Understanding Indulgence

It’s not the food, or alcohol, or any other consumed indulgence you actually want:  you want the feeling that comes from it – euphoria, fulfillment, satiation, etc. You want the sensory & emotional result of a serotonin or dopamine or other neurochemical rush. 

When putting indulgence in a physiological perspective, it de-glorifies the ‘object’ we think we want. Technically, the indulgent food or drug or alcohol itself does nothing for us – it’s actually the feeling we seek from it, which can be neurochemically explained. 

When we understand the neurochemical basis of desire, it helps diminish the craving of the substance. Employing the neurochemical reasoning makes the indulgence far less emotionally appealing, and it serves to create a space between desire and action to allow for a more mindful response. 

Recognizing and understanding the neurochemical basis of indulgence reduces the appeal of a substance and thus reduces its control over you. 

Moreover, when we take a moment to identify our perceived neurochemical deficit, we can then put our desires & needs in proper perspective and determine what it is we actually need:  our actual need is likely a deeper connection to people, engagement in meaningful activity, exercise, sleep, basic nourishment, breathing & body relaxation, and/or more effective goal-directed attention management. Then we take small steps to start mindfully fulfilling those actual needs as we allow the craving to pass.

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