Did you know, our mind-body state of being can become addicted to emotions?! In this post, I’ll explain how, why and what you can do about it.
We are not always conscious of our internal state of being, including our decision-making processes that keep us in a negative place; because a lot of this happens automatically. It is a repetition of particular thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are literally playing on a loop. You can think of this loop as a blueprint under your skin that involves your thoughts, chemistry, hormones and emotions. It’s a blueprint that is followed by your subconscious. Ninety- five percent of our mind works subconsciously, and part of this includes following the emotional mind-body blueprints.
The same thoughts trigger neurotransmitters that trigger the same rush of chemicals and hormones to be released in your body that create the same emotions that you’re now used to feeling. These lead to the same behaviours in your outer world. It’s not an outward addiction as such, although you will be able to see the consequences of it in your life, career, relationships etc. This is how your subconscious becomes addicted to negativity. It may not be pleasant but it’s very familiar; and familiarity creates comfort, which means negativity becomes easy.
Many people are very comfortable being in this place, some even pride themselves on having the biggest problems and the most problems, as though there’s a prize for it. But the suffering is unnecessary.
So, how can you tell if you’re addicted to negativity, suffering and unhappiness?
If you can see yourself in the list below, that is some indication.
- You find yourself feeling negative emotions a lot, sometimes even when nothing external has caused it
- You find it easy to talk about negative things and your conversations are often problem- focused
- You defend against change and make excuses
- You often feel like a victim, in your circumstances, in relationships and to your emotions
- You are likely to blame other people and not take responsibility for things
- You struggle to find something to be happy about
- When you feel something positive you are quick to revert into the negative
- You focus on lack; lack of time, lack of money, lack of love
Being in your familiar state does have short- term benefits (I see these as more of an illusion rather than real helpful, benefits), they include feelings of; comfort, ease, predictability, control and safety. On the other hand, this prevents you from experiencing and learning new things, it stifles your growth and inhibits positive changes and experiences. And you can see how that also keeps you in the cycle.
Overcoming this addiction can be challenging, but like any other challenge we could also see it as something fun and exciting, rather than difficult and daunting. Depending on how much you want to move out of here!
However, there may be trauma, self- esteem or other mental health related issues that are playing a part within this. It’s important not to blame yourself for being in this place, no one consciously chooses to have mental health issues. Seek appropriate support where needed.
How do you get out of this addiction?
1. Awareness and acknowledgment
Take time to observe your emotions, observe your thoughts, observe your reactions. And do this in a non- judgemental way. You’re not telling yourself off, or making yourself feel bad, you’re just being honest and seeing this pattern for what it is.
2. Challenge your blueprint
When you can notice the different components that are part of this addiction you can then question them. Is this emotion an appropriate response to the situation? Is this thought accurate and logical? What is the wider picture? What can I say or do to stop this escalating? Some people may feel guilty or undeserving of positive things, don’t be afraid to challenge your own narratives. Not everything we think is true.
The negative emotions are strong and comfortable because they have been around for a long time. Allow yourself to practice sitting with the good stuff! This could be in the form of meditation, affirmations, gratitude lists and journaling, noticing what is going well in your life, noticing what is good about yourself, noticing what is good about a particular situation or person you’ve spent time with. This is a way to start reprogramming your mind and body towards positivity. You’re creating a new blueprint.
This is not about positive or wishful thinking, or about burying our head in the sand from difficulties. You may have missed tonnes of good stuff going through life with a negative blueprint, so we need to rebalance that. Difficult and frustrating things will happen, but we don’t want to be stuck there for prolonged periods of time. By making this change you will be able to keep yourself in a good place for longer durations, spend less time in the negative and develop greater resilience and an ability to bounce-back when something does pop up.
Are you willing to be truthful with yourself and experiment with positivity? It might be uncomfortable in the beginning sacrificing suffering for some joy will be worth it!