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Overcoming Addiction

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the reasons why addictions occur. Some believe that substances in themselves are not addictive, that it is the bodies chemical reaction to the substance to which the individual is addicted. This claim could certainly seem plausible when considering gambling or shopping addictions. There is no foreign chemical entering the body, rather that the body is creating its own chemical reaction (excitement/ adrenalin) in response to the external stimulus of gambling or shopping, and it is the feeling that the individual is addicted to, not the actual act itself.

It is also understandable that when one introduces chemicals to the body, chemical reactions occur. Some of these reactions stimulate reward centres within the brain which are triggered when a person exercises, falls in love or is praised or acknowledged.

Sometimes an addiction occurs when a person uses drugs, cigarettes, alcohol or even food, to alleviate stress and worry. In order to successfully treat these types of addiction, the person must focus on increasing their levels of self esteem so that they are able to create good feels about themselves without any need to have the feelings triggered by and external stimulus.

It is difficult to predict if one person is more likely to suffer from an addiction more than the next. Again, claims have been made that some suffer with an addictive personality. It is probably wiser to consider the social circumstances of addicts. For example, if your parents smoked, you are more likely to be yourself a smoker. If your friend take drugs, you are likely to be influenced by them. There are of course other factors. If a person is lacking in a structured life, or has experienced an over structured life, drugs can be a form of escape and detachment from a life which is perhaps, not entirely fulfilling.

Often, an addiction will increase in severity over time. This is because the body becomes regulated and used to the addictive chemical being in the body. To achieve the same level of stimulation, more of the addictive chemical is needed in the body. Many addictions can cause serious heath, social, physical and mental problems and when addictive substances are increased in a non- regulated environment, the consequences can be devastating.

Fortunately, changes can be made. Addicts do not necessarily need to be addicts for the rest of their lives. If the addict is willing and motivated to change, there are ways of easing and in some cases removing completely, the side effects when withdrawing from an addictive substance.

NLP can be used to help the client understand new perspectives about how the addiction has impacted on their lives. Techniques can be used to desensitize any negative associations from the past, and positive triggers can be installed for use when the cravings would normally occur.

Hypnosis can be used to remove habits and to create changes in the subconscious, the part of the mind responsible for creating and maintaining habits. Post hypnotic suggestions can be used to associate powerful negative feelings to the addictive act or substance, so that these powerful negative feelings are experienced in the future if ever then patient considers interacting with the addictive substance or act again.

Reference: ZIP Articles

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Recovery From Addictions, Part 5

In Part 1 of this series of articles, I defined substance and process addictions, and described the four major false beliefs that underlie most addictions:

1. I can’t handle my pain.
2. I am unworthy and unlovable.
3. Others are my source of love.
4. I can have control over how others feel about me and treat me.

In Parts 2,3 and 4, I explored in depth each of these false beliefs and how they contribute to addictive behavior. In this final part of this series, I address the way out of addictions.

Recovery from addictions is based on two major shifts in your thinking and behavior:

• Shifting your intention from avoiding responsibility for your feelings to learning about loving yourself. This means shifting from your wounded self/ego/mind having dominion over your choices to your loving Adult/spiritual Guidance having dominion over your choices.

• Learning to access your personal spiritual Guidance so that you can fill yourself with the unconditional love and compassion of Spirit rather than turning to addictions to fill the emptiness and take away the pain.

As long as getting love and avoiding pain is your highest priority, you will not be able to recover from your addictions. When you decide that being loving to yourself and others is your highest priority, you are on your way to healing from your addictive behavior.

Your intent is everything – it completely determines your actions and the resulting outcome.

If your intent is to get love and avoid pain in order to feel safe, you will continue to resort to addictive behaviors as a way of having control over getting love and avoiding pain.

When your intent is to be on the spiritual path of evolving in love and fully manifesting yourself, then you will bring the following Six-Step Inner Bonding® process into your life throughout the day.

1. You will stay tuned into your feelings throughout the day so that you know the minute you feel anything other than peace and joy. You will be present within your body to your feelings just as you would be present to the feelings of a baby.

2. You will immediately move into a compassionate intention to learn about what you are thinking or doing that is causing your distress – your anger, fear, anxiety, depression, hurt, guilt, shame, stress, emptiness, aloneness, loneliness, and so on. You will become a loving Adult by opening to your spiritual Guidance – the wise and loving presence that is always here for you - allowing that love and wisdom to come into your heart.

3. You will explore with your Inner Child – your feeling self – about what you are thinking, doing, or believing that is causing the distress. You will discover your false beliefs and your resulting unloving behavior that are causing your pain.

4. You will open to learning with your spiritual Guidance, asking “What is the truth about these beliefs?” and “What is the loving action?” You will allow the answers to these questions to come when they will, not trying to control the process.

5. You will take the loving action you are guided to take, which can take many different forms – from lovingly holding your Inner Child, to getting more exercise and eating better, to speaking your truth or moving into compassion with someone else.

6. You will evaluate your actions to see how you feel now. If you are not feeling better, you will seek another loving action until you feel peaceful within.

If you do these steps each time you feel any distress instead of turning to your habitual addictions, you will gradually move beyond addictive behavior.

You always have these two choices regarding your intent – to control or to learn. You – only you - are in charge of which of these you choose. If you do not consciously choose the intent to learn about loving yourself, you will unconsciously and automatically choose to try to have control over getting love and avoiding pain through your addictive behavior.

Choosing the intent to learn about loving yourself and practicing Inner Bonding® throughout the day is a powerful path to becoming addiction-free.

Reference: ZIP Articles

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Recovery From Addictions, Part 4

In Part 1 of this series of articles, I defined substance and process addictions, and described the four major false beliefs that underlie most addictions:

1. I can’t handle my pain.
2. I am unworthy and unlovable.
3. Others are my source of love.
4. I can have control over how others feel about me and treat me.

Part 2 was about the first of these beliefs – learning how to handle pain. Part 3 addressed the second and third beliefs – “I am unworthy and unlovable” and “Others are my source of love.” This section, Part 4, explores the fourth belief, “I can have control over how others feel about me and treat me.”

If I had to choose one false belief that causes the most pain for most people, it would be the belief that we can control how important people in our lives feel, think and behave.

In my work with individuals and couples dealing with addictive behavior, I encounter this belief and the many ramifications of it over and over. It seems very difficult for most people to accept the truth about their lack of control over others. The pain, frustration, loneliness and aloneness that result from not accepting your lack of control may be the underlying cause of your addictions.

Take a moment right now to reflect about what you think and do that is a direct result of this belief.

• Do you judge/shame yourself to try to get yourself to act “right” so that others will like you? If you do, you are operating from the false belief that you can control how others feel about you by how you act. You are also operating from the false belief that self-judgment will work to control your own behavior. Judging and shaming yourself can lead to addictive behavior to avoid the resulting pain.

• Do you act “loving” to others with the hope that others will act loving to you? If you do, you are operating from the false belief that your behavior controls others’ behavior. It is wonderful to be loving to others because you feel good when you are loving, but when you have an agenda attached of being loved back, then your “loving” is manipulative – you are giving to get. The hurt you feel when others don’t love you back can lead to addictive behavior.

• Do you get angry, judgmental and critical of others? If you do, then you are operating from the false belief that anger and judgment will have control over how others feel about you and treat you. You can certainly intimidate others into complying with your demands as long as they are willing to do so, but you cannot control how they feel about you. And they will comply only as long as they do. At some point they might leave, so ultimately you have no control over them. Your resulting stress may lead to addictive behavior.

• Do you give yourself up, going along with what another wants of you, such as making love when you don’t want to, or spending time in ways that you don’t want to? If you do, then you are operating from the false belief that giving yourself up will have control over how another feels about you and treats you. A loss of a sense of self can lead to addictive behavior.

• Do you withdraw from another or resist another’s requests? If you do, you are operating from the false belief that you can change/control another’s behavior toward you by punishing them through withholding love. The deadness of withdrawal can lead to addictive behavior.

In important relationships, most people do some or all of the above behaviors, resulting from the false belief that you can control how others feel, think and act.

If you really accepted the truth of your lack of control over others, what would you do differently? If you deeply, totally, completely accepted the truth of your lack of control over others feelings and behavior, you would be left with what you CAN control – yourself.

I have seen over and over that people finally take loving care of themselves only when they fully accept the truth of their lack of control over others. It is truly amazing the rapid progress the people I work with make when they finally accept this truth.

Shifting out of this one false belief and into the truth will go a long way toward healing your addictions.

Reference: ZIP Articles

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