We’re taught to feel and accept our emotions, but what about when your emotions actually become an addiction?
This concept is pretty foreign in the system of psychology which is based around the analyzation of emotions.
When I practiced traditional psychotherapy, I began to notice how many of my clients were feeling emotions repetitively. Most of them would subconsciously set up situations where they would experience them even though they were verbally telling me that they wanted to change.
Few people understand the chemical cocktail of human emotion.
Emotions begin with a thought. We have too many thoughts in a day to even count, but most of these thoughts are habitual. We have them day after day, and because we have not created a separation from thoughts, we assign a meaning to those thoughts assuming that they’re true.
It’s the assigned meaning of thoughts that form our emotions. When we feel this emotion, there’s a cellular change in the body. Neurotransmitters are released and the physiology of the body shifts. As our physiology shifts, the neural pathways in the brain fire and wire in response.
Feeling and reacting habitually strengthens neural pathways which will make us subconsciously seek the same emotion. An emotional addiction is when the body becomes dependent on our own chemical responses.
This cycle changes the reward center of the brain.
Even if the emotion makes us miserable, the rush of neurotransmitters are a reward. Addiction usually means being addicted to an external substance or behavior (like food addition or sex addition) but its also possible to be addicted to our own internal chemical cocktails.
Most people who struggle with any kind of addiction are aware at least on some level of the issues their addiction is causing them. Emotional addiction is different because we’re living and breathing the emotional experience so closely it literally is beyond our scope of awareness.
In order to break emotional addiction you have to become conscious to your own patterns.
Become aware of your “hit” emotion If a lightbulb has gone off and you realize you have an emotional addiction it will be easy for you to identify your “hit” emotion. If something has stirred inside of you but you can’t quite place which emotion you feel in cycles, some more work will need to be done to identify the “hit” emotion.
Here are some easy steps to start:
1. Observe set an intention to observe your emotions: While this sounds simple, it’s actually very di