Different people have varying needs for excitement. People who become addicted to drugs & alcohol, and people who become involved in illegal activities, tend to have a high need for excitement. Brain studies have shown that addicts tend to have a lower level of neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals that give a satisfied feeling. Taking risks increases these chemicals in the brain and makes a person feel good. However, there are healthy ways to increase neurotransmitter levels, such as exercise.
Addicts who have been using since adolescence fail to learn that being bored is a normal part of life and to deal with it. Responsible adults know how to accept boredom without using it as an excuse to do drugs. There will always be times when life isn’t as exciting as you wish, and if you are looking for an excuse to abuse your drug of choice, boredom is always an easy excuse to use, but never a valid reason.
There are many healthy alternatives and the choice is yours to make. You also have the choice to decide not to be bored. There are always plenty of healthy activities to do if you look for them. Part of life is that you aren’t always going to be with other people who are willing to entertain you, and you need to learn to become comfortable being with yourself. In addition to exercise, many people use relaxation methods such as praying and meditating to help them focus and get in touch with their own bodies and mind. If you are feeling bored, that is an indication that you need to work on your goal setting, which was discussed in chapter one. People who set goals and are working on them rarely have the need to suffer from boredom.
Learn to Endure Boredom – This is essential. If you can’t stand the long stretches of boredom that come with being a responsible adult, you’ll never be one. Don’t believe for a minute that shifting your addiction to a more socially acceptable form of excitement will change anything. Addicts usually go back to their drug of choice.
Dr. Stanton Samenow