What is Craving?

Try this experiment... close your eyes and think of your favorite dessert.  Now picture yourself eating that dessert and what it tastes like.

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Did your mouth begin to water?  This is called "craving."  Craving is a powerful desire for something.  It's when your brain is triggered into thinking it is about to get a reward. 

A "reward" is something that you enjoy, like eating dessert, beating a video-game, reading a good book, or laughing at a joke.  When you reward yourself with one of these things, your brain releases a chemical called Dopamine.  Dopamine is a chemical released by your brain that causes you to experience pleasure, and it's what makes you feel good after you have received the reward. 

But what happens when your brain is triggered into thinking it is about to get a reward, but doesn't actually get it?  This is when your brain begins to crave the reward even MORE.  Craving can cause you to be cranky, angry, or frustrated.

How can you stop the cravings?

It's very important to understand that cravings are a natural part of living, and we need to be Ok with these feelings.  Cravings often last only a short amount of time, so we need to exercise grit and self-control when going through this period of uncomfortableness. 

However, instead of just sitting around and waiting until your craving is gone, the easier way is to "satisfy the craving" with an alternative activity.  Example: If you are craving a cookie, try eating an apple instead.  Or, if you are craving to play video-games, try going outside or read a book.  Try experimenting with different healthier activities to find one that works best for you!