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Most people think that addictions come from the substances themselves. Not only is this false, but it sabotages your ability to kick your addictions.

The truth is: All addictions come from you. In fact, there are 3 components powerful enough to make anything addictive. If it contains these 3 things, it could become your next compulsive behavior.


Because these components give you a more intense experience of life.

In this episode, I’m revealing the 3 parts that make something addictive. And how you can use this to free yourself from any compulsive behaviors you have.

Show highlights include:

  • The bizarre reason dentists in the UK prescribe heroin for pain relief without making their patients addicted to it (0:58)
  • Why reading a book is the most effective way to quit smoking cold turkey (1:27)
  • How your mind transforms random chemicals and thought patterns into full-blown addictions (7:23)
  • Why checking your email is no different than falling down a pornographic rabbit hole (9:55)
  • How “cigarette breaks” are more addictive than cigarettes themselves (16:20)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.6]

Bob: Hi, welcome back to the Alive and Free podcast. Let's take a second and talk about what makes things addictive in the first place. Have you ever heard around how there's certain substances that are addictive? Who knows, cigarettes they’re very, very addictive or heroin is very addictive. It's interesting though, that if you really look at heroin, for instance, a massively addictive substance and a lot of other substances are compared to it in terms of its level of addiction. But did you know that heroin was used as a dental like anesthesia kind of like opioid? I don't know if it's an opioid class, but painkiller in some way, shape or form for dental surgeries. And that has been prescribed over the counter with the people using it, not having any side effects or withdrawals or addictive behavior patterns around it at all in countries like the UK. It's, there's plenty and plenty and plenty of usage of heroin per se, as a drug, but not in any addictive way. [01:26.9]

Cigarettes, Oh no. They're very addictive. The smartest thing, the cigarette industry did was get the federal government to mandate that it put label on its package that says it's addictive. And yet people quit smoking so easily by reading a book called The Easy Way to Quit Smoking, by the time they're done massive amounts of people are done smoking. They just read a book. There were no withdrawal effects, they were just simply done. Their associations with the cigarettes had changed and there was no alarm for it in any way, shape or form anymore. They didn't suffer from anything biologically, except maybe a headache here or there just natural physical detoxes from having like tar and other types of things in your system. [02:04.0]

There's a lot of talk about addictive substances. There are a lot of talk about addictive behaviors, but most people don't sit down and recognize that the thing that makes something addictive is actually you and me. What Bob, how is it that I make something addictive? Well, let's dig into that, shall we? So that you can finally look at anything that you may be doing that's addictive and recognize the three main components or categories of components that are causing this thing to be addictive. Shall we? Now, the people that I work with predominantly are people who are dealing with porn, pornography and sex addiction or drugs in some way, shape or form, but there are also people that are addicted to behaviors like gambling or food that we've worked with. And also, people who have emotions that they repeatedly go through or like ruminating on thoughts and things of that nature. And all of these are compulsive behaviors in that they kind of happen on their own when you want them to. So, a simple way to talk about addiction is just anything you can't stop doing when you want to. If you want to look at it that way and that simply then we can look at it in those terms. Well, what is it that makes something so alluring that it feels like you have the urge to go back. [03:14.4]

Here we go, first component is, I'm going to use the word adventure. Now you may use the word living on the edge, risk uncertainty, or anything that requires and demands that you have to pay attention. For instance, what makes it so that you pay attention while you're driving? Well, possibly the fact that if you stop paying attention while you're driving or you doze off, you might die. It's the thing that pulls you back to paying attention to driving. If you didn't have to pay attention, if you had one of those fancy new Tesla cars, even then there are people that still pay attention and they're freaked out about the way the car drives, because they're not sure yet they're not confident yet if the car will actually drive them on autopilot safely. Once they're confident about it, once their brain is like, ah, okay, cool. There's no risk in this. There's no adventure in this anymore. Then they'll ignore it and they'll ignore it quite a bit. Well, why do they text and drive then? Well, because there is some level of adventure and other things that are going on with a text that overrides for a moment driving, because in that moment they're not texting and driving while they're on a rainy street, trying to take a curve. They're texting and driving when the drive gets a little boring and there's less adventure in it. And so, then something else rises to the surface. [04:26.9]

Now, when I first encountered pornography, I was 14 years old. It was a massively, massively adventurous experience, right. I think I might've encountered it earlier in some art books and some other things. When I first went looking for it, I was around 14. And when I was first experimenting with that and the sexual processes that go with that, there, my heart was racing. The door was locked. I had to pay attention. I was listening for sounds outside the room. Like I had a sense that I didn't understand exactly what it was that I was doing, by any stretch of the imagination. At a basic level, I knew that there was something involved with sex and, but I was just curious about how it all worked. I didn't have a sense of sin in it or anything else. I just knew that my parents would probably be uncomfortable around it because my dad didn't want to talk about it some years earlier, he didn't talk about it like a sin back then. It was just like something clearly; he was uncomfortable talking about. And there was just some sense of like, oh no, I don't want anybody to walk in on me on this. [05:20.5]

