In meditation I had the thought that our minds may be illusory, the inglorious result of phrase picker engines operating to “light up” the brain’s reward center, and that I may not exist as anything more than the result of that neural process. I don’t feel that way, however, and even if true, it’s not particularly useful. The idea may be a type of dissociation, a kind of running from difficult thoughts, like grief and sadness.
Much of what we do and say may be the result of the battle of different ideas within us. Having made comments on a blog over the past 25 years, I’ve been seeing how my own beliefs have shifted. It also rings true that behaviors can be ways of processing internal disagreements.
We each have many conflicting thoughts, things we’ve heard that get replayed, some of which we claim as ours and some of which we reject. It seems the human brain just works this way. Going with this, you might decide to take the wheel. By this, I mean you might choose to employ active self-brainwashing.
Brainwashing gets a very bad rap. Bring up the word and cults, bank robberies and suicidal Kool-Aid can automatically come to mind. Although brainwashing has long been viewed with such negativity, the practice can also be used for good things. Like a positive personal transformation.
The term itself can have several slightly different meanings, depending on the context. If you take brainwashing out of the context of trying to control someone else’s beliefs, attitudes and thought processes and rather focus your own, brainwashing simply becomes another term for thought control. …
Techniques to Embrace
Several traditional brainwashing techniques noted by the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences can give you the power and results you’re seeking for a positive personal transformation. The techniques are neither unusual nor scary. They also have the capacity to eradicate negative thoughts and actions and replace them with positive ideas and behavior.
My summary of the self-brainwashing techniques from MindPower:
- Power of Suggestion: Much of your negative thinking may have already come from suggestion. Reverse the damage by putting your self suggestions on a positive path. This is used by the affirmations crowd and it does help.
- Repetition: Suggestion and repetition work hand in hand for positive brainwashing. Repeat your positive suggestions whenever you can.
- Destroy Your Ego: Get rid of the belief that you are this all-important thing far apart from and above the rest of the universe. You are not. Know this and you’ll have more patience, compassion and empathy for others and for yourself.
- Challenge your Conditioned Behaviors: Automatic reactions can be quite detrimental. When the heavy hand of emotion tries to automatically shake a reaction out of you, stop and think. Meditation can give you the mental strength to stop, wait out the emotion, then act in long term best interests.
If you are not all you want to be, self-brainwashing may be your new best friend.
How strong is this? Could a course in self-brainwashing be powerful enough to counteract something as strong say as a crack habit? Has science found a cure? There may be a “suppressed” miracle drug that works:
“Probably the biggest instigator of cravings are cues that are associated with the drug,” Glick explains. … Scientists long ago confirmed the power that sounds, smells, and familiar places have over recovering addicts. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted brain scans on individuals with a history of cocaine abuse and found that when these people were exposed to images of drug use, their brains became nearly as active as if they were snorting lines themselves. … After nearly two decades of research, Glick has developed a drug that has the potential to revolutionize substance abuse treatment.
It is called 18-MC (short for 18-methoxycoronaridine) and it is, in essence, a drug to get people off of drugs. Glick has meticulously tested it on animals, observing as rats hopelessly strung out on cocaine suddenly lose their desire to get high after a few doses of 18-MC. It has a similar effect on animals addicted to methamphetamine, morphine, alcohol, and nicotine. It even seems to work with sugar, indicating potential as an obesity treatment. But it’s not rats that Glick is trying to help, and that’s where this gets tricky. …
Naturally, there is cause for skepticism. Although early indications suggest 18-MC is safe, it is related to a naturally occurring substance known to cause severe nausea, intense hallucinations, and other serious side effects. Initial tests on humans haven’t revealed those problems, however, and experts are cautiously hopeful that 18-MC may ultimately allow doctors to prescribe medication that blocks cravings and helps people stay clean.
While a handful of treatments are available to help opiate addicts kick their habits, there are currently no options other than cold turkey for coke, meth, and other addictive stimulants. Glick’s 18-MC is one of several promising new substances to emerge from the rapidly advancing field of anti-addiction science.
… Virtually every addictive drug known to man — from booze to heroin to cocaine — stimulates an area of the brain commonly known as the reward pathway. When a person snorts a line or downs a shot of liquor, it triggers a surge of dopamine in this pathway. Many others have tried unsuccessfully to create drugs that work directly inside the reward pathway by blocking the release of dopamine or preventing it from binding with neurons. Glick’s drug takes a different tact.
According to Glick, 18-MC works on a specific type of nicotinic receptor, an area strongly associated with tobacco addiction and cravings. Most crucially, it also works in an “alternate reward pathway” that indirectly impacts the way neurons in the brain release and absorb dopamine.
According to the above article, the FDA put the drug on hold indefinitely pending further review with no explanation as to why.
If you see someone lying to him/herself about having given up drinking, smoking, etc. have compassion and realize that s/he is genuinely trying to win the inner battle. If you know someone struggling with drug addiction, there are many treatment centers and they do get results. This seems like good info from people who made it.
Recovery from a drug addiction is a journey, not a destination. It takes time for an addict’s mind and body to heal from a cocaine addiction. Recovery from cocaine means that the addict has to begin a new life. For many addicts, that is a frightening idea. There are many false starts and broken promises on the road to recovery. Patience is required if a person is to be successful. The recovery process is a personal journey. No two addicts can expect to have the same experiences during recovery. In order to gain the benefits of a successful recovery, a person must:
- Realize the cocaine addiction is a serious problem that has negative consequences.
- Seek help from friends, family, and a rehabilitation center.
- Take the journey one moment at a time.
- Take responsibility for the problem.
- Accept self-forgiveness.
- Continuously apply the principles learned at the rehabilitation center.
- Stay away from friends who are currently using cocaine.
- Change behaviors that contributed to the addiction.
- Refrain from alcohol use because it often triggers cocaine abuse.
Sometimes the road to sobriety has detours and potholes. If an addict finds that recovery is derailed by relapses, then the journey must continue. Determination and perseverance must be the addict’s companions on this journey.
Outsmart yourself. Fill your time with activities leading to positive life goals. Okay, enough of this, time to get out in the sun!