To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Yay for dopamine!" Are we hot wired for addiction?

This article on addiction suggests that not only are we biologically inclined to seek pleasure (and thus sometimes get addicted, or at least suffer from craving) but that this fact is partly responsible for humanity's "success" as a species.

Further, the quote below also plays up to my growing theory that for "cravers" (as opposed to hard-core addicts), solutions to the issue of wanting too much of the "good stuff" may be controllable through self-awareness. I certainly know that the periods whereby I manage to keep my rabid appetites at bay are facilitated by certain positive mind games, meditation, and close self-scrutiny of feelings and desires, and the motivation that lies behind these urges:

"'It's been found that people are much more likely to crave the use of substances when they're tired, when they're hungry, when they're in a negative mood. That is partly because they believe the substance will alleviate their despondency but it's also sometimes because they're not clearly introspecting about what the nature of their discomfort is,' he says.

People can believe they're craving one substance or activity, but are really confused and need something else.

'It's a misunderstanding of what's going on internally with your motivation,' he (David Kavanagh) said.

So when you think you need a coffee, you might actually need some sleep or food. Kavanagh says that if you're craving something, the worst thing you can do is try not to think about it. It might sound a little strange, but he says the best way to beat a craving is to not focus on it too much, but just let your attention wander over it and eventually it will move to something else."

Just remember - don't be too hard on yourself. consciously try not to beat yourself up about the things you do!.

Flow Like Water...

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