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Connection as the cause of addiction

In his very popular TED talk, Johann Hari suggests that lack of connection is the cause of addiction. Subsequently, connection is the solution.

We also keep saying that addiction is a disease of isolation. We naturally withdraw and isolate when we’re into the food or whatever our drug of choice, which in turn keeps us isolated. Same coin, different side.

I’ve never doubted that there is something to this. A couple of things I heard recently drive home the point even more.

Connection as the solution

First, I was listening to a few talks at the most recent online Kick Sugar Summit. One of the speakers mentioned how some of the hormones that are released when we consume sugar, are the same feel-good hormones that are released when we connect with other people.

This immediately triggered the thought: What if it’s not only the social pressure and unwritten social codes of conduct that keep us from overeating when we’re in the company of others? What if our cravings are actually weaker, maybe not even present, because we’re getting our needs met in the human connection we’re experiencing?

Only days later, a fellow recovering sugar addict mentioned that she’d been in a social setting the other day. She’d had a great time connecting with people. She had not indulged in any sugar or alcohol, although she felt a similar effect as if she’d had it!

I find this tremendously fascinating. If this little theory of mine is true, it’s just another point to prove that we’re not out-of-control-creatures without character. We’re not contained only by external restraints and expectations. Rather, connection is as much a physical need as a mental one, and indeed part of the solution.

Indulge in some connection

In the end, we don’t have to know all the reasons connection benefits us. But it’s helpful to know that it does on multiple levels, especially to counteract the tendency towards isolation and separateness.

So indulge in some human connection this week. You’ll feed your soul AND your body in the process. You just might make overeating redundant. At least for the moment. And each moment counts!

In hope and confidence,
Veronika Ambertson, coach, mentor, speaker to the Outwardly Successful but Inwardly Struggling

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