Tag Archives: mind

What Makes Ending An Addiction So Challenging?

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What Makes Ending An Addiction So Challenging?

Recognizing that you have a problem with addiction is the first hurdle that you have to overcome. Once you’ve admitted that you’ve got a problem, it’s time for you to think about quitting. You probably didn’t expect to become addicted when you first experienced an addictive substance or behavior for the first time. However, what started out as fun can quickly become something more serious. There are several different ways in which you can try quitting, but don’t be surprised if your first attempt is a difficult feat. If you’re left wondering why you found it so hard, here are some of the reasons why:

Conflict and Ambivalence

Alcohol, drug addiction, or some other type of addictive behavior that becomes excessive will create conflict in your life. It can be within yourself because you want to change, but also have stronger urges to repeat the addictive behavior. Conflict also occurs with other people because they either want you to quit or join them in the addictive behavior. These conflicts don’t go away, and your expectations only get higher. Ambivalence is the feeling of wanting to continue and wanting to quit at the same time.

Tolerance – a Key Symptom of Addiction:

Tolerance, together with withdrawal, are the two processes that resulted in your addiction in the first place. The two are interconnected and, without them, it would be easier to quit. Tolerance is a physical and psychological process. The first time you experience an addictive substance or behavior your tolerance is low and the effect you feel is very strong. The more you repeat the behavior or take a substance, the higher your tolerance is and the more you need to take or do the behavior to get the same effect.

Withdrawal is experienced when you aren’t able to do the addictive behavior. The symptoms can be both physical and psychological. Symptoms might include shaking, feeling unwell, upset stomach, and feeling anxious or depressed. This, in itself, can be a barrier from quitting.

Guilt and Justification:

Guilt about your behavior is a strong motivator to make changes, but it also works against you. You find yourself justifying your behavior, not just to yourself but to other people too. Examples are telling yourself it’s not a problem, saying you’ve already cut down, or using other people or situations to divert attention.

What Can You Do If You Really Want to Quit?

There are a variety of different types of treatment to help you if you really want to quit. Therapy, for example, helps you sort out and change the thoughts that are keeping you addicted. It’s not going to be an easy or straightforward journey, but the support of a good treatment program will help you move forward and eventually quit. Treatment will make the quitting process much easier, but there are strategies that you can follow if you want to try to quit your addiction on your own.

Overcoming an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or some kind of behavior doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world. Admitting that there is a problem is the first step, followed by withdrawal and detox. The recovery journey doesn’t always end there, and you may need professional support for many years to come.

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Burnt Out

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Burnt Out

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend! It’s been a long few weeks for Lil Red, thanks to a horrible stint with the flu earlier this month. Because I work for myself in all three of my jobs, I don’t have the luxury of paid time off. So, I had a lot of making up to do because of a week of being totally incapacitated. And, believe me when I say, I am completely burnt out.

When it comes to all of my endeavors in life, I take every precaution to keep them running smoothly. Prewriting blogs specifically for the occasion of being sick, following my calendar to a T to keep myself on time for all of my appointments every day, and even taking time for me to go ice dancing during the week. So, why do I feel so unbelievably exhausted?

Yes, I have been stretching myself too thin for work. But, it was a complete necessity to make up for lost time, especially because I will be out of office for a third of October. I think that an impending family vacation and then some me time with my cousin in Pittsburgh also has something to do with it. It feels so close but so far away, so everything leading up to it just feels like a chore.

What do I do? I could completely burn myself into the ground until it’s time for me to hit the bricks for vacation. Or, I could make sure that I’m still incorporating some R&R in the meantime, because god knows I need it. I think that I’ll be going with Option B! An unfortunate truth of self employment means no PTO but, now I know for future reference that working ten days in a row to make up for it isn’t the right answer, either.

Finding a healthy balance for the workaholic and human in me is difficult. Naturally, I want to be productive during my work days. But, all work and no play makes Lil Red a dull girl, and it’s important for me to work in breaks during the day no matter how small they may be. Even a half hour to enjoy a drink at Starbucks is better than going from task to task without a second to breathe in between!

