Pressure of our performance society "more is never enough".
The price of meritocracy and traditional education “you could do much better” can cause the deep-seated negative belief “I am not good enough”. And if “I am not good enough, then no matter what I do, more is also never enough” leading to “I might as well give up”.
Parental statements like “you could do much better”, whilst meant to motivate their child, very often have the opposite effect and lead to a negative inner dialogue that can last a lifetime if left unchecked. As adults, they may run the risk of losing motivation, meaning of life, and slipping into depression, burnout, or illness at some point in their professional life, especially when they are susceptible to escape behaviours such as the consumption of sensory intoxicants. This is when they are at risk to falling into an addiction dynamic. The following 5 reasons illustrate some of the most common reasons why people get caught in these terrible cycles:
1) Escape emotional pain
One may be tempted to try and evade the pain of destructive self-belief through self-medication: overuse of tablets or smoking various substances to artificially conjure up a feeling of peace to calm emotions, alleviate anxiety and sleep problems, even if only for a while. The result of this avoidance tactic is felt as a calming down, and simultaneously a feeling of relief, even if only for a while, but the brain gets a little artificial pause.
2) Escape from the stress of high workload
Excessively high workload can lead people to two different actions:
- to smudge the brain: they either try to calm their nerves and smudge the anxiety by using alcoholic beverages that temporarily releases Dopamine, the reward chemical and also the brains’ calming chemical GABA. This reduces performance anxiety by numbing the nervous system and brain circuits, DECREASING brain activity.
- to hyper stimulate the brain: they may try to INCREASE their performance capacity using stimulants. This then does the opposite of the above – INCREASING brain activity, hyper activating brain output artificially for a very short while to seemingly get through the intense workload. But the crash numbs other important brain circuits that are needed for survival.
3) Discharged batteries: stress overload, exhaustion, unhappiness = loss of control stamina
Anyone who is overloaded with stress, unhappy, or has no time for themselves, NOT COPING, eventually runs out of battery power, and without it loses control stamina = very low dopamine and serotonin levels. This greatly increases the risk of compensation actions – go look for the “honey” THE INSTANT REWARD FEELING. Lack of public awareness on how these abusive actions affect the brain might lead one to complacency and indulge in such quick fixes, instead of learning how to implement natural ways to produce these important brain chemicals. When these spurious actions become habits, the brain begins to change and can turn from a habit to an addiction.
4) Escaping social inadequacies
In this increasingly virtual and online world mankind is losing the ability to read body language, tone of voice and other social skills and people are increasingly isolate themselves. The rate of depression is climbing steadily. The younger generations often try to overcome their social inhibitions at rave parties with binge drinking that leads to illicit actions. How does this happen?
The answer is that ethanol, the toxic compound of alcoholic beverages, weakens the neurologically controlled stop signal. At that moment, the natural stop signal is disrupted, and the GO signal takes over. Uncontrolled drinking often leads to a comatose state because the protective brain circuitry has been suspended.
5) People look for INSTANT gratification
With the web, life has become very fast paced. Everything needs to happen INSTANTLY and eats away at our free time, again increasing stress and decreasing feel good brain chemicals.
Natural gratification on the other hand, like meditation or taking a walk in the forest, takes time until one feels better. Gratification is thus DELAYED. Think of attending a course: gratification might be weeks, months, or even years away. But in this fast-paced performance driven world, feel good, lift-up gratification, is tendentiously needed NOW. This leads people to look for instant gratification, generally through harmful habits that produce unnaturally high Dopamine spikes in the brain’s reward system. These spikes are experienced as a short-lived instant bliss and motivate the uninformed to repeat again and again.
The shift from delayed gratification to instant gratification is the hallmark of the addictive process! Repeated destructive actions begin to change the brain’s control systems, and behaviours degenerate from ‘once in a while’ to “I can’t say no anymore” and “without it, I am not able to get through the day”.
This is experienced as loss of control and translates into an apparent loss of willpower, leading the public to label people trapped in this cycle as losers. What the public has not yet realised, is that will power is conditional on well-functioning brain structures. Unfortunately, the function of those very structures has changed through these destructive habits. The brain has become ill.
What does that look like?
Which brain do you want? A brain caught in a snare. Or a vibrant one?
What can you do?
Learn through our Bliss Breakthrough Process how to get out of these vicious cycles, how to implement healthy coping strategies and to set yourself free and find fulfilment in life.
Find out now how big your problem might already be -> Take the quick test to break through -> and secure yourself a free consultation with Yvonne.
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