I guess the chances are if you are reading this, you will say that you aren't addicted. You would probably be horrified that you might be asked the question.
Most people associate addiction with alcohol and drugs. But that’s not the case. We can become addicted to many things including –
• Video Games
• Mobile phones
• Social Media
It can be our ‘go-to ‘ place when we feel down. We are searching for that Dopamine hit. It’s just the same hit that those who take heroin get.
Dopamine is the "reward" neurotransmitter that tells our brain that we want more of something. It's released when we take an action that helps ensure our survival, such as eating, drinking, and reproduction of our species. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain. Basically, it acts as a chemical messenger between neurons. Neurons are specialised cells that transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells.
The problem is that the ‘hit’ we get doesn’t last long, so we are constantly searching for the next activity that brings us pleasure, and that last one often doesn't satisfy us, and we search for more than before.
Say your ‘go-to’ is food. It’s no accident that you get the waft of roast chicken or freshly baked bread in supermarkets. The mere smell of them can activate dopamine, your mouth waters and you begin to feel all those sensations you experienced the last time you ate that crusty bread or tasted that roast chicken. So you are more likely to buy. Eating the bread or roast chicken and the pleasurable feeling you get from it reinforces those feelings. So the next time you shop, you make the same connections - Result - you buy again!
IT’S A CYCLE OF MOTIVATION, REWARD, AND REINFORCEMENT.
But what if the pleasure falls short of your expectations?
That’s where the problem occurs. The craving for pleasure takes over from the actual ‘feel good’ factor.
This is the 21st addiction of many – especially the younger generation. They get hung up on the number of ‘likes’ they receive for a post. They either get a rush of dopamine when they are acknowledged, or when they are ignored, they feel low. They start to worry they aren’t accepted by their peers. All those doubts creep in. They may try harder and harder to get the gratification they crave, or they sink into depression. They check their phones constantly, taking them everywhere, even to the loo!
It's the first thing they look at when they wake up, putting everything and everyone else second to their phones.
. How many times a day do you check your phone?
. Do you have a smartwatch that notifies you of emails, Instagram and Facebook activities?
. Are you Becoming a Dopamine Junkie?
Are you constantly seeking that high? That feeling of euphoria or that feel-good feeling when your addiction is temporarily satisfied? Or are you feeling low because your reward system isn’t satisfied?
Social Media isn’t all bad, just as social drinking, buying a new outfit, or treating yourself to that piece of chocolate cake is all fine – in moderation.
What I’m suggesting is that you are aware of your relationship with them, and the connection with the effect it may have on your mental health.
#112 - Eva Gruber - How to Recognise Our Mental Negative Saboteurs
Eva talks about our mental saboteurs, which we all have to some degree or another. They include -
• Hyper achiever
As you can imagine they can have a negative effect on our behaviours and beliefs. Eva talks in this episode about two of these. The Judge and Pleaser and how they can sabotage us. But as Eva explains we also have the Sage Powers who can help us combat those saboteurs. Listen in to learn more.