What is it at the core of addiction that keeps pulling us back in? Be it video games, drugs, tobacco, overeating, or watching tv, there is something going on that keeps us coming back for more.
Often we engage in these behaviors because in that moment they feel good. We may even feel happy, satisfied or even safe. In the end, there is more going on deep inside that is the core to all addictions, no matter how they show up in our lives.
Check out this video by Dr. Gabor Maté where he talks about the real cause of addiction.
According to the research, everything comes down to distress and pain. Life has become so painful that we are doing whatever it takes to check out and get away from the pain.
Scientists have found that emotional pain is just as painful, if not more so than physical pain. So if people are suffering due to loss, tragedy, rejection or abuse they might try to distract themselves from that pain. Their distraction can become so controlling of their life that they become addicted.
On average, we can’t stand to even just be alone with our thoughts much less face our pain and fears. We look to mindless distractions, substances and end up running away from the real issues. This is evident in our inability to sit still in a quiet room for more than a few minutes. Unless we have trained in meditation we may impulsively check our phones, look on facebook, or eat when we aren’t hungry.
Dr. Gabor Maté was saying in the video that we need to go to the core of the pain in order to heal. He also said that we need a friend, someone to support us, while we face our pain and be our inspiration to transcend in order to to be effective in our transformation. As social creatures we need the connections we have with one another to help us thrive.
Perhaps we will find something in the near future to help ease the process of facing the distress that causes addiction so that it is easier and less painful. In the meantime please let us know your thoughts on this topic and what you have found that helps you face your pain.
If you are struggling with stress or anxiety check out this 60-second guide to a stress-free life from Prince EA here!