How’re you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Today’s topic is about when you’re trying to quit alcohol or any habit, your body can almost put up with so much; a lot more than you give it credit for.
Your body and mind are not separate. In this video, I talk about how – if you can convince your mind, your body and emotions will follow. Then we look at your pain and some techniques to overcome physical or psychological discomfort…
It’s your mind you have to convince about how capable your body is of doing these things.
People look at their body and their mind, they look at the two things as if they’re separate.
It’s the same thing.
Your body and your mind are the same system.
In this video, we will look at emotions and how they all come from the mind.
We’re going to look at the brain and pain, and not just physical pain, but from the pain we feel from discomfort.
Finally, we will look at a few different techniques you can use to overcome the discomfort and pain.
Emotions and feeling are things that originate in the mind.
You can’t feel anything; an emotion or physical feeling without it emanating form your mind.
It all starts upstairs.
It’s the same thing with pain in the brain.
Without your brain, your body can’t feel any pain.
Your body needs the pain to feel pain.
It’s the same with discomfort when you’re quitting alcohol.
When you feel discomfort, it’s a physical feeling that you’re getting because your brain wants to feel like that.
That’s the way your brain is working at that moment.
Physical pain, there’s been cases where people have had horrific battlefield injuries, but because they have needed to survive, they haven’t felt the injury.
The brain has shut it off somehow.
There’s a theory called the pain gate theory which states that there are certain chemical gating systems within your body.
A chemical will come in and shut off another chemical.
In order for the pain to get from the site of the injury to your brain, it has to go through various channels; and a lot of different chemical reactions have to be set off.
These reactions start this chain reaction down the nerves, and there’s a certain point at that nerve where other chemicals can interfere.
So chemicals can be sent down to your brain, and others can be sent down through touch neurons.
The first thing you do when you bruise your ankle for instance, is start rubbing the site of the bruise.
It immediately relieves the pain.
That’s a touch neuron in action, and that interferes with the actual pain signals getting into your brain.
It’s the same thing with pain gate theory.
It’s a chemical neurotransmitter that interferes with the other neurotransmitters trying to send signals of pain to your brain, and it cuts off the pain signals.
That’s basically how anaesthetics work.
They stick the needle in at a certain point, and that stops the pain signals being sent to your brain.
There was a guy called Henry Beecher who did a lot of work with soldiers coming back from the second world war.
He put out a paper in 1956, and he was talking about the way people felt pain.
He said it didn’t depend on the pain itself but on the mind.
He said that there’s no dependable relationship between the extent of the pathological feeling of pain and the pain that is experienced.
So, the intensity of suffering is determined by what the pain means to the patient.
That’s exactly the same thing we have with any of the discomfort you go through with quitting alcohol.
It’s caused by how much it means to you.
A lot of the words you use matter.
Stuff like withdrawal symptoms; a lot of people are obsessed with what symptoms they’re going to have and how long they will have them.
Alcoholic is a word that has an individual meaning, and it comes with a lot of different meanings already attached to it.
This can change the way you feel.
It’s just like a placebo effect.
So, the emotional pain, the suffering and discomfort you’re feeling is all going to be altered upstairs in your own mind by what it means to you.
You can crank up the volume of the emotions, the suffering or the discomfort, or you can crank it back down again by using your mind.
There are a lot of techniques you can use to do this. One way of overcoming the attachment we have to words is to focus on the sensations themselves.
Forget about the words but focus on the actual feelings.
What are you feeling?
A lot of the time we concentrate on the words and the words exacerbate the sensation.
But if you forget about the words and just concentrate on what it is you’re feeling at that moment…when you say you have a craving, what does that mean?
What does discomfort mean?
What are you actually feeling?
Often times when you concentrate on the sensation itself, you realise that the sensation is only a sensation.
It’s nothing bad.
There’s nothing dangerous about it.
The only thing is that you feel a bit uncomfortable because you’re not used to it, because you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone.
That’s all there is to it.
Once you understand that this is only discomfort, it’s not going to do anything to you.
It will actually benefit you.
That’s when you start to think that it’s not a bad thing after all.
It will disappear eventually.
It’s just surfing the urge.
That’s one of the best terms out there.
It’s like getting on a surfboard and surfing the edge, and it will disappear.
Another way to do this is to shift your focus to something else.
Many times when people get cravings or feel uncomfortable, they feel so because they are focusing their energy on the craving.
They are focusing their energy on the feeling, and the whole experience of it.
Instead of focusing on the sensation, they’re focusing on what they’re missing out on.
They are focusing on getting a few beers and the whole feeling will be gone.
It doesn’t go away, it’s just replaced by another feeling which is disappointment, or regret.
By pushing through the sensations, you get satisfaction.
You get that feeling of patting yourself on the back.
You get self-belief.
You get self-confidence.
You start building the things that you want to build in your life.
Try and focus on something else to shift your attention away from what you’re dong onto something else.
If that means taking a walk or changing your room, then do it.
Whatever you can do to shift the focus away from the cravings, then do it.
The cravings are nothing.
They’re just sensations.
They’re not going to kill you.
What you’re focusing your mind away from is how you’re thinking about it.
You’re changing your thoughts and focusing elsewhere in order to stop thinking about it.
It’s a technique that works for a lot of people in many situations.
Another trick is to visualise yourself in ten or fifteen minutes; visualise what you’ll be doing.
Visualise yourself on a nice beach somewhere with the waves rolling in.
There’s a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with a nice straw sticking out of it.
You’re at peace.
Sit down and do that.
That’s a technique to put yourself in a different mind-set.
That’s basically what it all boils down to.
This is all just a sensation, and no matter what way you look at it, that’s what it is.
Whatever way you can do that, that’s the best way.
I’ll leave it there.
If you have any comments or suggestions on topics to cover, please leave a comment below.
If you want the Quit Alcohol starter pack, just leave your name and email on the website and I’ll send it to you.
Until next time, stay safe and keep the alcohol out of your mouth.
YOU ARE ALWAYS STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!
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