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Those of us struggling with addiction, and seeking to understand what factors contribute to our addictions, know intuitively and from firsthand experience that our emotions play a major role in our addictive patterns. We can tell from our own personal lives and experiences with addiction that when we feel certain emotions, we’re more likely to use our drug of choice as a means of trying to cope with them. Research conducted by the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States) has concluded that the most triggering, impactful emotion when it comes to our addictions is sadness. This isn’t surprising for many of us. When we’re sad, the default response for many of us to escape our sadness with our drug of choice.

Understanding Our Sadness

Sadness can encompass all kinds of other emotions and can be related to multiple different factors. When we feel sad, we might be overcome by grief, loneliness, or hopelessness. We might be sad about specific circumstances and situations in our lives, a difficult relationship, for example. We might, on the other hand, be dealing with long-term episodes of depression and other emotional challenges, and we might not have been able to pinpoint a specific cause for our sadness yet. Sadness, therefore, can be hard to understand and wrap our minds around. We can be confused as to what is causing or contributing to our sadness. We can feel hopeless in our search for answers. We know we feel sad but have yet to figure out why or know what we can do about it. 

Emotional Mindfulness in Recovery

Our sadness can trigger our feelings of desperation to escape our pain. Our drugs of choice can become our go-to coping mechanisms for our sadness. We want to numb ourselves to it and avoid feeling it. We tend to be emotionally resistant to our sadness, rather than finding ways to explore it, process it, and move through it. When our sadness triggers our addictive patterns, therefore, we want to employ mindfulness to help us figure out how best to handle it. When we’re feeling sad, what is bringing on our sadness? What thoughts, behaviors, and situations contribute to our feelings of sadness? What things are we sad about most often? What underlying causes might be fueling our sadness – our past traumatic experiences and unhealed wounds, for example? When we become more mindful of our inner selves and our emotional processes, we begin to open ourselves up to healing solutions and to powerful emotional transformation.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. 

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488