There’s no denying that I am feeling burnt out in my daily life. But, hopefully taking some time during my day just for me will help improve this sensation until I get to completely let loose on vacation! #poetandididntknowit 😀

What do you do when you are feeling burnt out? How do you carve in time for yourself during a busy day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Meditation Recommendations

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Meditation Recommendations

Hi everyone! Something that I really enjoy doing is going to a meditation class offered by my local library. The woman who runs it, Joann Xi, is the founder of the Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan. This organization promotes a mindful and contemplative lifestyle and teaches the art of meditation to those in the greater Akron area. During class this week, Joann gave us a paper listing some helpful books, apps, podcasts, and websites that she recommends and I thought that I would share it with all of you. And, if you are interested in seeing Joann in action, check out my blog post which features her YouTube videos. She’s amazing!

From Eastern Traditions:

Books:

  1. The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka by William Hart
  2. Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  5. Bringing Home the Dharma by Jack Kornfield
  6. The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron

Podcasts:

  1. Insight Hour Podcast with Joseph Goldstein
  2. Ram Dass Hear and Now
  3. Heart Wisdom Podcast with Jack Kornfield

Websites:

  1. https://www.secularbuddhism.org/
  2. https://www.lionsroar.com/

From Western Traditions:

Books:

  1. Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating
  2. Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating
  3. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
  4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  5. Fully Present by Susan L Smalley and Diana Winston
  6. Mindful Work by David Gelles

Audio Books:

  1. Going on Being by Mark Epstein
  2. Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein

Podcasts:

  1. 10% Happier with Dan Harris

Apps:

  1. Headspace (Westernized version of eastern meditation practices)

YouTube:

  1. Zen Den
  2. Cosmic Kids

Websites:

  1. https://www.cac.org/
  2. https://www.couragerenewal.org

Integration of East/West:

Books:

  1. Living Zen Loving God by Ruben L.F. Habito
  2. The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale
  3. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

I hope that some of these wonderful options to help introduce you to meditation or further your practices prove to be beneficial to those who need it. Once a skeptic, I truly believe in the power of meditation and the amazing work that Joann is doing, so please enjoy!

Who else participates in meditation? What are some ways that help you to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Do You For You

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Do You For You

Hello everyone and happy weekend! As many of you probably know, I figure skated competitively for close to ten years. I still love to hit the rink every now and then to get my skate on, but, I haven’t had a real lesson in about eight years. And, this past week, that changed! After running into one of my old coaches while I was at work, I decided that I would like to try my hand at ice dancing. And, try my hand at ice dancing I did!

I had the absolute best time being back on the ice and actually learning something new. Ice dancing is completely foreign to me, but the old girl can’t jump like she used to so I figured that dancing would be the best way to go. I had a half hour lesson with my coach, Chris, who is really the end all be all in my neck of the woods when it comes to all aspects of skating. Then, I got to practice on my own for a half hour.

By the end of my time on the ice, I was beat! But, boy, did it feel good. As I consider continuing to learn ice dancing, I find myself leaning towards not doing it, because it’s rather expensive. And, then, I find myself thinking that I do so much for others and that maybe I should do something for me, for once. Having a lesson every other week is definitely not as desirable as weekly skate time. But, it’s the best I can do and it sure would make me happy.

It feels so good to have something that I’m genuinely excited about. I’m twenty-four, which, for all intents and purposes, is over the hill in the skating world. But, I came back on the ice strong, I tried hard, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Doing you for you is so important, because if you don’t take that extra time for yourself, it’s so easy to become burnt out. I was definitely getting to that point and just one hour on the ice made me feel totally rejuvenated. And, you just can’t put a price on that. 🙂

Then and now! ❤

How do you do you for you? What is a hobby that you did when you were younger that you would like to get back into? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pacer Update (Finally!)

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Pacer Update (Finally!)

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I updated you guys on my Pacer pedometer app progress and, honestly, that’s because there wasn’t much. This past month and a half has been a total doozy. I was so mentally and physically drained, and the last thing that I wanted to do was commit to walking 10,000 steps per day when I could have been laying on my sorry behind watching TV!!

