Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

Alcohol Addiction During a Pandemic—How You Can Slay the Drink Demon

“As our feelings change, this mixture of peptides travels throughout your body and your brain. And they’re literally changing the chemistry of every cell in your body,” says neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert.

 

So many people are turning to alcohol during COVID-19 to numb their feelings of anxiety.  Numerous studies show problem drinking is on the rise. Which is worrying, not only due to alcohol’s toxic impact on your immune system, but also the side-effect of increased anger for many.

Other’s have always sought happiness in a bottle, mistakenly turning to booze to fuel a happy-high. But there are happier and healthier options to feel more joy—minus hangover hell and drinkers remorse. You can trick your brain and stimulate the reward networks by losing the booze and pepping up your peptides—your body’s natural feel-good opiates.

As I share in Mind Your Drink: The Joy of Sobriety, alcohol just adds more stress. Smart people are turning to savvy strategies. Like Mike, a successful businessman in his 60s who wrote to me, ” I woke up, after a summer of drinking, made a decision that day, have no idea why, never looked back. Still don’t know why but nor do I regret it”

Intuitively, Mike knew he could feel better. Much better. And he does. “I am on my fifth month without a drink! Biggest gap in 34 years!”

What you feel has a powerful effect on your mind and your behaviour, attracting, or repealing from you what you desire—including health and vitality. Call it the law of attraction, the law of manifestation, or whatever you like, but know that the mind-body connection is backed by strong empirical science.

Dr. Candace Pert, formerly the chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health in the US, revolutionized her field by discovering that emotions create biochemical compounds called peptides that serve as messengers in the brain; her team’s work won the prestigious Albert Lasker Award, which is often a precursor to the Nobel Prize.

Pert’s breakthrough discovery changed the way scientists understood the mind-body connection.

Her discovery of the opiate receptor, the mechanism by which a class of chemicals (peptides) alters the mind and body, and subsequent research, led her to an understanding of the way emotions function as a regulatory system in the body.

Because of her revolutionary work on emotions and the mind-body connection, Dr. Pert appeared in the film, What the Bleep Do We Know, and her work helped shift the paradigm from “emotions as neuroscience” to “emotions as biology, ” and “emotions as physics.

So, what does all this mean for you and your quest for sobriety?

Many people use alcohol to numb their emotions and mask their pain. But as Dr. Pert’s research highlights repression creates imbalance and leads to ill-health.

“My research has shown me that when emotions are expressed—which is to say that the biochemicals that are the substrate of emotion are flowing freely, all systems are united and made whole. When emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital feel-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and behavior,” says Pert.

As you’ve already discovered alcohol is a depressant and aggravates anxiety and other mental imbalances. Too often, when people start to experience low mood or suffer mental illness they head to the doctor or schedule an appointment with a therapist.

However many psychologists and western doctors treat the mind as “disembodied, a phenomenon with little or no connection to the physical body,” says Pert. “Conversely, physicians treat the body with no regard for the mind or the emotions. But the body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.”

I endorse this professionally and personally and have seen many people return to good health when they stop ingesting toxins, particularly alcohol. My daughter was too-quickly diagnosed as having bipolar and prescribed medication. She was never asked about external events that may have been triggering acute stress, nor asked about her health behaviours (or rather, non-health behaviours) that may have exacerbated her condition. Nor was she counselled in any way so that she could process and transcend feelings that kept her blocked.

After a period of counselling, particularly trauma therapy following a violent assault and attempted strangulation by her then-partner, Hannah is now alcohol-free and healthy.

Extensive counselling, having a constructive outlet for her feelings, changing her environment and removing herself from negative influences, and working on her self-esteem has transformed her life. Dr. Pert would no doubt say that she has ‘pepped up her peptides.”

“I’ve always kind of known that the energy you emanate from within attracts the situations and people that you need,” Pert explains.

“We’re not just little hunks of meat. We’re vibrating like a tuning fork—we send out a vibration to other people. We broadcast and receive. Thus the emotions orchestrate the interactions among all our organs and systems to control that.”

Emotions are meant to be felt temporarily, flowing through and out of you so they don’t become stuck in your cells and tissues. This is why having an outlet to express your emotions healthily is so vital—especially when painful emotions keep replaying through your conscious and subconscious mind.

