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What is Addiction And How Can You Avoid It?

What is Addiction And How Can You Avoid It?

Addiction is a form of compulsion. It focuses on consuming a particular substance or taking part in a specific activity. The activity is often pleasurable for the person suffering from the compulsion, but the continued desire interferes with their normal life. They may experiencing failing health, or put their jobs or relationships at risk, but cannot seem to fight off the urge to do what their addiction compels them to do.

Physical or Psychological

Addictions do come in two different types: physical and psychological. Physical addiction occurs when the body adjusts to the presence of a particular substance, like cocaine and alcohol. To get the same effects, the person must consume larger quantities. Over time, an absence of the substance can yield negative physical effects, most commonly referred to as withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal could include fatigue, shaking, anxiety, depression, and vomiting.

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Psychological addiction is a bit harder to define. Often, this refers to a person feeling the need to take a particular action when exposed to stress. For example, a person struggling financially may turn to gambling hoping for a big win to get them out of their financial rut. They may win some, lighting up the reward sector of the brain, but they will often lose a lot of money. Over time, money stress compels them to gamble to try to find a solution. This cycle can result in gambling addiction.

Avoiding Addiction

Many addictions start as a result of stress. To avoid harmful addictions, it is important to find healthy ways to manage stress. This can include learning when to take a break from a stressor, or adopting new habits that are ultimately beneficial. Some people find exercise incredibly helpful for stress management, as well as receiving support from friends, family, or mental health professionals. Meditation can be helpful, as well as enjoying a funny movie. By redirecting the stressful energy to a healthy activity, you can avoid turning to less healthy alternatives.

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Certain substances are well known for being addictive by nature. Many illegal drugs, certain prescription medications, and nicotine can all be highly addictive. While trying something once does not automatically make you an addict, you cannot become addicted to something you have never done. In these cases, pure avoidance is an excellent strategy. This is especially true if there is a history of addiction in your family.

In some cases, being mindful of your consumption or participation can be incredibly helpful. For example, having the occasional sweet treat won’t derail your life, but overeating can have serious health consequences. By practicing moderation, you can allow yourself to enjoy something without making it a habit. However, if you feel that you do not have the self-control to only have something on occasion, it can be best to simply avoid it all together.

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Getting Help

If you find yourself in the grips of an addiction, help is always available. You can speak with your doctor or a mental health professional that specializes in addiction. For those who are not comfortable starting there, share your struggles with close friends or family members. This will help you to create a support network that can stand by you while you get your life back on track. Many people think that they can overcome addiction themselves but that is often not the case. There is no shame in asking for help or seeking help if you need it.

You don’t have to fight the pull of addiction alone. There are many people who dedicate their lives to helping people beat addiction. So, don’t stay quiet if you need help, seek someone you can talk to.

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Shelly Green

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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