So, it was adventurous. There was risk. And a lot of people when they find it, they're curious, we'll get to that in a second. But there's some adventure of it. They're like, I'm not sure how this is going to play out. And it forces you to pay attention. And it heightens the intensity of the experience. What I want you to note here is the more we heightened the intensity of the experience, the more that experience will pattern itself into your mind as something that is either to avoid or to go toward. People who do drugs, there is adventure in drug as well. There is tons of adventure in drug. There's risk in it, you're never sure how it's going to play out and it takes over. In my own experience with psychedelics and whatnot. Like there was the risk of, okay, well, am I doing this? Is it illegal? Is there some legal ramification to it? Do I get caught? Do I not get caught and whatnot. On top of that, there is the risk of like, I don't know how it's going to pan out. I don't know if it'll solve the problems, I want it to solve. There's some adventure in this. And in having an adventure, there's a sense of freedom that starts to show up in the body. Cause it's like all no holds bar, like something new could happen and it forces you to pay attention. That's the first category. [06:26.8]

Now is food addiction an adventure? In some ways it is a different kind of a, you're not quite sure how it's going to pan out. You hope it will. There is some risk. There is something that forces you to pay attention in the sense that it's a new stimulation to your system. There's probably less adventure in eating food, unless it's a new kind of food or you're going to a new place to eat it or it's with a new person or something. But there is still some level of something that forces you to pay attention just because you're stimulating your nervous system with food. There’s nerves on your tongue, there's nerves in your nose and there's nerves in your teeth and all the other stuff that are getting stimulated by chewing. And so, there is something that's stimulating the body waking you up. So forced attention that comes through this kind of adventure is the first category, something that forces you to pay attention. [07:13.5]

The next piece of the puzzle. First off, I want you to note something. If you didn't think something was risky, would you pay attention to it? If you didn't think something demanded your attention, would you pay attention? Your thought process around something, some people find Sudoku really exciting. They really enjoy doing it or word games, other people don't, they're boring as all get out. So, it's not the kind of adventure they like. And as a result, it's not addicting to some people where it is to others. Does that make sense? In other words, you're the one that is deciding whether or not something is risky. Your, the one, you may do to be doing it unconsciously, because it was risky for your parents or your parents taught you that it's bad or anything else like that. But it's coming from you, it's not coming from the thing. The thing is not inherently risky, not in and of itself. It's only your thought processes about it that are causing this sense of heightened awareness that is going on. And that's okay. There's nothing wrong with that. [08:10.2]

But guess how many other things there are in life that produce risk and adventure? I mean, going in hiking in a new place, walking outside in the dark, without the lights on. Trying new things can be an adventure, right? Just being, doing martial arts training, for instance, demands that I pay attention to it, because if I don't, I get coughed or something like that, trying to learn a new skill on a skateboard or on a trampoline, or trying to figure out how to work your tongue in a new way. Even trying to figure out how to answer a question before somebody else answers it or something, or someone puts you on the spot, like you're in a class to learn a language and someone, any number of things can create a sense of adventure of you learning something new of you breaking new ground, and have you being in a place that demands that you pay attention. This isn't unique to addictive “substances.” It's not. [09:00.3]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [09:28.5]

Second category is novelty. Novelty is a little bit like adventure, but there's something in a human that craves variety. And because you and I typically, most people are not at a level of perception and awareness where they can see the constant changing miracle of every moment, where it's ever new and nothing is ever the same. We run around believing we know what's going on and because we know it's boring to us. So, we're looking for something we don't know. We're looking for an experience that we haven't already figured out in our brain. So, in pornography that shows up with people, clicking on new videos and other people uploading new videos. So even if you're like, oh, it doesn't work, still there's that piece in the brain that sometimes goes, oh, but I wonder if there's anything new in there. It's like, when you check your email, is there something new. And you check Netflix, is there something new? Is there a new show on? They’re looking for novelty. It's the same. All these online shows, they're the same story, regurgitated a bajillion times over. They just put them in new costumes, new clothing, a slightly different move here and there twists and turns. The history of literature is the history of novelty to keep people paying attention to the exact same dang message over and over and over again, hoping to see it in a new light. [10:42.8]