But, that wasn’t really getting me anywhere and, as soon as the events that were taking place in my life that caused me a lot of anguish turned around, I was excited to pick up the Pacer again. This past week, I have been really dedicated to getting my 10K steps in at least four days of the week and I have blown that goal out of the water. It feels good to get myself moving again and although a lot of progress hasn’t been made, I’m back on the horse and I’m proud of that. Take a look at my stats:

  • Steps Taken: 1,364,282
  • Calories Burned: 33,311
  • Miles Walked: 445
  • Hours Active: 211
  • Days As A Pacer User: 177

I was also really pleased to see that I’ve been more active than sixty percent of the users on Pacer because, the last time I did an update, I was at a measly thirty percent. I doubled that! Things are looking up, and my exercise regimen is back in full swing, which makes things seem like they’re looking up even more! I feel really happy, and I can’t wait to get my 10,000 steps in today! 😀

Who else uses a pedometer app? How do you get back on the horse after a hiatus from working out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making New Friends As An Adult

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Making New Friends As An Adult

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! As I make my way deeper into my twenty somethings, I find that I have had an increasingly difficult time making new friends. I work for myself, I’m no longer forced to be around anyone because I’m not in school, and, sometimes, talking to new people can be down right scary! Although Lil Red might seem like a confident gal, I still have issues with social anxiety. And, racing thoughts of whether an attempt at small talk will be a hit or miss can leave even the most confident in a tizzy.

But, then, I started utilizing the “what have I got to lose” mindset. The literal worst that can happen is that someone gives you the old “let’s get coffee sometime” and you never do. But, if you’re successful, you could have a brand new friend to get to know and spend time with.

I’ve began putting myself out there more and more lately and, I’ve got to say, it feels great! I’ve been attending different clubs of my interests at the local libraries and have even suggested a hang out with my favorite barista at Starbucks – and it worked! I have also been trying hard to maintain wonderful relationships with my old friends, because a phone works two ways.

I want to continue spending my free time in a meaningful way, and putting forth a better effort to make new friends has definitely helped me achieve this goal. Within just a few months, I feel like my anxiety in unfamiliar situations or speaking with a stranger while out and about has decreased significantly.

I started out small, by striking up a Facebook conversation with the people that I admired from afar and worked my way up from there. And, now, I have a plethora of both new and old friends that I would feel comfortable initiating a hang out with. I’m proud of myself for setting this goal and sticking to it, because meeting new people can be hard. But, once I got over the initial scare factor, it turned out to be an exciting adventure in my life and I’m looking forward to continuing to meet more new potential friends!

Does anyone else experience difficulty making new friends in adulthood? What are some of your tips for putting yourself out there? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Meditation Station

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Meditation Station

Hi there! Something that I’ve been enjoying a lot lately is meditation. One of the libraries in my area has been hosting the two founders of a local nonprofit organization Health, Happiness, & Chan to teach meditation classes to the public. I have been going since the spring time, and found it to be really difficult. Dare I say, I even found it to be completely ineffective.

Then, we had a hiatus for a few months until the summer session began. Upon returning to classes, I had a total turn around during our hour together. I was able to complete the entire forty minute process when, before, I couldn’t even finish five minutes. It felt awesome and I left class feeling so uplifted and accomplished.

Unfortunately, but fortunately, one of our two amazing teachers (Both of whom are professors at Akron U.) has accepted a position at Harvard and is no longer with us. But, our other guru, Joanne is simply the best. I have such a strong connection with her and it was such a delight to be welcomed back to class by her with a huge hug.

Joanne has quite possibly the most beautiful voice known to mankind and, after all of us insisting on it for months, she has finally made a YouTube channel! The quality of her first few videos is not the best, but there will certainly be more to come so I wanted to share them with all of you, anyways. Joanne has such a gentle, kind, and nurturing spirit and you can literally feel it just by hearing her speak. So, subscribe and enjoy as she walks you through all different types of meditation!

Who else practices meditation? What are some of your meditation tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah