Crave, consume, comply and repeat.
Does this sound familiar?
This is the cycle of addiction. If you or anyone you know who is undergoing addiction of any sort and want to know how to stop all your addiction naturally, you are at the right place. You will flood your consciousness clean and can stop all your addictions with the help of two simple and powerful methods which I am going to share.
I will voice my opinion today for different types of addiction: their effects, causes and treatment. I hope that deep insights I gained from overcoming my addictions will help you.
What is Addiction
When the substance starts consuming you or behaviour start controlling you, then for sure you are an addict and need help. It’s like you desperately need that sip of alcohol or you will die. The compulsive consumption of substance or activity manifests as mutation in brain cells and leads to harmful social, medical and personal consequences.
If you think by mere willpower, you can overcome addictions, you are right. You may stop here and do not read any further. But sometimes mere willpower cannot free us from our complex brain chemistry and we need external help.
In my recovery from nicotine addiction, I have learnt a great deal about how our brain operates, what causes the brain to succumb to insurmountable cravings, how our thoughts and emotional patterns sustain our addictions and how we can overcome them naturally.
I was successful to come out of the destructive loop of craving and consuming. I will share 2 ridiculously simple yet powerful methods and show you how to stop all your addiction naturally, but before that, it is helpful to learn about various types of addiction and its effect on individuals and society.
Types of Addiction
We can categorize all addictions as:
1.Chemical or substance addiction
Our brain is complex. Understanding is simple. It brings clarity. Clarity unfolds as joy. Understanding with joy is the first step towards transformation. To understand our own mind brings ultimate joy.
Let me explain: Our brain has a reward centre which comprises of neural structures responsible to induce craving and pleasurable feelings.
Drugs and chemicals trigger brain reward centres. This releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine in these neural structures, and we feel pleasant feelings and sensations.
Chemical substance like opioids, cannabis, amphetamines, methamphetamine, alcohol or nicotine artificially increases the dopamine level in the reward centre of our brain. This conditions the neural pathways to crave for more. In a longer run, this makes a person dependent on the chemicals for dopamine release. This is called as chemical or substance addiction. Distinct types of chemical addiction are :
- Alcohol addiction
- Drug addiction
- Tobacco addiction
- Food addiction
When any behaviour or activity increases dopamine levels in our brains, we can easily become addicted to that behaviour. Gambling, shopping or video games are few such activities. The fact is, many of us do not take behaviour addiction seriously. We depend on these activities for pleasure and it feels like a social norm. The problem arises when our interpersonal relationships are affected by over-indulgence in these activities.
- Shopping addiction
- Gambling addiction
- Sex addiction
- Porn addiction
- Internet addiction
- Video game addiction
- Work Addiction
- Spiritual addiction
- Thinking addiction
Effects of Addiction
Addiction can cause several health issues, it damages mental well-being and hinders social welfare. The worst part of my nicotine addiction was my yellow, damaged teeth, irregular sleep cycle, nausea and bad breath. Those days I was in direct sales and I used to meet at least 50-70 people every day to sell my products. I used to smoke one cigarette after every 2-3 pitches and put a pouch of pan masala in mouth after that. To sum up, I was consuming 40-50 cigarettes and 15-20 pouches of pan masala every day. My jaw bone was jammed and my mouth used to burn in flames even with normal spicy food. After many relapses and by sheer willpower, I recovered from this addiction.
There are various types of addiction, and each of them has its own set of peculiar effects. Below is the list of few of them
- Damages the structure of the brain and impedes its proper functioning
- Injuries and accidents
- Improper functioning of internal organs of the body
- Weak immune system
- More prone to Infections
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
- Liver diseases and/or failure
- Heart attacks
- Impaired decision-making
- Permanent brain damage
- Emotional desensitization
- Increasing medical problems
- Legal, financial and marital problems
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
Causes of addiction
A wise man once said that answer to the question is in the question itself. This holds true for addiction. The cause of addiction is its immediate sensory effect. The sensory release of dopamine strengthens the neural pathways and conditions the neurons to crave for more. To come to this understanding that the effect of the present becomes the cause of the future is a blessing. This understanding alone is the gateway to freedom.
Every individual is a genetic masterpiece. This uniqueness presents itself in the interplay of individuals as a society. Suggestions from others influence us and shape us, every addiction journey starts off as an influence by other person promising a uniquely pleasurable experience and ends up in painful ones.
Genetics plays a role in addiction. Some individuals seem to never get addicted to certain chemicals, while others are quite vulnerable. This becomes a major influencing factor when a person consumes the addictive chemical or does the addictive activity for the first time.
