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A YOGI CHA BLOG

The worst kind of addiction

Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞

 

An addiction comes to sooth an unmet need. It is a way to choose a less painful experience than what the present moment is offering.

We are addicted to lots of stuff and very much to our thoughts. 

When we cannot control where the thoughts go, we start to suffer from it. In our daily routines, we are not aware of the addiction and we are not troubled by it. Actually, it is extremely convenient to have thoughts and also to be addicted to them. We create, produce and imagine this way.

We move forward thanks to thoughts.

However, when we spiral into negative thoughts and latch on to them like velcro, the addiction starts to harm us.

What is useful to understand when it comes to thoughts is that as soon as we are in this “creative” mode, we are in the imagination and therefore not in the NOW. So thinking keeps us away from the present moment.

What is also important to understand is that the thoughts will straight away leave a mark on the physical. Just like we can strongly imagine what it feels like to bite into a lemon and immediately start to salivate, even though there is no lemon there, we will also react physically to a thought that says “I will be alone for the rest of my days” or “no one understands me”.

These thoughts are not happy ones so while we are obsessively thinking them, we are at the same time resisting them.

But: don’t resist the thoughts.

Just by thinking, you are already in resistance to what is.

Instead the idea would be to give it your attention in order to ask it where it is coming from.

What is the underlying message?

This means: what am I making this thought MEAN?

What I find helpful with this, is the “nip it in the bud” action of catching the belief that is the root of the thought. Remember that your thoughts can only really come from your perception of reality.

You will not latch on to a thought that seems completely absurd. The idea “there will be a unicorn falling out of the sky at any moment” is not something that will affect you and obsess you because it doesn’t belong to your perception. However, the thought “Nobody likes me” will more easily stick with you if there is a belief that constitutes your perception saying “I am not enough just as I am”.

From my personal experience, this part is not an easy one and it doesn’t work at every try and sometimes I just have to find a soothing distraction before going back into trying to understand where the thought is coming from. It is so deeply rooted that my body will react strongly.

We are trying to control our environment with the thought. With the obsessive thinking.

To make a change in the pattern we need to change the perception first of all. We need to understand that we are trying to control the situation and therefore we need to approach our obsessed thoughts from that view point.

As we slowly become aware of the need to control, observing the thoughts, a way to anchor in the NOW is by simply saying to oneself “STOP – PAUSE”. From here, we can begin to bring the awareness towards feeling instead of thinking. The more we feel, the less we spiral into the thoughts. What will happen is that the physical begins to relax down a little. And so we use that, we bring the awareness more and more towards subtle things once the resistance is less prominent. We scan from the physical, through the mental and into the emotional. As we scan, we note to ourselves the tendencies to push things away. We note where the resistances are. We note progressively more and more subtle resistances and it becomes easier to find the underlying belief to the obsessive negative thoughts.

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