Thought addiction is one of the most damaging habits of all addictions because thoughts play a significant part in the formation of every other addiction. Thoughts are generated and formed from your belief system. A belief system is made up of accumulated “core beliefs.” A core belief develops every time you experience a situation in life.
The definition of core belief is a belief that you form about yourself during life situations you experience along with an associated emotion. Both the established beliefs and related feelings are independent of memory recorded during that event. Core beliefs reside in your subconscious mind and are for the most part hidden from your conscious mind. Core beliefs send the content to your inner voice. It’s your inner voice which determines the flavor and formation of your thoughts. Therefore if your core beliefs are negative, then your inner voice will be negative, critical, and possibly judgmental resulting in harmful and distorted thoughts.
Ruminating on negative and distorted thoughts can cause you to form a thought addiction. Ruminating on a distorted thought can also create those thoughts to become diluted.
An example is if you were playing in a soccer game, the coach pulls you out and yells at you about how you are playing; a core belief like “I am not good enough” or “do not measure up to others” may form. At the same time, an associated emotion forms, a core value develops, and both attaches to the core belief. Over time that core belief, associated emotion, and value embed itself into your subconscious mind. Now flash forward to your present life. You are at work, and your boss offers you an unexpected promotion or, your spouse yells at you for what you are not doing around the house, you become triggered and then a core belief like “I am not good enough” surfaces into your head. The result is that you turn down the promotion because you think you will fail at the job or you feel ashamed for not measuring up. In another way, you engage in a verbal conflict with your spouse and walk away from with negative and judgmental thoughts about yourself which then starts to loop over and over in your mind. Continually allowing this distorted thinking or responding to negative thoughts all the time can become a habitual pattern, lower your self-esteem, rob you of confidence, create a feeling of depression and cause you to fail in life. A thought addiction can be a precursor to becoming addicted to a substance, emotion or behavior or forming a co-addiction.
Researchers have found that if you attempt to stop an addiction at thoughts, you will be unsuccessful.
Let’s look at this way. Say you want to kill a weed. You can rip or pick off the top and no matter how many times you do that the weed grows back. Why is that? It is because even though the head of the lawn weed is removed the roots are still there. The lawn weed will grow again. To kill or stop the lawn weed from growing back, you have to remove the source.
The same is true about an addiction. You can attempt to stop or control an addiction with your willpower of thinking it is very likely that you will relapse. So if you want to stop or remove an addictive habit, you have to remove the root or the contrary core belief that caused you to seek a something to stop your bad memories fears, insecurities or painful false emotions.
So if you want to be successful in addiction recovery, one - you need to recognize and understand the need and anxious thoughts that drove you to start in the first place. Two - then you need to dig deeper and find the core belief that is the root of your addiction. Three - change the core belief, and it will change how you think and react to life situations.
To eliminate an addiction you have the power to remove the root. Once the source is gone so is the associated trigger and craving to continue the use or the repetitive behavior.
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