15. How To Keep your Drinking Under Control In The Conscious Brain
Did you know you have a conscious brain, sometimes called the 'CEO' brain, where thought-through considered decisions are made, and a subconscious brain, sometimes called the 'Monkey' brain, where everything seems like a good idea when it's not; the brain responsible for that feeling of powerlessness to have another drink when you've just said you won't?! Now, you know you'll most probably start noticing which one you're in all the time!
- The conscious mind contains all of the thoughts, memories, feelings, and wishes of which we are aware at any given moment. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about rationally. It is where you make all the good decisions keeping you on your alcohol-free living path and where you can acknowledge and reason with your cravings.
- The unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories outside our conscious awareness. The unconscious contains unacceptable or unpleasant contents, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. All the bad decisions we make after a few drinks are here!
Let's look at a few challenging situations; the kids are screaming, or the Wifi crashed just as you were going online for an interview, you're nervous about a date, or you're angry with your partner, or you're just mad with everyone etc. All these scenarios have an energy that winds you up up UP! Now, when we get wound up, you'll find you can't reason with yourself anymore, talking is harder, and your heart rate increases and poof, just like that, you've left your front conscious brain and dropped into the subconscious where there are no rules and anything can happen including thinking its a good idea to GRAB A DRINK to try and calm down again!! So, we want to avoid overwhelm as much as possible by keeping you in your practical front brain that knows it's really not going to help if you do have a drink; on the contrary, it knows it will make everything worse! the secret is taking time to cool off and slow your heart rate down, i.e. write down how you're feeling, still yourself; eyes closed for 5 mins. and focus on the sounds around you, take a comforting shower or anything that allows you to access the helpful part of your brain where you will find solutions, not the other part where you'll only find more problems!