Memories are emotions tangled with thoughts, and these can become implanted not just in your brain but in your body too. There are different theories about how exactly this works, but Dr. Pert explains that memories can be found stored biochemically in the synapses where neurons (brain cells) connect to each other.

“The sensitivity of the receptors are part of memory and pattern storage,” she once said. “The peptide network extends beyond the hippocampus, to organs, tissue, skin, muscle and endocrine glands. They all have peptides receptors on them and can access and store emotional information. This means the emotional memory is stored in many places in the body, not just the brain. The autonomic nervous system is pivotal to this entire understanding.”

 

We are all a bundle of nerves

The autonomic nervous system is where you experience the flood of physical reactions to your emotions—it’s the system that switches hormones on and off, changes your breathing and heart-rate patterns, and more in response to fear and stress.

As Colette Baron-Reid, a survivor of rape and a recovering alcohol and drug addict, shared in her book, Uncharted: The Journey Through Uncertainty to Infinite Possibility, “Even if you haven’t studied the science of how energy affects and forms patterns in the physical world, you have experienced it, as I have. Once, I ran into an old friend with whom I had severed ties years before. My relationship with this person had been constantly in chaos, unhealthy, and not serving either of us, so we had grown apart.

“I had tremendous anxiety whenever I was around this friend, triggered by the friend’s history of anger and my history around abuse. Over and over, I found myself back experiencing the energy of my 19-year-old self and the rape, when I couldn’t defend myself and capitulated out of fear.

“After the friendship ended, I rarely thought about this person, and I assumed I had simply moved on, but when I saw this person approaching on the sidewalk, I felt a sense of panic and quickly crossed the street. I asked myself, “When am I?” (not where but when) and realized I wasn’t present in the now; I was experiencing the energy of the past.

“Deep breathing and tuning into the Observer reconnected me to my soul and small self. I imagined myself in the hand of God, surrounded by love and light, and I sent my former friend the intention of compassion. The nightmare ended as the energy in my body shifted. I was no longer disempowered by the stored energy that had infused the memory.”

Pep up your peptides—find a healthy outlet for your emotions. Make finding a way to release all those stuck energies your mission.

Journaling and writing morning pages are some of my favourite ways to express any stinky feelings that bog me down in a rut. Meditation is another—it’s an amazingly alchemical tool that helps me stress less, and eliminate so much unnecessary negativity from my life. They are all some of the daily rituals I share in the next chapter, Magic Mornings.

 

Test Your Knowledge

“Drinking worked in the beginning: I felt wonderful, warm, and fuzzy… almost pretty…What I didn’t know was that I was in a prison of my own making,” says former addict Colette Baron-Reid—now a sober intuitive counsellor and author.

If you’re worried about your drinking or have had a heavy drinking problem for a while chances are you’re well aware of the significant health implications, and how alcohol ruins many areas of your life.

But many people aren’t. They binge drink like it’s a sport, scull drinks like there’s no tomorrow. Ignoring the wake of devastation they leave in their path, they resist making a change for the better. Sometimes they leave it until it’s too late to undo their mistakes.

If you feel that it’s time to rethink the role and purpose of alcohol in your life. Test your current knowledge by answering the questions below:

• Do you know what alcohol really is?

• How is alcohol made? What process creates stronger spirits?

• Is alcohol a known cause for more than 60 different health conditions? Do you know what these are?

• Do you really understand the damage you’re doing to your body when you’re hungover?

• Why can a 5 per cent beer make you twice as drunk as a 4 per cent version?

• What about an 8 per cent craft beer? Is wine safer to drink than vodka?

• What is the definition of binge drinking? Can it kill you? Why can’t you stop?

• Which country says it’s fine to drink three pints a night?

• What is a unit of alcohol? What is a standard drink? Why does it matter?

• How many units of alcohol are deemed safe daily? Weekly? Why?

• Is it true that women should drink less than men?

• What are the health effects and risk factors if you drink more than the recommended guidelines?

• Does alcohol depress the central nervous system at high doses?

• Did you know that alcohol can offer a short-term high, followed by deep lows, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts?

• Did you know that many alcoholic drinks include compounds called congeners that add to the taste, smell or colour of the drink? Why do they increase the likelihood and intensity of suffering a hangover, and other undesirable side effects?

