Today we have mindfulness teacher, trainer and writer Christopher Dines with us. He is the author of six books and blogs for The Huff Post UK.
About a year ago Christopher reached out to me about being on the podcast. So I started reading his work and was absolutely fascinated by the topic of his most recent book called “The Kindness Habit” where he and his coauthor talk about how to transform our relationship to addictive behaviors.
And we’re not just talking about substance addiction here. In fact, Christopher says we all have addictive behaviors in some way -maybe it’s with our phone, the internet, shopping, social media, food, emotional behaviors, love, sex, or addiction in our relationships.
Christopher calls these things “false friends” or a false refuge – a place we go to get temporary relief from discomfort and to avoid what we’re feeling. So how do we transform our relationship with these self-abusive habits, connect to ourselves and find lasting inner calm and strength?
In the book he says:
“An important first step in this process is to recognize that your ‘thing’ has served a useful purpose. It has been part of how you protect yourself, what you do to soothe, and quieten some inner turmoil. A place to go to find some peace, without which you would not function well on a day-to-day basis. Like a friend. Your ‘thing’ has become like a friend. A place of refuge.”-The Kindness Habit
In today’s episode we discuss:
- What to do once you’ve discovered your addiction
- The value of getting in touch with your deepest pain
- Shame and isolation’s role in addictive behavior
- The difference between a love addict and a love avoidant
- Addictive behavior in relationships and how our early development affects our relationships today
- The masks we create and how they isolate us from truly connecting with each other
- Characteristics of an emotionally intelligent family
- Tools for Healing our addictions and connecting to our authentic self
- And much much more…
Christopher’s deep understanding of addiction started with his own personal journey. He started drinking at ten and left high school at fifteen to pursue a full-time career as an electronic house DJ where he found great success.
Unfortunately, Christopher’s hard partying lifestyle spiraled out of control and led to a full-blown alcohol and cocaine addiction. After hitting rock-bottom at 21, Christopher became sober and began to do some soul searching. He found enlightened mentors and began incorporating mindfulness into his life. The results were transformative and in 2006 he ‘retired’ from the electronic dance music industry and began giving public talks on self-awareness. Since then he’s been writing books, blogging for the Huffington Post on Mindfulness and training others in emotional intelligence and emotional resilience. He is an expert in teaching people how to access the present moment through mindfulness, which he believes is the gateway to finding clarity and calm in your life.
According to Christopher, Mindfulness helps to:
- Decrease negative self-talk
- Enhance mental health and emotional well-being
- Alleviate the effects of stress
- Amplify focus and concentration
- Ease anxiety and depression
- Amplify emotional resilience
- Enhance emotional intelligence
- Develop a calm mind and therefore greater clarity
- Boost creativity and enthusiasm
- Amplify a sense of belongingness and minimize mental isolation
Resources from the Episode:
Christopher Dines’ Website http://christopherdines.com
BOOK: The Kindness Habit
Daniel Goleman http://www.danielgoleman.info