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Volume 9 - Issue 10  - Nov 2019

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the November newsletter from Being Well in Suffolk.

This month we consider those cravings and compulsions that, for many of us, divert time and energy and other resources away from what we really want to do, have, achieve and be.

Let us know about your experiences.

Sue, Steve, Charlie, Martin, Phil.

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In This Issue
Carrots & Sticks
News and Events
Inspiring Quotes
And Finally...

Carrots, Sticks, and Brains

Because our brains are built on a ‘carrot & stick’ basis, we are all potentially susceptible to developing addictions (writes Sue). Here are the headlines from neuroscience:
  • Addiction does not actually deliver ‘jam tomorrow’: the ‘carrot’ tells lies
  • Emotions are the power behind the ‘stick’
  • Logic won’t cure addictions or change behaviour, but your emotions can.
Any pleasurable experience can become addictive. Why? Because that is how we are made: it’s part of being a successful life-form. Our human brains are designed to encourage us to stretch and learn and keep trying new things, so we can adapt to environmental challenges in order to survive.

When we do something the brain approves of it gives us a hit of pleasure, to encourage us to do it again (the ‘carrot’). But if it kept doing that we would not change and grow. So after a bit it turns down the dial on the pleasure - then we have to do more to get the same hit. But our brain still wants us to stretch and learn, so when we don’t, it gives us the ‘stick’ or pain of not stretching.
If we overindulge in one pleasure we interfere with others. That gives the motivation to keep any single pleasure from getting out of hand and dominating our lives. Nature has built this balance into us all.

Perhaps you decide to walk 2 miles each evening. The first few times you feel better, and notice the pleasure of getting fitter. Soon though it becomes a routine experience and you don’t get so much pleasure from it. Yet if you stop, it doesn’t feel quite right, as if something is missing: maybe you feel bad on the sofa instead of walking. That’s the stick the brain uses to goad you into maintaining an approved behaviour.

Once your brain withdraws the pleasure, it can then re-use it for a NEW behaviour or challenge that you need to go for. This remarkable mechanism has evolved to enable all life-forms to learn and progress. It helps you maintain what you have achieved and reach for new ways to stretch and reward yourself.
To find out more - including why relapse is an integral part of stopping addictions – come to November Life Lounge.

News and Events

2nd Thurs each month 7.00pm at Quay Place Ipswich. On Thurs 14 Nov it’s about Freedom From Addictive Behaviour. Understand what’s behind unhelpful behaviours and consider ways to help deal with it. Book your place at The Life Lounge

Coaching Mastery
The BWIS foundation course in coaching skills is well underway. Our Advanced coach training (Mastering Coaching Skills in Everyday Life) begins 14 Feb 2020. There’s a free Taster on Sat 23 Nov 10.00-12.00. Book now.

E GYM - The Listening Circle
Drop into the E.Gym at Quay Place Ipswich at 6.30pm for some Emotional keep-fit. Next event Weds 6 Nov  and on Meetup  or contact Sue.

Inspiring Quotes

“I always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case I see a snake – which I also keep handy” – W.C. Field
“If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is. But if you treat him as if he were where he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be” - Goethe
“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” - W. Somerset Maugham
“Counterfeiters exist because there is such a thing as real gold” - Rumi

And Finally ...

“Treat your heart like a tired, hurt child: Accept its tantrums, revenge fantasies, and pity parties, but don’t get stuck in them. Say kind things to yourself.
When you acknowledge your forbidden feelings calmly, you’ll find that you actually have more control over your actions.
It’s when feelings are repressed that they burst out in dangerous, unhealthy ways.” – Martha Beck

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Send all news, contributions and feedback to Steve. Thanks for reading!

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