Novelty is one of the things that keep us going back. Why? Guess what? Because it demands, we pay attention and you realize that attention is life. When you're not paying attention to anything you're asleep. That's how it goes. The more attention, the more awareness, the more involvement, active involvement you bring to anything you're doing, the more alive you will feel, the more engaged you will feel. And so here we are looking at this thing going, oh my goodness, what makes it addicting is not just that it's adventurous and causing me to bring attention to it, but it's new, which is causing me to bring attention to it. And that attention intern is creating a cascade chain of chemical and mechanical and breath-oriented intention related events that are happening and electrical events in my system, as well as emotional events in my system that are forcing me to pay more attention and guess what? You will pay attention to negative things just as readily as you will, positive things. It's just that we're really good at creating intensity in a negative way. [11:45.8]

Too many people would be happy. They get together and when they're talking about good things in their life, they run out of stuff to say. When they talk about negative things in their life, they can go on and on because they know, and they have learned and become black belts at the skill of increasing the intensity of the experience by talking about it, by exaggerating it, by being sarcastic about it, by coming up with all the catastrophic possible events that could come from it, by coming up with conspiracy theories and alternative approaches to it, just so that it creates more and more intensity, because what they're after is more life. What you're really after when you're going through any behavior is to feel more and more alive. [12:24.6]

Food, why do you eat food? your body needs it. Yes, that's intensity that way. But when you, when it gets the food one, it gets you to feel something and it gives you fuels so you can continue to be alive, right. It allows you to feel more and more alive and hopefully in a positive way. Novelty is huge. Novelty in a drug situation. Novelty is a given. You never know how the drug trip's going to go. It's imposed on you. You have no say in the matter, hence the risk. And it's just going to go whichever way it goes. It might follow similar patterns, depending on what substance you've taken into your system, whether it's a chocolate cake or whether it is heroin or meth or something like that. Either way, it is going to have its control over you because it's chemical in nature. And then your mind will react to it however, it reacts to it. And whether you, if you like it, like the reaction you'll want to go back. If you don't like the reaction, you won't want to go back. But the novelty is there. When it comes to porn, the novelty's there in that way. When it comes to food, there's novelty all over the place, whether it's just a new feeling, a different taste in the mouth. Okay. I had too many salty chips. Now I need a drink of water. Okay. Now I need some more salty chips, constantly changing it back and forth. It's like ADHD for the tongue. Okay. [13:41.5]

And then on top of that, on top of all of that, the third and final piece is imagination. Meaning you've invested your emotions and your identity into it. See if you didn't put your imagination, it could be brand new and novel. There's all kinds of brand-new things that are happening every moment. It could also be something that demands attention like a blinking light on a billboard or something. But if you've seen it a bunch of times, it just doesn't grab you. You might even look at it again, but it just doesn't grab you in a different way. It doesn't promote behavior. It doesn't cause you to keep going back. But the second that you're like, this means something about me. This is really firing up by imagination about myself in the present or about my future, or even about my past. As soon as there's some investment about it, meaning something about you and your identity all of a sudden, it starts to light you up on the inside because it's you that it's talking about. [14:38.4]

You're connected to it in some way. And it brings more life into you, whether it's negative or positive, I can't stop going back. I got to fix this thing. I got to fix this thing. Why? Because it means something about you. If it didn't mean anything about you, you wouldn't need to fix it. No, no. I just like fixing things. Exactly. You just like fixing things. So, it means something about you when you don't fix something. Oh, exactly. It doesn't matter whether it's just a personality, quirk or a full-on addiction to porn, gambling, drugs, sex, or anything else like that. It's the fact that the behavior starts to mean something about you and your life, whether you're good or bad, or in the case of porn, you're getting involved in an imaginary situation where you identify with the character. You're putting yourself in the scene, imagining it's happening to you or for you in some way. And often you're putting yourself in the scene either by physically masturbating and getting involved that way or some other things. [15:31.9]

Now your imagination is fired up with drugs easily because your psychology is reacting to the chemistry inside of you. And you say things and do things and feel things and think things that maybe would never have happened because there's an impairment of brain function that occurs where the brain now has to come up with new and creative ways to operate because some bit of it has been impaired and suppressed. So, in a way it's like calculated brain damage, just so that you can have a new experience of your own brain. And it does mean something about you because you ingested it. And so, everything is seen through the filter in that. These three categories, adventure, or something that forces you to pay attention, then on top of it, novelty, and then on top of it, your invested imagination will make anything addictive. And guess what? All of it comes from you. It doesn't come from the substance. [16:20.3]

