Apr 12, 2012

Daily Addictions: How to Identify And Break Them

Addicted to Self-Help
Addicted to Self-Help by Luis Vasquez/Gulf News

We all have addictions; Our own small guilty pleasures. Whether big or small, public or private, and whether we're aware of them or not, they exist.

Addictions and Conscious Living can't coexist; we can't live consciously if our happiness is attached to daily addictions. It's essential then to identify our addictions and start working on eliminating them.

How to identify addictions

Some addictions are clear and easy to identify but some remain unconsciously hidden in your daily routine and you probably don't consider them to be addictions at all.

Bad habits = Addictions

Addicted to Chocolate
Addicted to Chocolate by procsilas 

First, you should be aware that every bad habit you have is a form of addiction. Whether it's biting your nails, picking your nose or watching TV, you should realize that bad habits are addictions in disguise.

Examples of hidden addictions:

Smoking, drinking, shopping, sex, masturbation, Internet, caffeine, sugar, sleep, food, news, attachment to ego, a person, money, and many others. Here's a list of 20 most common bad habits. See which ones apply to you.

Some tips to help you identify addictions:

1. Take note of everything you do during the day.

Addictions are usually something you repeat every day.

2. Ask your close friends.

They might be able to see things you can't see.

3. Introspect.

How to break addictions for good:

Addictions can be hard to break, especially if you've been doing them for a long time. So a detailed and thorough plan is essential to achieve success.

Make sure to include the following actions in your plan for breaking addictions:

1. Replace them with new good habits

When you suddenly remove a bad habit from your life, you create a hole in your daily routine. If you don't make sure that this hole is filled again, the old habit will automatically return.
Identify what need the bad habit used to fulfill and replace it with a good habit that fulfills that same need.

2. Start a 30 day trial

Thirty days is all you need to make a habit permanent. Less time than that and the new alternative might not be hardwired into your brain. More time and any failures to last are usually of strategy, not duration.

3. Use social pressure

Tell your friends and family about your 30 day trial. This way you will feel more obliged to commit to the plan and be less likely to quit halfway. 

4. Stay away from simulations

Get yourself out of situations that can trigger your old habit. Remove junk food from your house. Don’t  go to places where you might break your budget. This isn't always possible, but do your best to avoid temptation.

5. Motivate yourself

There's tons of motivational articles and motivational quotes here for you to read. the Personal Excellence blog and Steve Pavlina's blog are also two great resources for motivation. 

As always, I've made you a summarizing poster that you can print and hang in your office or embed it on your blog:


Speaking of addictions, here's a song by James Blunt:

Bilal Kamoon Signature