The Homa Therapy in-residence drug/alcohol de-addiction program.

Teachers Guide

Class 2: Stress

What are other factors that cause stress and tension?

Each attendee writes his/her own list.

Explain: Positive stress and Negative stress

Examples: Job, Spouse, Money, Parent, Promotion, Moving, Drugs, Worry, Fear, Desires

Just being around stress causes stress. (Teacher and assistant perform simulated argument.)

What are some of the current ways we try to relieve stress?

1. Drugs/Alcohol
5. Sleep
9. Shopping
2. Sports (playing & watching)
6. Eating
10. Exercise
3. Movies
7. Sex
11. Gambling
4. Music (playing & listening)
8. Dancing
12. Environmental change - mountain/beach getaway

They all provide temporary relief. The problem is, what goes up must come down.

A closer look at drugs and happiness.

What does it do for us?

Temporarily makes us happy, or does it really just numb the pain, worry or fear.

What is wrong with it (the price you pay)?

Costs money
Alters our perception of reality
Causes danger to others, e.g., driving while intoxicated
Bodily harm
Selfish act that helps no one, especially yourself
Problems are worse after come down

So back to why do we take drugs/alcohol. What is the point?

Answer: To alter the mind, escape.

If we are totally happy with the mind we would not want to change it.  What happens to addicts is: even if the change of mind is knowingly harmful, we can't stop. We must have that temporary change of mind.  What really changes is the reaction of the mind.

Is not happiness dependent upon how the mind reacts to circumstance?  Is not most of our stress caused by our reactions to:

Lack of money
The boss
Your spouse

We will not accept certain things, and have no control over our minds. This brings about a constant state of confusion and disorientation.  What needs to happen is the confusion must be cleared. In order to do this the mind must be trained to react positively to all circumstances -- that means:

Acceptance of what happens to you
Creating your destiny


Each moment you have the ability to create your future. You have free will. You can choose to continue with drugs or you can stop. If you look at the bigger picture and long-term effects of using and drinking, perhaps you would approach things a little differently. At the time of decision to use, if you were to observe your actions (your mind), you might ask yourself, `If I do this, am I willing to face the repercussions of my actions?' If you focus on those repercussions instead of the temporary high, you might decide that the pain is not worth the pleasure. The next thing you have to do after you check this desire is to take action that will benefit yourself and your long-term purpose, to stay straight. So, you must sublimate the old desire with an action that is helpful as opposed to destructive. The best way to create a positive future is to help someone else. (Refer to the Bill W. Story.) He helped others to help himself.

In 1988, a study was done by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center. They followed 2,700 people in Tecumseh, Michigan over a ten year period to determine the impact of social relationships on health. They found that regular volunteer work, more than any other activity, dramatically increased life expectancy!

This was especially significant for men: Men who did no volunteer work were 2 1/2 times more likely to die during the course of the ten year study than those who volunteered at least once a week.

Research at Yale, the university of California, Johns Hopkins, the National Institute of Mental Health and Ohio State supports these findings.

Happiness is a condition not an action
That means it is brought about due to action(s)
Happiness has everything to do with the mind because the reactions of the mind determine whether you are going to be happy.
If we are going to talk about the mind we need to understand something about the mind. What is the mind?

The dictionary describes mind as: the philosophical and general term for the center of mental activity. The part in a human that thinks, reasons, understands, wills, perceives, experiences emotions. The faculty of reasoning or understanding; intelligence. Reason or sanity. Inclination or desire. Psychic or spiritual being as opposed to matter. Know one's own mind. To be firm in one's intentions, opinions or plans. Out of one's mind, a) insane, b) totally distracted: out of his mind in worry, out of his mind with desire. Make up one's mind, to decide or resolve as on a course of action. Presence of mind; ability to think clearly in a crisis.

If you do not want to take drugs but your mind is telling you to go ahead and take them then we could say there is a lack of presence of mind because this is certainly a crisis.

So how do we get presence of mind. Remember, mind is the center of mental activity so if we do not have presence of mind, if we do not have control over mind, then we are not in control.

If the mind is not brain (brain is an organ) then mind is something we cannot see. It is therefore, something very subtle.

We know mind exists like we know air exists, but it is subtle. So in order to deal with the mind we have to become very subtle. It is the only way we can tackle it.

How do you tackle something you cannot see. How can you get your arms around this thing. How can you control it. If mind is subtle then to tackle it we must also become subtle.

We have to start thinking in terms of:
What is it that tells me I have a mind?
Are you your arms?
Are you your legs?
Are you your mind?

The mind can be controlled by you, so obviously you are something more than mind.

In our case what is it that the mind is most attracted to -- drugs/alcohol.

What is the mind trying to please?  The senses.