Everyone has their indulgences. It’s part of being human!
Maybe your favorite way to give into a craving is to have a glass of wine after a hard day at work. It's certainly OK to give into temptation once in a while.
Even if we inherently know, we don’t need the alcohol or the excessive calories.
But for millions of Americans, giving into temptation can become a habit, which perpetually grows over the months or even years.
The Backbone of Addictive Behaviors
At one point you just needed a single glass of wine once a week, now you need several. And this craving grows and grows the more you indulge.
This habitual process, simply put, is the backbone of addictive behaviors.
And the difference between a once-in-a-while indulgence and an addictive behavior is that a person who is indulging can say “That was good, now on to what’s next.”
While a person with an addictive behavior thinks “That was good, and now I want more!”
Addictive behaviors can come in many forms besides the common culprits of drugs and alcohol, too.
It can include overeating, tobacco use, sex, hours of video game playing and really any activity that distracts us from the functions of everyday life.
And as addictive behaviors take new and varying forms in our modern world, more and more counselors are turning to mindfulness meditation as a way to cope and address these issues.
There are some ways that meditation helps ease and change addictive behaviors, according to countless national studies and publications like Psychology Today.
And while every person may react differently, there are a few common benefits that link meditation as a treatment to an addictive personality.
1. It Reduces Stress and Enhances Coping Skills
One of the major reasons why we turn to “just one more” is simply because we are looking for a coping mechanism.
And our “addictions” serve as that temporary crutch. Meditation reduces this need by simply reducing the original stress and anxiety that causes a craving in the first place.
Thereby, alleviating the problem.
2. It Helps Us Recognize Cravings Before They Happen and Let Them Go
Meditation allows you to recognize when a craving is about to take hold because it heightens your senses and perceptions.
And also meditation allows you to simply be aware of this phenomenal and let it pass.
By recognizing what’s happening in our own minds, we are better attuned to what’s important and can let go as needed.
3. It Helps With Changing Negative Thought Behaviors
One of the biggest traits of addictive behavior is it's hard to let go of that next cigarette, a glass of wine, or bag of Doritos, once you set your mind to it.
But meditation gives you more control over your thought processes, allowing you to change the negative thought habits that inevitably lead to “caving in.”
In fact, meditation even serves as its own short-term solution.
When the cravings get to be overwhelming, a 5-15 minute meditation session can work wonders and serve as a distraction until the craving passes.
Because meditation changes the way we think and look at the world, it can be instrumental in diverting our addictive behavior into something far more productive.
Time tested and wonderfully free of side effects, meditation is a great solution for getting rid of cravings, and focusing your attention on something far healthier.
Contact me and let’s chat about incorporating mindful meditation into your world!
Having a professional teacher on your side will go a long way in getting you started. Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you.
I offer both classes in my office and an online program you can complete at your convenience.