Hope for Those Who Drink (too much) IV

Because our brain can focus only on what we perceive will provide well-being in the next ten minutes, we are primed for self-destructive behavior. If we allow our auto-pilot function, along with our short-term focus, to control us, we can do ourselves great harm. We must consciously decide, therefore, on our longer-term best interest.

We also need to understand reinforcement. Repetition + perceived well-being = reinforcement. That’s how our brain learns. Actions, feelings, or thoughts, when reinforced,  lead us to feel better.  When reinforced, those actions, thoughts, or feelings can also become a habit. We don’t always feel pleasure from our decision to consciously choose a healthy step. Reinforcement, therefore, remains crucial. After we quit, do others give us kudos, express appreciation, or show affection?  Reinforcement also derives from disasters no longer happening. We feel no elation or euphoria, but we’re not as ashamed, guilty, or as angry as we would have been had we not stopped.

Unfortunately, because my sister drank too much, she died at age 38, a source of great personal pain. Today’s date, March 9, was her birthday. If you drink too much, however, you can stop. We create, reinforce, maintain, and change an addiction (a compulsive bad habit) the same way we do any other habit. If you drink too much, but want to stop, you can change your habit!

Source: Brian E. King, Ph.D. Presentation on How the Brain Forms New Habits, Institute for Brain Potential, Clackamas, OR 2/1/12




About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy (gordongrose.com) blog to learn more. TragedyTransformed.com provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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