Millions of people from all over the world have addictions but in this blog I am focusing on Filipinos because my wife is Filipina.
In the Philippines there is a huge drinking problem and in this post I want to share ideas that have helped me to conquer some addictions that could perhaps help someone who is fighting the urge to drink a lot or some other dependency like overeating or junk food.
I was overweight for most of my life.
I had been trying for many years to break free from this habit by trying to restrain myself but my drive to change would always fizzle out.
It was not until 2015 that I managed to break through and change this unwanted behavior for good.
I realized that self restraint doesn’t work and the obvious reason is that, if you have to restrain yourself, this means that you like engaging in that habit, so fighting it is a struggle and requires constant willpower over a long period of time.
What really works is letting the habit go on its own accord.
One powerful idea, that I learned from Tony Robbins, is shifting what you link pain and pleasure too. If, for example, you have a problem with overeating it is probably because you link more pleasure to eating a lot of greasy food than to the long-term pleasure of having health and vitality.
So the only way to let go of that habit without striving is by conditioning your mind to consistently dwell on the great pleasure of having massive energy, vitality and inner drive. After a while your desire to have energy and vitality will be stronger than the desire to eat, drink etc.
By applying this idea my long-standing overeating habit disappeared on its own accord with the least amount of effort.
There is yet another interesting approach that I heard recently and I heard it from a guy who runs the http://www.actualized.org website: it is the idea that awareness alone is curative.
What this idea is about is, in essence, this:
Whenever you engage in an unhealthy behavior, whatever you deem it to be, and you are fully conscious while engaging in it you cannot continue it. If you can’t seem to stop it is because you are doing it without awareness. If you did it with full awareness the behaviour could not be continued and would stop on your own accord.
Obviously awareness must constantly be maintained throughout the whole process of eating, drinking etc and not for just a few moments, this is the big catch.
Another interesting approach is what Dr. Wayne Dyer said: many people fool themselves and convince themselves that is is easier to smoke, drink or whatever the addiction may be. Actually if you smoke, drink etc there are a lot of things you need to do: you have to earn the money, go to the store, buy cigarettes, carry fire in your pocket, you must constantly be replacing them etc. In order not to smoke all you need to do is not smoke. It is that simple, so don’t fool yourself and convince yourself that it is easier to smoke, actually it is not.
He actually wrote a book entitled “Excuse Begone” where he outlined a step-by-step process to overcome the excuses that we use to explain away why we drink, smoke etc and came up with a paradigm shift that can help anyone who wants to eliminate any bad behavior by working on the mental roadblocks that we erect to justify why we engage in that behavior.
Whatever the approach, what I understood is that the only real way to part with a long-standing addiction is by rewiring your mindset, by making a mind-shift instead of fighting a habit that, deep down, you enjoy engaging in. Your willpower will soon erode and you will soon go back to the old habit.