Overcoming Addiction: Replace Unhealthy Habits with Healthy Ones
Most human problems are created by our inability to properly feel and express our feelings.
Example: addiction. An addiction from my point of view is a way of distracting yourself from yourself. So, instead of feeling your feelings you’re eating, drinking, working, sexing, drugging, being violent, etc.
Addicts from my experience and point of view are not just homeless bums on the street looking for drugs and alcohol. Addicts are people who run from their feelings and suppress them in unhealthy ways. I’m not a psychotherapist or a doctor. This is a definition I’ve come to through my own experience with addiction.
Another way to think of it is this: an addiction is an unhealthy habit that takes you further away from your soul and the presence of your journey in your life.
My life’s aim has been to, one day at a time, replace unhealthy addictions for healthy habits. I’ve found the root of my success has been my ability to feel and express my feelings in constructive ways.
Now, most of the time, when I feel a negative feeling, an impulse to consume, chase or fill up a void inside me, instead of going outward, I go within. I stop, focus on my breath and let my feelings come up. Then I write them down, or get creative and write a poem, draw or exercise. I just channel the energy differently.
And what happens is that instead of keeping them down and needing to cover them up, I have space and distance from my emotions. Day by day I begin to understand the negative thoughts, beliefs and emotions that trigger my “addictions” and instead of letting them rule my life, I see them just as thoughts.
Then, the more distance I get from these thoughts, the greater my ability is to choose a new thought and new action that is healthy, constructive and going towards making my dreams come true. It just takes a little courage to peek beneath the surface and see what’s there.
Remember, as Joseph Campbell says, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.”