Overcoming Addiction Series, Part 1 of 3: "I choose a healthy me!" - 60 minute version

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Overcoming Addiction Series, Part 1 of 3: "I choose a healthy me!" - 60 minute version

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An excerpt:

Focus on the breath and become aware of the part of you that is able to observe your thoughts and feelings objectively. It is your super-consciousness, or your “silent passenger” - the infinite awareness at the core of our being. It is from this deep awareness, accessed through meditation, that lasting change comes - and it is activated the moment you close your eyes with the intention of meditating. Stay in the moment and observe through your silent passenger’s eyes as thoughts come and go… come and go... and allow the waves arising from deep within you that are always there, waiting for you to allow them to fill you with peace,  joy, and tranquility, to do so. Let's do that for a few moments now...

Meditation is scientifically proven to lower cortisol levels thereby reducing the negative effects of stress on the body. Meditation also enhances the immune system, increases overall energy, and streamlines the body’s ability to cleanse itself of chemical toxins which can negatively affect mood. When practiced over time, meditation actually thickens the prefrontal region of the brain called the amygdala, which is the area in the brain responsible for optimism, well-being, spaciousness, self-observation, compassion and possibility, and allows us to stop being dominated by the prefrontal cortex which is associated with fear, depression, anxiety, pessimism, and harsh judgments of others and ourselves.

When the amygdala is relaxed, the nervous system automatically counteracts anxiety: the heart rate lowers, breathing deepens and slows, and the body stops releasing cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream which have a marked, damaging, long-term effect on the body if not held in check.

The truth is, most of us are addicted to something – if not to drugs, alcohol, food, cigarettes or gambling, we’re addicted to seemingly lesser grave dependencies like candy, gossiping, compulsive texting or even negative thought patterns. Meditation is a way of learning how to view our impulses – no matter what they are - from a third-person perspective - from the super-conscious or via your “secret passenger” as was mentioned earlier, and it is this very psychic distance that is created during meditation between wanting to indulge in the addiction and actually doing so that is so beneficial to overcoming the power of the addiction.

There’s a term for this: it’s called “urge surfing” and it originated with the late Dr. G. Alan Marlatt, the founder and director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington…