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Did you know that your emotions can also be addicting?

Emotional Addiction



What comes to mind when you think about addiction? Drugs, alcohol, shopping, sex, gambling, and food? Yes, those are external addictions that we can experience, but what about internal addictions? Have you ever thought that you could be addicted to your emotions?


Addicted to my emotions, how is that even possible? Let me explain. As with many things in life, being addicted to our emotions can start in childhood. When a child grows up in a household that is chaotic, unsafe, and unpredictable, they will experience strong emotions such as anxiety, fear, shame, anger, or chronic stress.



This will cause their bodies to release cortisol and adrenaline, and if the environment continues to be chaotic, over time they will start to become addicted to the feelings and sensations they experience. Think about it, having strong emotions regularly can make us feel alive, mobilizing us into action and anything less can become boring.


We start to experience constant ups and downs, and instead of understanding what we are feeling inside, we start to react to the day-to-day chaos going on around us. These “hits” of emotions are like a high and will cause us to seek those types of environments as an adult.


It wasn't love....


For a child growing up in a chaotic, unsafe, or unpredictable environment, the behaviors of the adults around them will most likely be angry, verbally or physically abusive, gossiping, or judging others.


Children will mistake those behaviors for love and will believe that even though there is a feeling of betrayal, feeling fearful, or being abandoned, that is normal. So what will they do as adults? They will seek those types of environments because to them that is love.


For a child growing up in a chaotic, unsafe, or unpredictable environment, the behaviors of the adults around them will most likely be angry, verbally or physically abusive, gossiping, or judging others.


Children will mistake those behaviors for love and will believe that even though there is a feeling of betrayal, feeling fearful, or being abandoned, that is normal. So what will they do as adults? They will seek those types of environments because to them that is love.



Unsafe Environments

For a child growing up in a chaotic, unsafe, or unpredictable environment, the behaviors of the adults around them will most likely be angry, verbally or physically abusive, gossiping, or judging others.


Children will mistake those behaviors for love and will believe that even though there is a feeling of betrayal, feeling fearful, or being abandoned, that is normal. So what will they do as adults? They will seek those types of environments because to them that is love


So what can you do to change this addictive behavior? Well, the first thing is to realize that you are addicted to your own emotions. What are some of the symptoms that you could be experiencing? When nothing is happening around you and you have the urge to stir the beehive.


This could look like getting into an argument with your family, partner, or friends, going on social media and making comments that provoke others, or gossiping about people. Do you feel that you are always moving from one crisis to another and that something is always happening in your life? These are all big indicators that you could be emotionally addicted.


Rewiring the Brain


Next, you want to work on re-wiring the brain. How you do that is to engage in mindfulness which is all about being present and working on understanding what is happening both externally (in the environment) and internally (inside of you). This helps you become aware of what you are feeling and provides you with the opportunity to change your behavior. For example, if you become angry once you become mindful that you could lash out with words or actions, you can walk away and work on calming down.


As with any other addiction, you will also experience withdrawals from the ups and downs of your emotions. Remember you will not be releasing so much cortisol or adrenaline in the body, which is what the body is going to start craving. Therefore, self-care will be necessary. Get enough sleep, healthy foods, sunlight, water, and exercise. Boundaries will become important. You have to remember that it is most probably unlikely that those around you or indeed yourself are engaging in boundaries. A lack of boundaries equals chaos and constant chaos can mean an unhappy and unfulfilled life.

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