By Dr. Donna Weighill
How can you eradicate an addiction? Educate yourself and then practice what you learn. An important principle underlying success is the fact that your thoughts lead to behaviors which lead to an outcome. Addictions don’t just pop up out of nowhere. If you are addicted, your thoughts are plagued with components or building blocks of that addiction. Conscious entertainment of unhealthy thoughts will lead to less than desirable behaviors which are the foundation for unfavorable consequences. It’s that simple. So, if it all stems from your thoughts, what can you do to bridle your thoughts?
First, catch your thoughts. You would be surprised how many times you have something swirling in the back of your mind without even recognizing you are thinking about it. For instance, have you ever driven home from work, on autopilot, taking the same route you have used a hundred times? When you pull into your driveway, you come out of your thoughts and realize you don’t remember much about what happened on your drive home? You physically went through the motions but your mind was elsewhere. Our brains can multitask. We can be playing out thoughts from all walks of life, bouncing them back and forth, juggling several scenarios at once without even realizing it.
Have you ever had a song playing in the back of your mind and all of the sudden you realize you’ve been humming it for a while? One of the keys to success is being aware. Being in the moment, or conscious of your thoughts, is probably the number one game changer when eradicating an addiction. Begin by identifying and acknowledging your thoughts. Ask yourself if the thought you are entertaining is productive. If it is, continue. If it’s not, dismiss it. That may sound easy but most people entertain negative or destructive thoughts long before they recognize the thought is even in their mind. This includes self-talk. Make sure your self-talk is positive. You must strengthen your mind with encouraging thoughts that will build and edify. Invite a positive mindset and dismiss the negativity.
Once you have mastered being aware of your thoughts, and dismissing inappropriate agendas from your mind, you are ready for the next step. Identifying the source of an unwanted thought, or what triggers an undesirable thought, will help you stop that thought from ever entering your mind in the first place. The art of stopping a thought before it begin stems from truly knowing yourself. What is it that you need, want, desire, are lacking, makes you upset, turns you on, stifles your growth, entertains immaturity, triggers old tapes, and so on? Locating the genesis of a thought will prevent unwanted emotional reactions which lead to unwanted outcomes. Get the picture? Start practicing.
Dr. Weighill is the Author of To Say Goodbye and All Roads Lead Home: Shipwrecked off the 7th Continent