HOW TO BREAK FREE FROM NEGATIVE ADDICTIONS
In the past, negative addictions were exclusively associated with drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and gambling.
Today we know that negative addictions can come in different forms. In fact, in recent years other negative addictions have arisen, fundamentally from the hand of new technologies, such as addiction to mobile phones or the Internet. However, there are also people addicted to sex, food, shopping, and even work.
What is addiction?
Addiction is a dependency on a substance, activity, or relationship that drags the person into self-destructive behaviors, even if they are aware of the damage they cause.
The addict gradually abandons his interests and daily activities to compulsively immerse himself in consumption or in the activity that gives him pleasure. As a result, there is a serious deterioration in their health and/or in their social and work life.
There are several negative addictions, among the most common we find:
🔴 Internet addiction
🔴 Drug addiction (cocaine, cannabis, designer drugs, etc.)
🔴 Work addiction
🔴 Gambling (gambling addiction)
🔴 Sex addiction
🔴 Mobile addiction etc.
There is a personal vulnerability to negative addiction. However, the dependency is the result of the interaction of biological (such as the characteristics of the nervous system), environmental and psychological factors. In fact, it is estimated that genetic variation represents only 1-2% of the risk of developing an addiction.
The process through which a person falls into the clutches of addiction begins with what is called the “knowing phase.” At that time the person comes into contact with the potentially addictive substance or activity and experiences its effects. After this phase, the person can move away or continue consuming, the decision will depend on family, emotional, intellectual, and/or educational factors.
In fact, over the years a number of risk factors have been identified that make a person more vulnerable to negative addiction, among them we find:
🔴 Substance use by parents
🔴 Little family discipline
🔴 Family problems
🔴 Physical abuse
🔴 Economic and social deprivation
🔴 Favorable attitudes of friends towards substances or activities that generate addiction
🔴 Psychopathologies such as to conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder
Cocaine, alcohol, or tobacco addicts are hooked on the use of the chemicals these products contain.
Addicts to physical exercise, work, sex, or love are also hooked on the internal chemicals that their bodies produce when they experience these activities.
However, we have psychological addicts. That is, we have the addict to act through violence, the addict to adopt a victim role in life or in front of others to justify their failures, or even the addict to react with distrust or contempt when relating to people. We also have the addict to demonstrate with a childish tantrum when someone disagrees with him, the addict to systematically impose his opinions on others or the addict to go shopping when he feels an inner emptiness. This type of addict is not only hooked on internal chemicals that generate their own behaviors or attitudes but is also hooked on another type of retribution. How his behavior manages to manipulate others (or himself) to obtain what he wants (be it power, money, compassion, or love) or to avoid what he fears (be it fear, pain, or face his own personal defects or deficiencies).
Negative addiction tends to repeat itself indefinitely creating the same pattern of thought or behavior in the face of different circumstances in life.
This fact is your addiction will go against your interests and against your own life if it manifests itself at the wrong time and place, something that will undoubtedly happen sooner or later. A tobacco or drug addict, for example, may get to the point of spending their money on their vice rather than buying food for themselves or their family. An addict to violence, laziness, shyness, or fear tends to act in this way always, even at the least opportune moment, which can have disastrous consequences at a personal and work level.
The repetitive loop of an addiction limits your life by preventing you from changing the way you act when circumstances require it. This prevents you from developing your adaptability and manifesting your true potential, which stops your personal growth and the achievement of your goals.
A violence addict is unable to reconcile peacefully with his partner or his boss when there is a conflict. A person addicted to shyness will never be good at parties or public performances unless he learns to open up to others. And a person who is a slave (synonymous with an addict) to fear will never be able to carry out his dream of traveling alone or creating his own company if he does not step forward and start taking certain risks.
So, whatever your addiction, keep in mind that it limits you, slows your evolution, and prevents you from realizing yourself.
Overcoming your addictions requires doing personal introspection based on humility and being honest with yourself. To do this, I’ll propose a 5-step exercise.
Analyze your habits, ways of reacting, and ways of behaving that you often repeat and that can be considered as a negative addiction.
Don’t forget to be humble and honest with yourself.
Write it all down on paper
And take your time, you don’t have to do it in a single day, you can write them down over the weeks as you discover them.
Focus on the ones that can have the most negative consequences in your life.
Think about the effects of your negative addictions
Next to each addiction write down what effect it brings you or, in other words, why do you feed it? Again, be as honest with yourself as possible.
Are you addicted to going from couple to couple because you are terrified of being alone? Are you addicted to having a hyper steric diet because you don’t want to get fat or are you obsessed with having a physical ten? Are you addicted to reacting in bad ways when someone tells you about your shortcomings because you are insecure and your weak self-esteem refuses to face them?
Each person is a universe to explore, so don’t be in a hurry and discover your own world and the reasons behind it. Probably what you discover will surprise you and, of course, it will also help you grow.
Create an action plan
Be creative and devise your own action plan to eliminate your addictions. If you have come this far, you will have reflected a lot on them and probably already have ideas about it.
In any case, sometimes, the simple work of identifying your addictions and analyzing them (previous steps) is enough to spontaneously develop the attitudes and actions necessary to gradually erase them from your life.
Seek professional advice
When you’ve tried all you could and still find yourself wallowing in your negative addictions, seek medical or professional advice.
Negative addictions can be very intoxicating, and that’s the better reason why you must get rid of them now.