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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

Entrepreneur writer and a blogger

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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