• Do you really know what the labelling on the bottles you buy really means?

• Do you know that lobbyists influence governments so they can maximise the sale of alcohol to minors, and society’s most vulnerable people?

• Do you even care? Are you happy remaining blissfully blind?

 

You’ll find the answer to these questions in the pages that follow.

 

This is an edited extract of Cassandra Gaisford’s book Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety (Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life), available in print and eBook from all good bookstores, including:

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/MindYourDrink

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/bQBLj0

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/mind-your-drink-the-surprising-joy-of-sobriety-1

Or direct from the author  http://www.cassandragaisford.com/product/mind-your-drink-the-surprising-joy-of-sobriety

 

 

You’ve got to see this. Anthony Hopkins gives his best performance yet—an incredibly courageous, vulnerable and humorous story of his battle with alcoholism
 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

 How to be the rock that resists adversity—mind, body and soul food during COVID-19

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Detox of South Florida (https://detoxofsouthflorida.com) has published a comprehensive article on “Drug and Alcohol Addiction During a Pandemic” which I think you will truly appreciate. You can check it out here: https://detoxofsouthflorida.com/drug-and-alcohol-addiction-during-a-pandemic/

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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Saturday, July 4th, 2020

If Brett Could Change His Career At 60, So Can You

 

“I feel like I can say to people in a huge range of situations – ‘Yes, I see you.'”

~ Brett Muir, Point of Change

 

Brett Muir’s personal story of reinvention is an inspiring call to action for us all. At a time in life when many midlifers believe they are too old to change, Brett is challenging convention. “I want to make this my best decade yet,” he told me when I asked, “Why now? Why change careers and train to become a Worklife Solutions Certified Career and Life Coach?”

As you’ll read, Brett first embarked on training with another provider, only to find it didn’t meet his growing needs. But that’s not the real story. The real story is his vision for his coaching business, Point of Change and his deep desire to help others make a change for the better. And within weeks of starting his training, he’s up and running with another aspect of his vision, a forum to bring like-minded people together. If you’re in Christchurch, New Zealand—or can make it there—be sure to check it out.

I will let Brett tell his career reinvention story, but one of the things I most love  (as you’ll read below) was the way he did his due diligence before making a leap—but more importantly, when life threw a few financial hurdles in his path he used out of the box thinking and found another way.

Every great story is drawn from intentions and obstacles. To be the hero’s and heroines of our own stories is what makes life rewarding.

Many of the questions I asked Brett are drawn from screenwriting legend Christopher Vogler and his guide to story structure (inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s (and heroine’s) Journey. I’ve put some of the stages in brackets.

 

 

Why did you decide to train to be a life coach?

It became apparent that this occupation was ideally suited to my personality, my direction, my psyche. I find no greater joy than helping people take another step forward, over, through or around obstacles. There is nothing like it. I have enjoyed the various stages of my career, but I am at my most energised when I am helping someone taking a giant step of personal growth.

Wherever I am, I am aware of the people around me. I am inevitably involved, you may say immersed, in deep, in profound conversations with people in my everyday world. I often feel like I want to adopt people – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters. I connect in a way that leaves me amazed. Yes, I am one of those who chats to passing strangers, to the annoyance of my family at times.

I feel like I can say to people in a huge range of situations – “yes, I see you.”

 

What factors influenced your decision to train with Worklife Solutions/Cassandra?

I talked to someone else, who at a similar age and stage to myself, had worked with Cassandra and for whom it had been a new beginning. I liked the framework which was available to lean on, as I began a new journey. I liked the diversity of projects Cassandra is involved in. I like having a clear base of workbooks, of tools. There was a sense that Cassandra was constantly challenging herself but giving herself permission to grow and change. I saw Cassandra as a great resource person. Early days yet but I am enjoying the start of my most transformative decade yet. That’s the goal, that’s the plan.

 

You initially trained with someone else? Why did you delay training with Worklife Solutions?

I see that a diverse training is helpful so I plan to be part of two Life Coaching organisations, being part of a range of ongoing training opportunities. My initial week-long course was fantastic, a great place to begin the Life Coaching journey. I saw that for me, a coaching call every 2 weeks after that would enable me to assimilate all the new informations, the new learnings. I do like a week-long course and the enjoyment of working with others on the same journey. I do also enjoy a step by step approach.

