When Addictive Thoughts Open a Window to Enlightenment

By Laura Fenton

When people find that they are having addictive thoughts, they often do one of three things: they either try to argue themselves out of them, attempt to distract themselves, or treat these thoughts like a challenge that need to be overcome.

Therapists are showing, however, that there can be great value from having addictive thoughts. Simply running away from them will not solve the underlying problem; rather, it is important to find out why negative thoughts occur exactly when they do, and to use this knowledge to anticipate future addictive thoughts and urges.

If you really analyse what sets off your addictive thought patterns, you will usually find that the answer is that something has made you feel trapped, overwhelmed, or helpless. You may find that addictive thoughts are set off by anxiety about how you will be perceived by the opposite sex, by a fear of losing someone you love, or by the impotence of not being able to stand up for yourself. By using addictive thoughts as clues to understanding what is really causing you pain and fear, you can transform them from frightening, mysterious, unwanted messages, into welcome opportunities for change and self-empowerment.

1 Comment

  1. Sam DrexlerApril 6, 2015

    I haven’t previously considered addiction from this perspective. Addiction goes beyond substance abuse, which typically comes to mind. I think everyone has some aspect of addictive thoughts and behaviors. Work, food, and television compulsions are not talked about enough. Thank you for sharing the underappreciated viewpoint of addiction as a learning opportunity.

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