How feelings are Connected to Addictive Behavior

Let’s talk a bit about addictions. Most people have at least one. Whether it be alcohol, narcotic drugs, sex, tv, comfacebook, etc. My simple definition of “addiction” is a behavior that one indulges in that becomes a habit and becomes unhealthy. It may not be unhealthy at first, but the compulsive aspect of it as well as the extremely over-done nature of the behavior are the components that make the behavior problematic. We are talking about what started as a coping mechanism originally used to self soothe that has become compulsive to the point at which it cannot be stopped.

This behavior is often (if not always) used to mask an uncomfortable emotion. Sometimes, we find an intense feeling intolerable, fearful, anxiety inducing. There’s a whole new set of emotions that come up when dealing with the initial unpleasant emotion. It’s enough to drive you mad! It’s enough to drive you to: (Fill in addictive drug or self-destructive behavior of choice here).

Be aware of the feeling that started this chain of events. Perhaps it is this feeling (I.e. anger, sadness, hunger, etc.) that often triggers your addictive behavior. If you recognize that this feeling triggers you, you can pre-emptively      alleviate  that feeling with coping skills before using an addictive behavior to self-sooth.

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