icon-angle affirmation icon-arrow Arrow left icon-bell Notifications icon-book icon-calendar icon-caret icon-chevron icon-check-circle Close icon-close icon-compound icon-crown icon-crown-alt icon-crown-mono icon-edit icon-email icon-facebook icon-featured-star icon-featured-star-colored icon-file icon-file-meditation icon-file-mp3 icon-file-pdf icon-folder icon-get-pdf Group Headphones icon-join icon-linkedin icon-live-video icon-lock icon-map-pin icon-masterClasses Meditation Navigation Menu icon-messages icon-mic icon-mind icon-microClasses mp3 icon-music-note My List icon-oasis pdf person icon-play icon-play-circle icon-plusOne icon-pnotes Podcast qa-cta-icon icon-quote icon-quote-left icon-quote-right icon-reload Search Search icon-settings icon-skinny-arrow icon-star icon-star-filled icon-triangle-down icon-triangle-rounded icon-twitter icon-user icon-warning icon-website icon-youtube feature-affirmations feature-big-ideas feature-bonus-wrksheets feature-meditation feature-mp3-guides feature-mp3 feature-pdfs feature-pntv feature-posters feature-transformational feature-workbooks master-classes philosophers-notes feature-meditation feature-worksheet membership-icon-4@2x feature-watch feature-read feature-listen feature-connect

Cucumbers & Pickles
#262

Your Brain on Addiction

video

Adam Alter wrote a great book called Irresistible in which he walks us through how we become addicted to technology and tells us about the businesses built on hacking our brains to capture our attention and create those addictions. It’s a powerful read and goes nicely with the must-see 60 Minutes special on Brain Hacking.

One of my favorite ideas from the book was about cucumbers and pickles.

Specifically, it was a line from an addiction recovery therapist. She told her patients: “Remember, once your brain has been pickled, it can never go back to being a cucumber.”

That’s a REALLY powerful line.

Once you’ve become addicted to something (and we ALL have our own little and big addictions), your brain has fundamentally changed.

It’s as if our brain went from being a cucumber in that domain to being PICKLED. And, you know what? You can’t UNPICKLE a pickle. Once your cucumber brain is pickled, it’s pickled.

What’s that mean practically speaking?

Well, take a moment to think of one of your addictions. (And, as you do, remember our three-part lesson on The Science of Self-Compassion, starting with common humanity. Again, nothing’s wrong with you. We ALL have issues. Welcome to humanity. 😃 )

So… Got it? Good.

Now get this: You may THINK that you can completely move past your addiction in that area, but, confronting fact: You can’t.

Your brain has been pickled. And, you (and I and everyone) need to have a deep respect for that fact. It’s a slippery slope right back into that toxic addiction pond. (100% commitments are super helpful here…)

And, another big idea from the book? Adam tells us that the most dangerous time for someone recovering from addiction is the moment they feel that they’ve beaten it.

Then? They forget the pickle and dip their toe back into their addictive behavior and… BAM. Oops. Slipped into the toxic pond.

So… Know where your pickle jars are. And don’t open them up.