We Crave what we Desire

We crave what we desire

Cravings are those uncomfortable feelings that occur when a person makes the decision to give up an addictive habit, whether the stop smoking, give up alcohol, drugs or decide to diet and stop eating unhealthy foods. However, is there a difference between a craving for something that you have given up or the desire to continue using your unhealthy habit of choice?

When you give up an unhealthy habit but do not remove the desire to continue using the emotional crutch then you will continue to crave what you cannot have. The craving comes from the fact that you want something that at some level you still believe will help you navigate your way through life, to take the edges of the stress, but you have decided that you cannot have it. To make matters worse the reason you cannot have it is not because it is rare or unavailable it is because you have made a decision that you no longer want to keep doing something that is having negative effects on your health.

The problem with not removing the desire from your chosen addiction is that while the intelligent part of your brain is quite happy to give up what you are doing for very good reasons there is another part that will still desires what it cannot have. This creates a constant internal war that in some cases can last for many years. The cravings may fade over time but unless the desire is removed completely then you will live rest of your life feeling hard done by and never moving on to living your life as a person who has no need to use unhealthy habits to cope with their life. You will be travelling on a different path with new dreams, new hobbies, and a new life where there is no space for any negative habits.

I have heard so many stories of people who have given up alcohol and after over 20 years have still not changed how they live their life and are still depressed by the fact they are unable to drink alcohol. They are trying to live their old life just without drinking, this will never work because they have not yet accepted that alcohol is a poison and should be treated that way. They have not removed the desire from their chosen drug and thereby removing the need to keep using.

I know so many people who have spent their whole life on a diet and while they have lost weight, it is only a matter of time before it goes back on. The reason? They still desire sugar, chocolatey foods, buttery toast or whatever their chosen unhealthy food is. They have not changed how they view these unhealthy foods and what damage they are doing to their body.

Unless you remove the desire from your old addictive habit then you will either spend your life miserable that you cannot eat or drink what you want or you will give in and go on a continuous cycle of giving up, starting again, giving up and starting again.

When a desire arises, we have two choices we either satisfy it or push it down. If we give in and act out our habit then we are doing something that we know is unhealthy, but we do it anyway and surrender our self-control; with the second choice, a painful conflict builds up between desire to act out your habit and desire to give up and move on with your life.

If you make the decision to satisfy your desire then you re-enforce the habit in your unconscious mind, letting it know that this is something you want to do even when it is having negative effects on your health.

If you can learn to turn desire into disgust then you can change the internal dialogue that you have every time you are making a decision to act out your habit or not. The mental images that appear whenever you start to desire your emotional comforter of choice will change from a pretty picture of a glass of wine to a glass with skull and crossbones on the front filled with toilet cleaner. Our image of smoking will change to a blackened lung and our scone and jam will become a solid stone that is indigestible. These are obviously examples; you need to choose your own pictures of how you see what your habit is doing to your mind and body. You need to switch the picture from one of desire to one of disgust.

By changing your internal dialogue and the mental images then your desire will diminish in intensity and frequency. The easiest way to kick a bad habit is to no longer desire it, when you remove the desire you remove the craving. How can you crave something that disgusts you?
The next step is to decide what healthy habits and pursuits you should be desiring and create positive mental self-talk and pictures of your new life once the addiction has gone. Desire for positive things can contribute to a peace and happiness and a mind free from craving for anything that does not add to your life.

When we lack self-control it is easy to allow desire for unhealthy habits to take control and create cravings that hold us in the grip of addictive behaviours. On the other hand, if we know how to take charge of our freewill to make healthy choices we can live our life free from the pull of desire for unhealthy habits and enjoy the freedom to make healthy choices leading us to a state of well-being in both mind and body. The more we generate a desire for healthy choices the less room we leave for craving for those old habits.

Freedom from an addictive habit that has been build up over many years and in some cases a lifetime requires a desire to be free which is stronger that the desire to keep going. Changing your desire to disgust for your old habit and installing new desires in your mind is just one of the keys that unlocks the door to freedom. Understanding desire also starts the process of becoming aware of the mental processes that take place when you are trapped in an addictive cycle. This alone opens up space to allow change to take place. As one strand of the habit is altered in some way then it is easier for others to follow and that brick wall that kept you trapped can gradually be dismantled.

Thank You

Thank you for reading my blog on hypnotherapy and addiction. As a hypnotherapist, I specialise in addiction therapy and have worked with clients to overcome a range of addictions including drug and alcohol dependency, smoking, food and gambling.

If you found my blog informative and helpful, I encourage you to get in touch with me. Whether you would like to share your experience with addiction or have a particular topic you would like me to cover in my future blogs, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or if you would like to book a session with me. I am here to support you on your journey towards a healthier and happier life. Thank you again for reading my blog, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Categories addiction, alcohol, alcohol addiction, cannabis addiction, cocaine addiction, drug addiction, drugs, gambling, mental health, Minfullness, nicotine addiction, sugar addiction, weight lossTags , , , , , , ,

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