5 Harmless Addictions That You Can Indulge In

There are zillions of addictions out there that you might be addicted to without even being aware of. How many times have you checked your email or phone in the last one hour? This could also be an addiction.

There are several different kinds of addictions out there such as making money, watching sports, your job, your hobby, or working out. When you compare these addictions to the more harmful ones such as drugs or alcohol they might seem like really sane ones.

Here is the list of the five harmless addictions, of course in moderation:

Collectibles and hobbies
When you indulge yourself in a hobby or in collectibles such as stamps, coins, it gives you immense pleasure and at the same time it is fabulously low on the addiction quotient. You will certainly look forward to this harmless addiction of yours but it is certainly not going to go ahead and drive you up the bend or ruin your family life. On the other hand it will give you immense pleasure in the most harmless of ways.

When you reward or indulge yourself in the best pair of shoes, you will generate the huge amounts of feel good hormones that will make you feel wonderful all the time. Many women have told about Christian Louboutin shoes and how they have made them feel utterly gorgeous. You could also indulge this extremely harmful addiction by buying yourself Christian Louboutin shoes on sale.

This is one addiction that will continue to give you immense pleasure without any kind of harm whatsoever. Music will be your instant high and without spending a dime on it and at anytime and anywhere phenomena you will be able to indulge in it. music can certainly go on to lift your spirits at any time of the day or night.

So what if you can’t afford all those expensive baubles. You certainly can’t run yourself into debt but then trinkets are just right for you as they will be able to give you immense amounts of pleasure and make the outfit look good too. Also, with trinkets around you certainly don’t need to worry about losing it and storing them with the greatest of care. You can be a wee bit careless with trinkets and not feel one bit guilty.

Window shopping
Can you point out any girl who does not like to go shopping? We all love to be shopping all the while however our bank balances might not allow them. But, with window shopping you will be able to get enough of an eye candy so that you will have enough fun with it and yet not have to worry about the expenditure.

Now, that you know of these harmless, absolutely harmless addictions you can go ahead and indulge yourself in them. With these around you will not have to be bored or get into dangerous addictions in order to keep boredom at bay.

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What Dumbo Can Teach Us About Habits and Addictions

“I’m scared to stop smoking.” Edna said.

As a psychotherapist specializing in habit control, I’d heard that statement from many clients. Edna (not her real name) had come to my office for an initial consultation, as part of my smoking cessation program. Like many people who want to part with a harmful habit or addiction, she felt ambivalent. Every addiction, regardless of its consequences, brings elements of comfort, satisfaction, or pleasure.

“What are you scared of specifically?”

“Well, smoking has always been my source of strength. It got me through the tough times. When my father died, and I had to comfort my mother emotionally, and pay the bills, and arrange the funeral – I smoked. When I worked overtime to meet deadlines, I smoked in order to keep going. I’ve stopped smoking many times, but when life gets rough, that’s when I smoke. Otherwise, I could not get through the tough times. This is what scares me. How can I part with my source of strength?”

“Have you ever heard the story of Dumbo the Elephant?” I asked. “It was a Disney animated movie – a lovely and touching story.”

She said she had not. So I told her about it. I’m sure my version doesn’t do justice to the Disney movie, but here it is.

Dumbo was a baby elephant born in the circus. His mother loved him dearly, but all the other elephants laughed at him because of his big ears. His ears were so large, the circus owner removed him from his mother to put him with the clown troop. Dumbo was sad and lonely, separated from his mother.

With those over-sized ears, the clowns thought Dumbo would be a great addition to their antics they performed for the many circus-goers. They decided that Dumbo’s feat would be to jump from a high platform into a pool of water, making a big splash, drenching all the clowns. Dumbo was terrified of the prospect and sadder than ever.

One day a group of mischievous crows befriended Dumbo and learned of his plight. One of them plucked a feather from his tail and gave it to Dumbo. He told Dumbo the feather would give him the ability to fly. The crows later laughed among themselves at the joke. They knew a feather could not make an elephant fly.

The day came when Dumbo had to climb the high platform. In quivering terror, he walked to the edge of the platform and held the feather tightly at the end of his trunk. Whether he leaped or was pushed, I don’t remember. When Dumbo left the platform, lo and behold, he did fly! His large ears spread out like the wings of a glider! He was airborne! He soared above the crowd! Everyone was amazed! Dumbo became the starring act of the circus! No one made fun of him after that!

So Dumbo continued to perform his amazing act, always holding on to the feather. Then one day he accidentally dropped the feather. He felt a rush of fear – fear that he would plummet to the ground. Instead, he stayed aloft. How? It wasn’t the feather – it was his own ears that made it possible for Dumbo to fly.

Edna smiled. Unlike those of really great storytellers, my metaphors are highly transparent. “So maybe it wasn’t cigarettes that got me through those tough times – is that what you’re saying? Maybe cigarettes are just a crutch?”

“Maybe the strength you demonstrated comes from within – not from cigarettes. Maybe you would have done the same things, even without cigarettes.”

She kept smiling. “Thanks for that story. It gives me something to think about.”

