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 helps to technically identify what it actually is 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 consumption desire, it helps diminish the craving of the substance – neurochemical reasoning is far less emotionally appealing, and it serves to create a space between desire and action and allow for us to respond mindfully. 

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 perspective and determine what it is we actually need:  our actual need is likely a deeper connection to other 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 and allow the substance craving to pass.

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