Does sick, do cigarettes have adventure not have ever known as the thing for everybody, no big deal. Do they bring novelty? Not if you've tasted them a bunch of different times. Do they bring emotional investment? Umm...umm... not if there's no emotional tie to them, or if you have a negative association with them or anything like that, they won't do that. It's not the cigarette. But if you, if smoking a cigarette is the one time in the day where you finally get to stop and let go of your stress, guess what? There's emotional investment in that thing, it creates something for you. It does something for you and as a result, and it's a little bit different each time. There is some level of novelty, perhaps. But you're getting social connection, which is emotional investment. If you're doing it in groups or on your own, it's a habit that is doing something to help you kind of calm your nerves, but it wouldn't be the habit that you've chosen to calm your nerves unless it was something that you were emotionally invested in and liked in some way, shape or form. But that's, you that's given it to them, right. Same with porn. It isn't porn, if you were unconscious and asleep and I took a picture of some somebody naked and I was just rubbing it all over your skin. It wouldn't cause arousal, you wouldn't your heart wouldn't be beating. You wouldn't have all these chemical flushes. It's you looking at it, that go, oh no, this is new. Oh, maybe this is bad. Or this is risky. Or I shouldn't be looking at this. Oh my gosh. But yeah, there's this payoff for this. And like, man, this'll sell them. This will at least let me escape my problems right now. I just need a release. I need to let go of all this other stuff. It'll solve something for me. At least temporarily, you gave that to it. [17:55.0]

And because you gave that to porn or to drugs or to anything else, now you want to go back to it. But you're giving credit in the wrong place. The credit goes to you. It doesn't go to pornography. You're the one that creates addiction to anything. Have you noticed there's times when you're, when you have an urge or a desire or a craving for something and you decide to go get it and the moment you decide to go get it and do it is the moment you start feeling better. Have you noticed that? It's you, it hasn't happened yet. The substance or the behavior isn't there. It was your decision to indulge that made you feel better. And yet you gave all the credit to the behavior or to the substance that you were going to. Or to the person even, oh no, this person makes me feel better. Umm…umm…a person is just another substance that you're using in order to feel more alive. [18:44.1]

And that as we wrap up today is something that I really want you to get ahold of. What we're looking for is a more intense experience of life. One that is really there, where we're not dead to the world. People go to movies for this. Movies, they force you to pay attention. They turn off the lights, they turn up the sound. They have these blinking lights that are constantly changing scenes that are demanding your attention at a nervous system level. They've got music in there that causes emotional investment in all kinds of different ways, because of past associations you may have had with those sounds and cultural associations you may have had with those sounds. You identify with one of the characters. You notice that? Oh man, that character was just like me, man. I really identify with that person. And so now the movie is about you and it's novel. You're not sure how it's going to show up. Even if you've seen it before, you're still looking for new things in it. All the ingredients are there and you go to watch a movie or you go to read a book or you go to listen to a podcast or you go yell at somebody or you blab about a conspiracy theory, or you complain about your day or you go look at porn or you go do a drug or you smoke marijuana, or you smoke some cigarettes or you do any of these other things that may or may not have a chemical addition to the experience, which is just forcing you to pay attention, right? [19:55.5]

Forced attention is coming from the chemical element. It may be any one of those things. And the only reason you're doing it is because life as it is, is not dripping with ecstasy. And you're looking for something more fun, more entertaining, less stressful, more relaxing, more something, because you want a deeper, more involved, more intense, not intense in the tense of like action adventure, but intense, in the sense of full body involvement and total person like being swallowed up in life and really loving it. You want a more intense experience of life. You want to be more alive and more free. Hence the name of this show. You want to feel your body wants to feel light. It wants to feel like not like bogged down with pain and other things who wants to feel pain-free and agile and loose and open. Your heart wants to feel light and not bogged down with a bunch of emotions or tense and heavy and chemically gunked. Your mind wants to feel clear and open and ready for anything and not stressed out and worried and taxed and bogged down and brain dead. You want to feel alive and free and it just happens. [21:02.5]

It just so happens that many people find that in things like pornography, not realizing that they're the ones creating it in the first place, their mind, their emotions, their body, three bits and pieces of the puzzle. The body's associated with forced attention and nervous system stimulation. The mind is associated with novelty, the emotions associated with emotional investment in intensity and identity. All of those three pieces are there and they've been using them and then giving the credit to certain substances. If you want to be free of addiction, yes, it might take really getting down to the root cause of why you've been doing it this way and getting down into retraining, your mind and your body and your emotions and your nervous system and all of these different things so that they operate differently. But it's not a difficult problem and it's not a difficult case. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with you as a person. You have been surviving in your life. And one way you found to survive may be this addictive behavior, but you're not stuck there. You will never be stuck there forever unless you give into the idea that that's just the way it is, which is a travesty, because it's possible in this life to have so much joy and so much pleasure in the body and so much freedom in the mind. And so much just pure aliveliness in the simplest thing, like a breath or a movement, if you just start working with the body the way it’s designed. You really can step away and be free. It doesn't have to take a long time, just takes building a different kind of foundation. That's it. [22:37.3]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [22:55.7]

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