In psychotherapy, metaphors afford a neat, non-confrontational way to deliver a different point of view that can shift a client’s thinking in a new direction. Of course, there was one flaw in my story that Edna missed. Dumbo was not addicted to his feather in the way she was addicted to nicotine.

For Dumbo, the feather had a placebo effect. Believing in the purported power of the feather, he accomplished a feat that seemed impossible. Placebos set up an expectation that allows people to tap into some unrecognized ability within themselves – often the ability to heal an illness or relieve pain.

Cigarettes did the same for Edna – and for many people who smoke. In fact, in his book, First Things First, Stephen Covey noted that addictive substances and behaviors give people and an “artificial sense of self-worth, power, control, security, intimacy, or accomplishment.” We give addictive substances more credit than they deserve – while underestimating our own capabilities.

Our addictions seem to rescue us in moments of difficulty because that’s the nature of addiction. The first thing we want when we feel afraid or overwhelmed is to find relief or comfort – no matter how temporary – and no matter the long-term costs. Addictive substances work especially well when they are convenient, within reach, and deliver that relief quickly. So we reach for the drink or the cigarette or the donut. With that moment of comfort or relief, we may find the clarity and courage to proceed. Fortunately, we can accomplish the same result in safer and healthier ways.

The problem with addiction, as Covey also noted, is that addictions eventually exacerbate the problems and feelings they are sought to remedy. Eventually the consequences of addiction, themselves, become the crisis, the threat, the vulnerability. Recovery and sobriety require that we find within ourselves the strength to get through the tough times. I choose to believe that, as Dumbo demonstrated, we all possess the potential to do so.

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The Positive and Negative Effects of Addictions

Every individual has their own addiction whether it is an addiction over food and drinks, shopping, or even on prohibited drugs. Some people find it helpful for them to be addicted over something as the addiction helps in achieving their self-esteem, building self-confidence, and a way to relax their nerves. Some also get addicted over something because it is through their addiction wherein they could release their stress all out. The problem for them is, when they are hindered on doing their addiction, their anxiety level increases and thus causing them to become violent.

Addiction is classified into two, positive and negative addiction. A positive addiction is an addiction that is beneficial to oneself. Avery common example of positive addiction is exercise, living a healthy lifestyle and doing humanitarian acts. While for the negative addiction, it is an addiction wherein it is detrimental to the self such as shopping, taking drugs, compulsive eating, gambling, excessive drinking and a lot more. These forms of habits not only destroy the body but it also destroys the self.

In women, their most common form of addiction is shopping. Shopping over shoes, clothes and bags is a delight for women. For them, they find shopping as a form of stress reliever, an outlet of their anger and being in a depressing situation. The negative thing about shopping though is that some of the clothes or shoes or bags and whatever they shop for will no longer be used since it is no longer the fad or no longer fits them leading to putting bulk in the closet.

Another very common form of addiction that is present in both men and women is being an excessive drinker of alcoholic beverages. Occasionally drinking is not bad, it only becomes detrimental when it becomes a habit or is being practiced every single day. Many individuals love to drink alcoholic beverages because it is through drinking that they could release their hidden emotions. Some drink for the purpose of escaping reality and some to forget their problems. Whenever someone gets drunk, there is a feeling of euphoria and numbness all over the body that even the best stun gun will not work on him when you stun him. The stun gun effects are useless when you use them on individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Gambling when not controlled can become an addiction. Again, people gamble for entertainment purposes. Gambling becomes a problem when an individual seems to have no control and just keeps on wasting money on games of luck and chances. It is good to engage in activities like this but always bear in mind that once is enough if you want to spare money for the future of your family and yourself.

Compulsive eating and smoking are also addictions by many individuals almost in all parts of the world. Like any other forms of addiction, it also releases stress and anxiety and tends to give an individual pleasure. It is through eating wherein depressed people can pour out all their emotions either grief or anger and when not overcome, will become a habit. Smoking is probably one of the habits that are hard to break especially for those chain smokers. The only way to fully stay away from this is to slowly detach the self from smoking and learning to discipline the self.

We all just need to control ourselves in order for us not to become addicted over something. All we need is proper discipline and always bear in mind that there are a lot of good addictions in the world that will not harm our body and will provide us with a better future.

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Seeing Addictions and Aversions in a New Light

I do understand that the AA meetings are extremely important and beneficial for many people who have developed alcohol dependency problems.

My main concern is the declaration they use I am an alcoholic. For me the words I AM represent the words and works of God. This means that I AM are the most powerful words in the dictionary and what-ever we attach to them we empower. Every time people tell themselves I am an alcoholic they empower that behaviour and at the same time they abuse their true and Godly or Good Self.

I understand that these people are bravely stepping out of denial with a good intention of being honest about their drinking problem. However the truth is they are not an alcoholic. That statement is in fact a lie. Why? Because excessive consumption of alcohol is not who they are; it is something they do. It is a learned behaviour and therefore with support it can be unlearned or undone again.

