The “acting out” (engaging in an activity that you consciously didn’t want to engage in) usually starts out with a trigger, which is interpreted by your brain at a subconscious level, and results in a strong emotion, such as excitement. Only then do you get a thought in your conscious brain!
Think about it! In our society, most of the people hold a belief that we are primarily motivated by our thinking. This, however, is not entirely true! In fact, as much as 90% of our daily behaviors are motivated by our subconscious brains.
To make things worse, once our body begins a chemical response, it overrides our cognitive ability. Meaning, we still are aware of what is going on, but unable to make an accurate, rational evaluation of our behavior and upcoming consequences.
Immediately after the internal chemical release, our body begins to change (we will talk more about it in upcoming sections). This really is our last line of defense.
The second thought is our last chance to realize what is happening and to take emergency actions to save ourselves (we will talk a lot more about this as well).
If we were not able to break the cycle, chances are we will end up giving in, and engaging in the behavior.
After the “acting out” part is complete, our brain goes off the auto-pilot, and we are back to our normal selves. This is when we are usually able to look at the situation logically, and realize what has happened.
A common reaction to this realization is to feel intense negative emotions, such as guilt and self-hatred. This approach, however, only strengthens our addiction. It keeps us from taking constructive action.
Remember, we do bad things, but we are not bad people!
Did you notice that I skipped one of the items on the list – vulnerable time? Mark Kastleman, founder of Candeo Can, came up with an acronym BLASTed, which stands for: Bored, Burned Out, Lonely, Anxious, Afraid, Angry, Stressed, and Tired.
Another acronym that is commonly used in the 12 steps community is HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
During the vulnerable times, our conscious brain loses the ability to see things clearly. That is when our subconscious brain is more likely to take over. And we already know where this is going to take us.
You can avoid vulnerable times by beginning to take good care of yourself. Simple things like getting plenty of sleep, eating properly, drinking enough water, and journaling to de-clutter your brain can go a long way. In the future chapters, we are going to talk a lot more about things that you can do to bring about peace and calmness into your life.
In the next chapter, we are going to take a closer look at how the human brain has developed over time.
P.S. Recommended Resources:
- Sex Addicts Anonymous
I cannot imagine my recovery without this program.
- Mindful Habit Course by Coach Craig
Great advice from a great person.
- Free Podcast and Mini Course from Candeo Can
I owe my first 90 days of continuous sobriety to this program and highly recommend it.
- Internet Accountability Software
Using this software allowed me to get truly honest with my internet usage for the first time in my life. For some reason knowing that my every step was being observed and reported on, made it really easy to use internet only in a healthy way.
- Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B. Skinner Ph.D.
I have read over 15 books on Pornography and Sexual addiction and this truly is one of the best books on the subject. The reason is I recommend this particular book is because it is full of excellent actionable steps. Other books do a good job describing the problem, but don’t really offer a realistic solution.
- Your Sexually Addicted Spouse – How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens Ph.D.
I know that about half of visitors to our site are spouses of people who might be suffering with pornography and sex addiction. To the best of my knowledge this book is one of the most helpful books for the partners.
- Free Consultation from Coach Craig
Coach Craig has been a good friend and supporter of this site since January 2013. He has worked with people from all over the world, including famous musicians and other high profile individuals. Yet, he is only a phone call away and would be glad to give you a free consultation. Call him anytime, with any question you might have, and I am know he will be extremely happy to help in any way he can.
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