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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Powers of Thought: Thought Addiction Assessment



Do you feel like you know your mind well? Are you in control of your mind? Do you think your mind works for you? If you answered is no to all 3 questions then you may be working for your mind and doing, thinking and feeling things you don’t want to. You just might be living by thoughts generated by your subconscious mind. If you keep giving your power over to your subconscious mind then your subconscious mind might lead you to another addiction.

Have you had an addiction of some sort and find it hard to stay on your sobriety path or resist relapse thoughts?

Thought Addiction

Thought addiction (TA) is a hidden addiction that affects millions of Americans every day. TA affects their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Many addiction professionals work on the visible addictions, not the invisible one. Thought Addiction can cause sleepless nights, addictions, anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, stress, digestive problems, health issues, troubling relationships, doubt, tight muscles, headaches and yes even death (suicidal thoughts)? 

Most people enter into an addictive pattern to numb out pain (emotional, mental, physical or spiritual), ignore or reduce perceived health issues, (like anxiety, panic or stress), to enhance a perceived personality weaknesses, quiet a constant looping negative thoughts or generally feeling out of control. Example: “If I do ______ (blank) then I will gain control.” Initially, there is an experience of relief from painful feelings, inappropriate behaviors, distorted thoughts or emotional hurts. But repetitive engagement soon becomes addictive and then toxic.

Definition of Thought Addiction

The definition of thought addiction is the development and attaching to an intrusive repetitive habitual thinking pattern to one thought or set of thoughts to change yourself to be accepted, improve your performance of a skill to be good enough or both.

Thought addiction is the act of consciously allowing, feeding, entertaining or repetitively returning to a negative, critical, harmful or destructive thought over and over again. These type of thoughts or sets of thoughts that do not serve you decreases your confidence, wipes out your self-esteem or worth and has long range damaging results to your health and life. What accentuates this type of thought(s) or set of thoughts to form is when the thought(s) come out of a hurtful situation where emotionally charged statements comes from someone or groups you want to be emotionally attachment too as well as negative thoughts of generated by yourself about not being good enough or being accepted surface. Examples would be “I can’t be social or feel comfortable without drinking”, “I will not be acceptable by this group unless I act a certain way”, or “I can’t function through the day without using drugs”.

A thought addiction depletes every system of the human body. Repetitive and unhealthy thoughts can deplete a person’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual energy, leaving the person with a feeling of no control, emptiness inability, not good enough or weakness.

Thought addiction follows the same rules and progression of all other addictions. Think about this statement “every addiction starts with a thought” no matter what kind of addiction.

A thought addiction or unhealthy thought looping can cause you to seek and expand into other addictions. Addictions such as substance, food, exercise, emotions or behaviors.

Consider this idea. Every addiction starts with a thought. For example: “I am not good enough, so I need something to help me” “This substance (thought, emotion, or behavior) will make me perform better, be more social, fit in, mentally escape, feel better or make me not feel at all”.

Once a person becomes sober, the original thought, which caused him or her to use, surfaces again because it was not dealt with or shifted so a relapse is possible. TA can also be the aftereffect of surviving any abusive, overwhelming or traumatic life event.

Forms of thoughts you can become addicted to:

· Anxious Thoughts
· Compulsive Thoughts
· Depressive Thoughts
· Diluted Thoughts
· Fearful Thoughts
· Obsessive Thoughts
· Negative Thoughts
· Ruminating Thoughts
· Self-defacing Thoughts
· Self-defeating Thoughts
· Self-limiting Thoughts
· Self-sabotaging Thoughts
· Sexual Thoughts
· Substance Thoughts
· Suicidal Thoughts
· Unwanted Thoughts
· Worrisome Thoughts

It is important to understand the influence and power a thought can have over you. A thought can affect your mental and physical health, as well as these types of thoughts, can become so overwhelming. As you know thoughts can be disruptive, destructive, and negative. These types of thoughts can go astray becoming very negative, overwhelming and even toxic. When caught in a thought addiction it can seem as though your thoughts have a mind of their own and you feel as though you have absolutely no control over them.

Thought Addiction Assessment

Here is an assessment to help you to recognize if you are headed into or have a thought addiction. Stop and take this assessment to find out if you have an unhealthy relationship with a thought or set of thoughts. This assessment will assist in identifying and learning if you are in danger. 
  
Take out a piece of paper. On the left side of the sheet, write down the numbers 1 through 20. As you read each question, put “Yes” or “No” next to the corresponding question number.

1. Do you periodically or constantly think about a thought or set of thoughts that alter your mood negatively?

2. Do you have difficulty concentrating due to negative, painful or seemly inappropriate thought(s)?

3. Do you have an inability to participate or function in your daily tasks because of a failure to stop a thought(s)?

4. Does a thought or set of thoughts keep you from feeling?

5. Is your thought content over 75% negative or do not serve you toward your ability to perform?

6. Does a thought or set of thoughts feel like they block you from succeeding?

7. Does a thought or set of thoughts keep you from investing in relationships?

8. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to self-sabotage your efforts to be happy, satisfied or fulfilled?

9. Do you have a thought or set of thoughts that cause you to behave in ways you do not want to (acting out, emotionally reactive, self-harm or addictive behaviors)?

10. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to reject yourself or not like yourself?

11. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause sleepless nights or wake you at night?

12. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to overuse drugs (legal or illegal)?

13. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to under eat or restrict or overeat or binge on food?

14. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to over or under compensate perform in life situations?

15. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to hate or reject all or a single part of your body?

16. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to deprive yourself of something?

17. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to say “No” to social invitations or interact with family?

18. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to perform poorly at your job, school, social interactions or relationships?

19. Do you call off from work because you are thinking you are too “depressed” to work or just not good enough?

20. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to be consumed mentally during the day?

Scoring the Assessment

Once you have completed all 20 questions on the assessment, add up all the “Yes” answers.

If you have four or less “Yes” answers, you are experiencing normal thinking. Your thoughts do not interfere too much with your life.

If you have answered five to eight of the questions “Yes” then the assessment indicates a low level or episodic of habitual thought looping. You could experience troublesome periodic thought looping. To gain a deeper understanding, you may want to review each question you answered yes, one question at a time to increase your understanding and what you might want to do to change your thinking.

If you answer from nine to fourteen questions with “Yes”, then you are probably experiencing moderate thought looping and maybe affecting you on a regular basis. Maybe you should address all the issues in each question that you answered yes and look at your core beliefs behind them. If you find negative core beliefs and change them eventually will change the way you think.

If you answered fifteen or more questions with “Yes”, then you are in the high range or addictive range. You are probably going through feeling as though you have loss of control of your thoughts, experiencing distorted thoughts, obsessive, ruminating thoughts and your ability to function effectively is probably decreased. Your thinking is probably compromised. You should seek help and support to reduce their effects on your life. There is a good possibility that you could become more addicted if you do not take action. You might begin to substitute or act out your thought addiction by seeking secondary addictions with substances, drugs (legal or illegal), emotions, food, exercise, as inappropriate relationships as well as destructive or self-harming behaviors in order to subdue the constant looping.

Take Away 

This assessment can be your first step in understanding barriers in your mind that keep you from being positive and productive. Thought addiction assessment can help you identify problem area of thinking you need to address so you can work to regain control over your thoughts. 

Mind coaching is a way to change the way you think by discovering the roots of your thinking and how to successfully move toward positiveness.

         Coach Bill

For more information visit my website and click here to download a free eBook to help you understand more of why you think the way you do.

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