The 4 'R' Steps to Defeat Addiction
Hey guys, thought I would share some tips for defeating addiction I read from the book 'The mind & the brain' by Jeffrey Schwartz
The author recommends 4 'R' steps; Refocus, Reattribute, Relabel and Revalue.
When the urge hits you, relabel and reattribute, perform mindfullness and tell yourself that you are merely experiencing the onslaught of obsessive thoughts brought on by a brain wiring problem. Here its also helpful to visualise the urge as nothing more than the frontal cortex of your brain lighting up with an errant signal.
Refocus behaviour on an activity for a period of 15 minutes under the onslaught of obsessive thoughts. 15 minutes is the average time believed to defeat an existing urge. This refocusing changes the balance of brain traffic to the frontal cortex from the direct neural pathway to the indirect route which is more inhibitory of actions. Furthermore it associates the previous signal with a new behaviour. Refocusing is the most important step for creating lasting changes.
Use refocusing on activities such as in-line skating, meditation etc.. and if the urge remains keep BUSY AT ALL COSTS!
Done regularly refocusing strengthens a new automatic circuit and weakens the old pathological one associated with the addiction!
Finally revalue (a deeper form of relabel) using wise attention (a buddhist practice) to quickly recognise the obsessive thoughts as senseless, false, and errant brain signals not worthy of the grey matter they rode in on yet alone acting upon. By refusing to take the obsessive thoughts at face value, they come to be viewed as toxic waste from the brain.
Hope this helps! Its helping me!