour. It doesn’t need to take over your life either; just 10 minutes a day is enough to start seeing changes.
Only when we are honest can we can start to rebuild ourselves. If you find that a deep lack of self-worth or a belief that you deserve to be punished for something has caused an addiction to manifest, that emotion is what you need to change. Spend time improving your self-worth or begin to accept that you deserve to be treated well, especially by yourself. It is only when we address this issue that our addiction will become weaker, until we love and respect ourselves too much to allow it to stay in our lives.
Image Source: morguefile (JessicaGale)