Addictions (used to feel so good)

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Are we all addicted to something? I wonder. It doesn't always have to mean something super bad, but don't we all have certain habits that we follow again and again, like watching TV too much, or spending too much time on our phones, or eating too much, or whatever you can think of here — too much? I think the key words here about addiction is "too much".

Addictions in my life experience are something that each one of us started doing to soothe ourselves or feel something - usually something better, but which over time has (the addictions) lost their luster and effect, and now are simply bad habits that are hard to break. That could be smoking, drinking, drugs, sex, masturbation, cheating, stealing, not eating, cutting or other forms of self-harm, or anything else that we started because it felt good or was an outlet we used to soothe our emotions.  But once we got carried away, we did it "too much" and we could no longer control or stop easily, it became an addiction, often triggered by emotional events.

So now we have developed bad habits and we're addicted to them because we are used to them (plus in the case of substances, there may be a chemical addiction on top of the behavioral addiction making it even harder to stop smoking, drinking, or drugs). But whatever it is, we start it because there is an internal high associated with it that makes us temporarily feel better. But over time that high becomes less and less effective or in some cases, disappears entirely and we are just left with an ingrained habitual bad behavior.

So what do we do? We have to change our patterns. Changing one habit for another, and shifting our patterns to something else is key to changing our lives and breaking bad habits. And just 30 minutes a day can be the difference between living a life of your dreams or staying stuck where you are. Spend 30 minutes doing something different. Replace that behavior with another one and you will find the new patterns will literally change your life.

Changing patterns and breaking habits is easier said than done tho, I know that that. And it may require help from others.  Just because something is simple, doesn't mean it is easy to do. There's a whole range of emotions and mental patterns that are ingrained in us that will be very tough to overcome. Think of it like a road or a creek that has carved a path into the earth. Those pathways are the same thing that happen in our brains with repeated habits, and they are deeply ingrained and easiest to follow, even if it's bad for us. It will be easy to slip back into those habits, especially when things get rough, but continuing to deepen the same pathways will not lead our lives towards something better, something greater.

I think one of the key things I learned is you can't beat emotional arguments with logical arguments. You must meet emotions with an emotional response.

I certainly am not qualified to talk about addictions. I am not even certain I know the difference between an ingrained bad habit and an addiction. So more accurately, these may be "bad habits" I'm referring to here as opposed to addictions. All I know is it's a behavior pattern that began to soothe us and turned into something we seemingly cannot stop, and it no longer is very soothing (if at all). It detracts from our lives instead of enhances our lives. If the behavior takes you away from being your best self, it's not helping you to become who you can ultimately be.

So I guess the thing to think about is this: is this thing I'm doing or thinking right now helping me or hurting me?  If it's helping me, do more of it.  If it's hurting me, figure out a way to stop!

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