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4 Addictions that are Ruining Lives, and How to Overcome Them

4 Addictions that are Ruining Lives, and How to Overcome Them

Addictions do not appear out of nowhere, we create them acting on our free will and it takes time before they take root in our body. Unfortunately, addictions have negative impact on our health, mood, lifestyle, and they tend to control us to some degree. There are many reasons why we get addicted in the first place: peer pressure, a bad period in our lives, boredom, curiosity etc.

However, we should always strive to improve, and breaking a bad habit is a huge step in terms of self-improvement. So, here are the four most common addictions that ruin lives, and some suggestions on how to overcome them.

1. Alcohol addiction

As we grow up, we become drawn to liquor, since it is advertised to us on so many levels. First of all it is forbidden, so when we enter the rebellious phase of our life, we try to establish our own identities by breaking the rules. Second, if our parents love to drink we tend to mimic this behavior. We are puzzled by the fact that alcohol is forbidden to us, yet they seem to have a really good time while drinking.

Third, every teenage TV show includes scenes with booze, so we are really tempted to give it a try at some point. Of course, you won’t become an addict if you drink once a week with your friends, or only during special occasions, but if you develop alcohol addiction there are a lot of dire consequences.

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Alcoholism is incredibly destructive. It’s not only bad for one’s health, but it breaks families, causes people to lose their jobs, and it can cause various accidents when people drive intoxicated. It is imperative that anyone with alcohol addiction take the steps necessary to overcome it. In order to be successful at this attempt, you need a plan.

So, compile a list of all the positive stuff that will happen to you after you quit drinking and always keep it neat to use it as a reminder. Create your drinking goals, or strategy for quitting, by setting the limits of how many glasses you are allowed to drink during the week.

Find a hobby that will help you channel your frustration. You can immerse yourself in an online video game, or start reading books, basically anything that keeps your mind fully occupied, but doesn’t stimulate it to think about alcohol.

2. Tobacco addiction

Unlike alcoholism, addiction to cigarettes is not that destructive. It is extremely harmful for your health and good looks, but it certainly won’t make you behave irrationally. Still, smokers tend to have a lot of stress going through life, constantly coughing, having damaged lungs, their teeth and fingers have different color, they become older at a faster pace etc.

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It is never easy to quit, since smokers tend to increase the number of cigarettes they smoke on a daily basis, as the addiction grows stronger, meaning that the longer you smoke, the harder it will be to quit. Luckily, many people were able to quit or significantly reduce their cigarette intake. Much like with alcoholism you need a good strategy. It’s best to go at it slowly and gradually reduce your nicotine intake over the course of a month, until you can finally quit altogether.

One of the main motivators here is usually money, since the moment you stop spending cash on cigarettes, you’ll notice a significant spike in your budget. You should also try to engage in some form of cardio exercise, as exhausting your body and muscles makes them crave more oxygen, so the need to light up a cigarette is strongly reduced during and after workout, plus you’ll get sleepy and you can’t smoke while sleeping.

It would also be wise to avoid areas where smoking isn’t prohibited, because even smell and seeing someone with a cigar will incite the need for you to smoke. Finally, you can use the same tactic as mentioned above, find a hobby that will occupy your thoughts, and set a limit for how many cigarettes you are allowed to smoke on a daily basis, if you can’t quit cold turkey.

3. Food addiction

Unlike the previous two addictions, food is a necessity and because we do not have enough time on our hands, we tend to eat out rather than prepare our own meals. Since we eat junk food all the time, we became more and more addicted to it.

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Fizzy drinks and sweets are also incredibly addictive substances, due to their high sugar content that causes our bodies to release feel-good hormones. It’s easy to start eating snacks whenever you need a quick boost of happiness, and that leads to unhealthy eating habits. These addictions lead to obesity, and obesity leads to depression, which again makes you eat the same food that got you into that mess. In a way it creates a perpetual cycle, and it is really bad for both your health and self-confidence.

The best way to break from this addiction is to exercise and work on your figure. If you are fully invested, and if you manage to get positive results, you will be fully motivated to continue. First you’ll need a healthy diet, since you are less likely to eat sweets and fast food if you are not hungry. Second, you’ll need a good program for exercise. If you’re not much of a runner and don’t want to hit the gym, there are great yoga poses designed to reduce belly fat, as well as body weight exercise programs that you can do at home without any special equipment.

That being said, it’s best to have a personal trainer, someone to monitor your workouts, keep you motivated, and prevent you from getting hurt. The hardest part is going to be that you’ll have to eat less, so until your stomach adjusts to the new regime, you are going to be really stressed out and hungry. To sum up, if you work on your looks and realize how much good dieting and working out has done for you, there is a good chance you won’t let it go to waste by falling back into old habits.

4. Drug addiction

This one is probably the worst of all the addictions, since it is both illegal and highly destructive. It also creates the worst kind of dependence, so it’s quite difficult to escape it. Very often, when trying to break from this addiction people choose a lesser evil, i.e. they get addicted to something else, like alcohol.

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This is usually done to help people deal with the shock that occurs as a result of withdrawal. Clearly, it is not an efficient way to tackle the issue, but it will at least create problems that are, for the most part, legal. It’s important to know that if you want to break free from drug addiction, you need to have a strong resolve and desire to change – doing it because you made a promise to someone else usually doesn’t work out. You will also need a lot of support and good friends who will keep you motivated.

Another thing to remember is that there is no universal treatment for drug addiction – the treatment needs to be customized to fit your needs. Because drug abuse is something that occurs as a result of a deeper underlying problem, you’ll need to treat the cause of your addiction at the same time. When you have an efficient treatment program it’s imperative that you stay committed to it and even seek out professional help.

Addictions can be truly sinister, and unless we start to perceive them as a problem, we will never make an effort to stop. The best way to deal with any addiction is determination to prove to yourself and everyone around you that you are strong enough.

Do not try to find justification, or excuses to give in to the internal pressure. The moment you do that, call it what it truly is. It is your weakness and inability to efficiently deal with problems, and if you do not want to be that kind of person, then do not give in.

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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