Cultivate good addictions for your body

No matter what you call the process of doing something over and over to flee from pain and turn to pleasure, it has devastating effects on your life.  

In May, I posted a blog, Develop Your Confident Body, wherein I made the case that most of had to adapt in one way or another when we were young.  Sometimes this adaptation turned into a way of being in the world that is classified as addiction at it’s worst, obsessive, compulsive, even habitual, in its least destructive forms.  Sometimes this way of being in the world seemed a fun way to hang out with others, seemingly “cool” (this is what I felt with cigarettes and alcohol as a teenager).  Whatever the reason, excessive drugs, alcohol, food, and exercise along with compulsions, like gambling or shopping, cause you to escape your mind and take you out of your body. 

But its only in your body that you have the answers that are true for you.  

I’ve been reading Pamela Peeke’s book, Fight Fat After Forty, because I couldn’t understand why my middle was expanding at a rate far greater than I liked.  What stands out is her CortiZone concept.  In this book published in 2000, she writes that cortisol levels shift and change throughout the day corresponding to the body’s natural rhythm.  I’ll write more about this in a few weeks when I take a look at relationships with people being supplemented with other relationships, especially food, but what struck me thinking is that the body has natural rhythms and the body and brain together, your mind, have natural, inherent answers.  Eliminating addictions, also referred to by me as distractions, is the only way to hear these messages.  

Unfortunately, many of us pay no mind to our bodies and don’t get help until our mind is extremely miserable.  Warning signs that we tend to ignore come through disharmonious relationships, loneliness and isolation, or disease.   

In my memoir, From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal, I write about my early days of addiction, and even if this is or was the case for you too, it doesn’t have to continue.  Coming home to your body and paying attention to signals can change your entire life. 

  • Start with a realistic view that whatever discomfort you’re experiencing isn’t a reason to heft any shame, blame, or guilt on yourself or anyone else.  (Subscribe to the overused phrase, “It is what it is.”) 
  • Realize that you have the power to make different choices and change your circumstances.  
  • Determine the thought, fear, or anxiety your distraction is keeping blocked from your mind.
  • Cultivate the courage to discover what this blocked thought fear or anxiety is doing to your body.

Gathering trusted support around you to decipher feelings and pay attention to your body can shift your distractions so much so that you eventually become addicted to feeling strong, being rested, and living life authentically whole.  These new ways of being in the world will keep you happy, feeling young and being fit.  These are addictions that are good for your body and your soul!