 

Who, why or what encouraged you to train with Worklife Solutions?

I talked to a friend of a friend, who had worked with Cassandra. That gave me enough confidence to follow up with a call and make a training commitment, or should I say, learning commitment, to work with Cassandra.

(That friend was Lynnie Galloway. Despite her fear of letting go of a career that’s been familiar to her for over two decades, she wanted to transition from midwifery to becoming a career and life coach. She now has what I call a career

You can read Lynnie’s reinvention story here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/rebirthing-a-new-career-lynnies-reinvention-story/

 

What was the pivotal moment, turning point or catalyst to saying ‘yes’ now and committing to action i.e. enrolling, paying your fees and locking in a start date?

I saw that I had invested in other business and learning opportunities through my life. If I wanted to make a major shift, then there was no better time than now. As I had already decided that this was to be my most transformative decade of personal growth, I saw that it was time to commit, time to get started, as I have a whole lot of learning and growing to do.

 

 

 

What challenges did you face?

I decided to get a loan but the bank said ‘no’. So then it was a matter of working out the options and making it happen. I do find it easier to recognise other people’s amazing qualities than recognise my own authentic star quality. I just decided to start without knowing where it would all end.

 

The Final Destination – Steps I am preparing to take:

  • I am engaged in a training block with Worklife Solutions Coach Cassandra Gaisford.
  • I am facilitating a Point of Change Forum
  • I am thinking re other Forums that I would like to co-ordinate in the future
  • I am talking to my tile maintenance clients about Point of Change
  • I have resigned from BNI to give me more time
  • I have begun coordinating a once-monthly business ‘After 5’ in conjunction with another business person
  • I will begin to read helpful and inspirational books rather than just novels, which are my norm

 

What fears, if any, do you feel you did and must overcome? (The crisis/supreme ordeal)

I think I need to really believe in my future and in my own part to play in that. I still at times say, “Who Am I”? Technology and grappling with that is something I tend to put off doing as it seems just too hard.

 

Crossing the threshold – describe what you and your life will look like when you return with your treasure (Seizing the Reward – The road back)

  • I will continue to work 1-2 days a week doing tile maintenance because I enjoy it and it does provide a steady income.
  • I will coach 5 people a week.
  • I will co-ordinate 3 Forums a year on a variety of topics
  • I will join 2-3 groups of like-minded people
  • I will write a blog
  • I will write poetry regularly
  • I will exercise 2-3 times a week
  • There will be key partners who I will meet with regularly
  • The level of confidence will be much greater

 

 

What last tests do you feel you may face? How will you know you are reborn into a new and beautiful form (The Climax/resurrection)

Possibly relationally as Jenny and I work out where we each are going and how the new scenario works out. Financially as I work out what to charge and what ‘I am worth’ in the market Church – How much time and which activities I will participate in. The challenge of the organisation of resources. The challenge of learning new technology. The challenge of regularly producing content.

 

 

What a wonderful sense of clarity Brett has about the challenge we all face seeing our star qualities. A deep sense of delight in helping others and honouring our soul gifts of being able to see and bring forth the strengths in others is definitely a sign of alignment with spirit energy and being guided toward your purpose. Delightfully his purpose is tied to a goal which is to help others achieve transformational change. What a great role model!

 

If Brett can change his career at 60, so can you.

 

 

P.S. The friend that Brett spoke with was Lynnie Galloway. Despite her fear of letting go of a career that had been familiar to her for over two decades, she wanted to transition from midwifery to becoming a career and life coach. She now has what I call a career combo and has found fulfilment doing both. You can read Lynnie’s reinvention story here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/rebirthing-a-new-career-lynnies-reinvention-story/. We first connected many years ago when Lynnie approached me about training to become a Worklife Solutions Certified Career and Life Coach. But as you’ll read, she embarked on training with another provider, only to find it didn’t meet her needs.

Read an updated post and learn more about how in her sixties, Lynnie launched her new business and website! https://www.cassandragaisford.com/how-to-rejuvenate-your-life-and-change-careers-in-four-easy-steps/

If you’d like to learn more about how you can follow your passion and purpose and create a rewarding career, click here http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/coach-training

 

Listen to How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

Oh, my gosh! I am so excited that my most popular book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose is now available as an audiobook. Listen to an excerpt here>>

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