People who have never experienced addiction and those that have often have the same question in mind: why do some of us even end up lost in the cycle of addiction to begin with?
There are a lot of different factors that can ultimately contribute to this happening, but one of the most significant points have to do with pressure. From a young age, we are all constantly bombarded with tons of pressure. Pressure for good grades, to behave, to conform, to follow, etc.
All of us have these feelings and pressures inside of us always there. This means that we all have to face up to or deal with these pressures. A lot of it starts in childhood and only keeps on from there.
Instead of motivating us to do better the adults in our childhood made us learn how to feel shame for not living up to expectations.
Eventually, all of this kind of reprograms our minds a bit. We don’t act the way that we want to, instead, we do what we think others want us to do. We change ourselves to get approval from those who matter to us or to be liked.
This turns into this negative outlook which is what we call the Monkey Mind.
This means that we tend to blame our problems on others or other situations instead of ourselves. If we are late to work it’s not our fault, it is something else. If we are unhappy with our appearance it’s not because we don’t work on it enough, something else is to blame.
It is too easy to let all of this ruin our self-esteem or ideas of self-worth.
This means we should try and rewire how we think, and this is called the Observing Mind.
Figuring out how to step back from the Monkey Mind is key because you will be able to stop all of the self-sabotaging behaviors that can cause relationship issues or keep you from figuring out how to overcome addiction.
This is how the two mindsets compare:
|The Monkey Mind||The Observing Mind|
|Pushes dramatically||Exudes calmness and clarity|
|Focuses responsibility on others||Focuses responsibility inward|
|Panics and feeds anxiety||Remains present in the anxiety-inducing situations|
|Makes drama and stirs up emotions||States simple facts|
|Sees everything as an emergency||Sees everything as a situation that’s unfolding|
|Wants things to change, NOW!||Accepts what is and explores possible changes|
|Confuses the story with reality||Understands that the story is just a story|
|Assumes it knows the truth||Assumes there is something useful to learn here|
|Jumps to judgment and immediate opinions||Asks questions and considers other points of view|
|Is consumed by nonstop stream of thoughts||Leaves space in its thinking|
|Rushes and pushes you to react right away||Allows you to respond at your own pace|
|Keeps creating the same result||Creates new possibilities|
So you see how switching over how you feel can actually change the course of your life? Instead of assuming that addiction just causes itself and you can’t stop because of other reasons, realize that you can.