We know that the reward centers of our brain release dopamine with certain stimuli… anything from chocolate, to instagram “likes”, to heroin.
But what many people don’t know is for every indulgence in dopamine, our brains go into a deficit equal to the reward. So for every pleasurable indulgence there’s an equal amount of suffering.
In addicted brains, the default mode network is disrupted. The activity in one part – the part responsible for personal value and emotional regulation decreases, while another part, the part responsible for your internal world increases.
So basically your self worth gets screwed while your thoughts and self-importance turns up. So our addictions begin with an addiction to self. To our own egos. To the stories we tell ourselves, or we tell other people.
In the same way we become addicted to a substance, we become addicted to a behavior, and even a state of mind.
Thankfully, mindfulness is no longer a buzzword. We can actually tap into the very processes that encourage addictive behaviors in order to step out of them.
And that’s what we’re talking about today, how to move beyond our cravings, reduce stress, and ultimately live a fuller life.
Our guest is Dr. Jud Brewer, New York Times best-selling author, neuroscientist, addiction psychiatrist, and thought leader in the field of habit change. He is the director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center, where he also serves as an associate professor.
We Will Learn
- What happens in our brains when we get hooked on something
- How anxiety and craving are related
- A step-by-step plan clinically proven to break the cycle, whether it be a craving or an anxiety loop
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