I’m not asking this because it’s mulled wine time. You can have it 😉
But when I decided to abstain from alcohol in November, I realized that we numb our bodies with all kinds of things – sometimes quite unconsciously.
Often we only notice it when we “sober up” in the corresponding area – that is, when we practice abstinence for a while. If we consume something regularly, we get used to it very quickly – and lose the feeling for the right measure. Anyone who has ever used the same perfume or aftershave for a longer period of time will be familiar with this: after a while, you get the feeling that the scent fades much faster. But the truth is that we perceive it less and less because our nose has already become accustomed to it. And when things go badly (for our fellow human beings ;-)) we continuously increase the amount until we smell it again.
“Anesthesia” can set in when we need more and more of something that boosts our reward system in the brain to achieve the desired feeling of happiness.
Or when we continuously distract ourselves to hide away from feeling.
Here is a small selection of common “anesthetics”:
- Alcohol (to relax and unwind)
- Sugar (happiness kick)
- Caffeine (energy kick)
- Food (do you eat for hunger or appetite?)
- Work (“one more …. If I first… then …”)
- Thoughts (brooding)
- Social media / cell phone (the like kick, satisfying curiosity)
- Sports (“relief kick” upon completion)
- Busyness (always having something to do, even if it’s not actually useful or necessary; no breaks)
- Shopping (rewarding myself)
- News (“excitement kick”)
You can find out if you are still enjoying and consuming at a normal level or are already in numbing mode by answering these questions:
Can you enjoy it without immediately wanting more?
Do you consume consciously or casually? (e.g. messages in the cell phone or the bag of chips).
Do you feel after a certain amount a physical or emotional “enough” (saturation)?
Are you aware of how often and how much you consume?
Are you aware in which situations you reach for the respective “narcotic” and which craving you actually want to satisfy with it?
Do you sometimes consume so much of it that you only notice the “overdose” when you are no longer feeling well?
Can you do without it for a certain period of time without any problems? (Answer yes only after you have tried it – you will be surprised …).
Maybe you would like to start an experiment during the next days and weeks and do without one of your favorite “narcotics”?
It is definitely worth it! If you succeed, you will:
- gain exciting insights about yourself
- regain a sense of control
- become more mindful and aware of your feelings
- be more in touch with your body and its signals again
- regain the feeling for the right (healthy) measure
- use this awareness to better control what is good for you
- taste, feel and perceive the respective “remedy” more intensively after the renunciation
- feel clearer, stronger and more alive!
And: when you are in contact with yourself again, you can apply this conscious mindfulness to other areas.
How does that sound?
Here’s to more clarity and liveliness!