The repetitive thinking and speaking I am an alcohol becomes a personal belief. And as we believe so e become. And then we claim, individually and collectively something along the lines of Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. We insist there is no cure and therefore we spend a life time in ‘recovery.’ Over time these beliefs become real for us and we spend a life time identifying ourselves as an alcoholic and always in the state of recovery. These beliefs, along with the suppressed emotions that lie beneath, will continue to attempt to push a person off the wagon, keeping a cycle of aversion and addiction in motion.

I can’t help thinking that maybe all allergies, aversions, cravings, or addictions come from the same source. Think about it. Most people who have addictions or addictive behaviours usually feel guilty. My question is what comes first the guilt or the substance? Are we addicted to the guilt? Do the unhealthy and unconscious feelings of guilt trigger the need to seek out the unhealthy substance? Or does the substance-abuse trigger the guilt? Are we more addicted to the external chemical we use and abuse, or are we more addicted to the unconscious internal chemical we produce through our limiting beliefs; self-abuse, self-judgment, etc. which in turn brings about those unwanted feelings.

And what drives those emotions and actions? Is it fear or is it love? We all know the answer to that don’t we? As we buy into, and we re-act to the internal chemical produced by that underlying fear of not being good enough, or of the feelings of guilt, or what ever it is, we will feel pushed into buying something to feed and to fulfil that feeling. All we really do is set up a chain re-action of poisonous addictions within and with out. And to add to the poison we go around calling our self an addict, or an alcoholic, re-affirming our behaviour as if it’s who we are.

When we are ready and willing to look inside and find what really drives the external addiction and address that, we discover new choices. I believe that by separating who we are from our behaviour, we give our self a much better chance of releasing what we believe about ourself and recover that true sense of self. Now, we can find new ways to re-connect with that real feeling of self and self-worth we search for in the bottle.

I found that many of the things I craved were not conducive to my good health and well-being. The very things that I created an aversion to were often the things that supported my well-being. Was I addicted to love, or was I addicted to abuse?

As I explored beyond the external problems, I found that the toxic build up from the aversions I developed toward myself, along with the self intolerance and lack of self compassion, were poisoning my immune system and making life intolerable. When I cleaned up the poison on the inside, the outside became tolerable. I became more sensitive to a deeper level of self, and in doing so I became more sensitive to my true needs and wants.

Marie Brunger is an accomplished writer and author and an inspirational healer and speaker. Her latest book “I AM from fear to Freedom is a result of a decision she made over 20 years ago to heal her life and to help others to do the same.

Marie has supported thousands of people through their personal and life threatening challenges to find the freedom to choose who they want in the drivers’ seat of their life – Love or fear.

Her philosophy is simple. Instead of searching for what’s wrong, and fixing the perceived problem, we look to find all that’s right. She says: “I am committed to restoring self-love and making it the foundations for a life of well-being. These strong foundations allow me and you to venture safely and more naturally through the fear to enjoying a higher level of living, loving and achieving.

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Dark Night of the Soul – The Endless Cycle of Addiction

The insidious cycle of addiction often starts with some life changing event that causes a person physical pain or emotional pain, an event that they cannot cope with or deal with. It may have started as a young child who did not fit in with their peers, anxiety over work, divorce or the death of a loved one. It’s also not unusual for it to happen due to chronic pain that cannot be treated properly. Whatever the reason, this is usually the beginning point where the problems start.

Often the person sees no hope for a solution and does not know how to get rid of the pain they are feeling. Many people experience problems in their life that cause them pain, but not all will turn to substance abuse as a solution. Some people have coping abilities that are stronger than others and they choose a different path to help them cope. Someone who is an addict will choose the easiest path and will abuse substances to help them cope with the situation.

In the beginning these substances will help them, and actually may appear to solve their problems. They feel OK and they think they are now able to cope with the curves that life has thrown at them. They then come to believe that this is solving their problems, and that with this crutch they are now able to deal with life’s problems. At this point the drugs or alcohol become a very valuable tool in helping them cope. This now becomes their solution for handling everything that comes their way – it seems the ultimate easy solution.

During this stage they feel that their pain can constantly be kept at bay, as long as they have these substances to help them cope. This is the beginning of a cycle of addiction that they normally will fail to recognize. They know one thing. If they are feeling pain, the drugs or alcohol will get rid of it. The problem with this is that it usually means that they will increase their use of these substances over time, not realizing that they are becoming mentally and physically addicted. They usually will not even recognize that they have passed a point of no return and that they have lost their ability to control this destructive habit.

When they do try to stop using these substances as a crutch they find that it’s no longer possible. Physically their bodies now need the substance. They may realize they are addicted and now know full well what going through withdrawal will be like, and it’s not something they want to face. Over time the addict finds they now need more of the substance they are abusing, since their body is constantly adjusting and the usual amount will no longer be effective. In many cases they now need the drug or alcohol in order to function in daily life.

They addict knows that they need to stop abusing the drug but they feel powerless. This causes more stress and anxiety as well as feelings of worthlessness, shame and guilt. Their cure for these feelings, is of course, to return to what helps to relieve them even though what is relieving the pain causes the feelings. They are now trapped in an endless cycle of addiction and they feel that there is no way out.

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