A lovely little cocktail of brain chemistry

Addiction is a disease, not
a moral failing. It’s characterized not necessarily by physical dependence or withdrawal but by compulsive repetition of an activity despite life-damaging consequences. This view has led many scientists to accept the once heretical idea that addiction is possible without drugs.

Some scientists believe that many allures of modern life—junk food, shopping, smartphones—are potentially addictive because of their powerful effects on the brain’s reward system, the circuitry underlying craving.

Since I haven’t put down my smart phone most of the day, I know all too well…the addictive mind. Whaat I’m curious about is how to help our minds, heal them. Contemplation and Mindfulness help, I do believe it rewires the brain. I also believe in a period of abstaining so the circuits can reconnect in other ways, then I’m most interested in how to affect natural dopamine snd seratonin levels. How can we boost these feel good chemicals without drugs, alcohol, or any addictive pattern?

“In Buddhist philosophy, craving is viewed as the root of all suffering. The Buddha wasn’t talking about heroin or ice cream or some of the other compulsions that bring people to Brewer’s groups. But there’s growing evidence that mindfulness can counter the dopamine flood of contemporary life. Researchers at the University of Washington showed that a program based on mindfulness was more effective in preventing drug-addiction relapse than 12-step programs. In a head-to-head comparison, Brewer showed that mindfulness training was twice as effective as the gold-standard behavioral antismoking program.

Mindfulness trains people to pay attention to cravings without reacting to them. The idea is to ride out the wave of intense desire. Mindfulness also encourages people to notice why they feel pulled to indulge. Brewer and others have shown that meditation quiets the posterior cingulate cortex, the neural space involved in the kind of rumination that can lead to a loop of obsession.”

Mindfulness, from my personal experience does help immensely. It can also teach us that the rush of dopamine, the feelings, are just that…feelings, they pass. Actions and concrete measures are what we need to pay attention to. Pay attention to your life, how is your personal life, your finances, you family, friends, job, they will reflect back to you what you need to know. The feelings do not.

By their actions or inactions yea shall know them. Words and feelings pass, addiction loves emotions and feeling. Pay attention to those people who stick around, who don’t let the emotion wind them into a fury, but can sit and stare into the eye of the storm, with peace.

The truth has legs…it always stands-Raaya.


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