In my journey of recovery, I realised that there was only one major cause of my addiction. I attended to that root cause and came out of it. That one cause was a lack of self-awareness. The lack of self-awareness translates broadly into more observable causes like
- Emotional trauma
- Inherent restlessness
- Family environment and interpersonal relationships.
As Self-awareness grows, we can observe subtle nuances of our emotions, feelings and sensory perceptions. Through self-awareness, we can even cope with genetic weaknesses.
Self-Awareness helps us to remain focused and calm in our own skin. Learn more about Why is Self-Awareness important in our life?
How to Stop all your addiction with 2 Simple and Powerful Methods
The first step is the last step. The moment you come to know that you are addicted to something, a part of your psyche revolts against it. Either you accept or deny is a later part. Acceptance opens the door to recovery and freedom, while denial keeps you involved in the game till exhaustion. Professional help is just a call away. This is the de-addiction helpline of India. If you think you or a fellow being you know, needs professional help, call this helpline number now.
I recovered by sheer will-power. I am going to share now the exact process which I followed.
I was in the grip of nicotine addiction a few years back. I am amazed by how a single puff of cigarette amongst the group of teenage boys avalanches to painful frantic consumption.
I know smoking was bad, but I kept on pumping carbon and nicotine in my lungs to get a kick of dopamine. Years passed, and I never realised that I became an addict. It is when my health started deteriorating I quit but relapsed after 2-3 days. I continued smoking again for the next few months and then stopped, but again relapsed after a few days. Within 2 years, I relapsed around 7-8 times. By this time, I did extensive online research finding the root causes and treatment of my nicotine addiction. I have found these two methods useful in overcoming my addiction.
Some wise person said that whatever happens, happens for good. This seems true. If it was not my addiction, I would have never come to know what real meditation is. The meaning of word meditation is unique to different people. For me, meditation is an art to live a fulfilled and joyous life. I encourage you to find yourself what meditation is. It is often misused by spiritual organisations and self-proclaimed gurus to exploit the gullible. Meditation is the fearlessness with grace and vulnerability, like a flame in the wind.
I had many preconceived ideas and concept of the soul, god, meditation and enlightenment. But I pursued no spiritual practice before. I used to chant Gayatri Mantra and Hanuman Chalisa a lot, but repetition always felt mechanical. I discovered meditation when I had an out-of-body experience during sleep one night. This experience left me speechless, and I started questioning my waking reality. Later after many years, I found Vipassana Meditation which provided me with the ground to build a spiritual practice and reap its benefits.
In a nutshell, choose any meditation practice and stick to it. When you sit in meditation, you observe your thoughts. Thoughts will tell you a thousand things. Emotions, feelings and sensations will course through your body. You just let it all happen without moving, without uttering a single word. With enough practice, you can sit through unpleasant sensations for longer periods and your mind will gain strength. When you quit consuming the substance your body undergoes withdrawal symptoms and you have a very unpleasant sensation in your body. If you can sit through and let it all happen without reacting, you will emerge victoriously. This is the ridiculously simple yet powerful method to control all types of addiction.
The core of our being is hollow and surrounded by restlessness and we run our entire lives fearing this void and restlessness. We become addicts, hoping to fill this void with transitory pleasures. Meditation will teach you to face this restlessness and make friends with it.
This is a continuous process where you will learn to handle your thoughts, feelings and sensations with no drugs or chemicals.
The inherent restlessness of an addict does not allow to build a proper routine to either exercise or meditate continuously. The regular exercise routine is necessary to stay healthy naturally. I would suggest building a meditation routine first. If you can sit with your thoughts without reacting, you have won the half battle. Then exercise will come naturally to you. Daily exercise of just 7 minutes has the potential to turn around your life. I started with this 7-minute workout routine. You too can. If you like, you can build up your routine with 5 minutes of meditation followed by 7 minutes of exercise. Total 12 minutes of the power-packed everyday happiness project.
Regular exercise increases the blood flow towards the brain, builds new neuron connections and releases dopamine and few other neurochemicals which uplift our mood naturally.
Along with exercise and meditation, you can take vitamins and supplements too in your diet.
Wrapping it Up
With meditation and exercise you can stop all your addictions naturally . Let all the unpleasant sensations course through your body, you just do not react. Even if it take weeks, months or years the transformation will be irreversible.
Addiction is a serious psychological disorder which sometimes needs professional help for treatment. But it’s only through self-awareness that a person can naturally overcome their addictions. Meditation and exercise increases self-awareness. With awareness, one can observe repetitive and destructive thought patterns and can come out self-destructive cycles.