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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 January 15, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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