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Everyday Addictions and Their Profound Effect on Your Life

Looking around you – these days, in our “I need it now” society, you can see people leaning on vices as both comforts and distractions.  I see them walking down the streets, dining in cafes, sitting in the theatre – too many people are distracted, addicted to the cravings of instant (or even partial) gratification. Interestingly, I speak with clients who ask ‘why can’t I stop eating potato crisps??’ and when they realize that it’s because the salt and fat is addicting, they have an easier time mindfully cutting the habit.

sugarThere are many areas in your everyday life that may be affected by addictions that you might not even know that you have.  Usually, when we think of addictions, we think of the more malicious clutches to things like alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, but the addictions that I want to talk about are those that we turn to for that feeling of ‘I’m OK’, like caffeine, sugar, shopping, the internet and our mobile devices – all of those things that take us out of the moment and take us away from being our healthiest, happiest, most present selves.  

Though not as potentially dangerous as the other substances mentioned here, the addictions that I’ve listed can also have profound affects on your mind, body and soul, impacting your everyday life. The consequences of these addictions may put an unnecessary drain on your finances, or maybe they take you away from the time shared with those that you love, because you’re not truly living in the moment.  You are living for that immediate gratification, often from strangers and not even those sitting right in front of you.  

Ultimately, addiction, in any form, affects all aspects of your life, and whether by draining your energy or draining your finances, the results can change the way that you want to live your life.  

That’s why it’s important to assess these areas in your life where you feel that you are holding onto vices and focus on what you want to change.  You see, these addictions affect your thinking processes, behavior and overall health, not to mention financial status, until you’ve reached a point where you’re left wondering how you became the person you are today.  Maybe you don’t recognize this person.  Maybe this person keeps you from maintaining your relationships with friends and family.  Maybe this person has invested so much time and money into a particular vice that it’s keeping you from reaching your financial goals.  Whatever and wherever your addictions have taken you, you can overcome them and get back to being the ‘you’ that you’ve always wanted to be.    

It certainly doesn’t take an expert to know that over-use of any substances, substitutes, or technologies can negatively impact your long-term physical and mental status, but know that ridding your life of unnecessary toxins that affect your health as well as those distractions that hinder your relationships and productivity will be an incredibly rewarding and cathartic process.  Once you’ve cleaned house and cleared out all of the vices, your mind, body and soul will realign and soar.  

shoppingI understand that it can be difficult to get rid of all of those unnecessary vices.  We are, after all, only human, and it’s not always as easy as making healthy choices.  Sometimes we just want what we want, but addiction is all about gaining those short-term pleasures, with no real thought or care about future consequences.  

Instant gratification is the root of many of these addictions.  It’s why so many turn to caffeine and sugar, for example, as a means for a pick-me-up.  You could look at this as taking the easy way out.  What you need is a healthy diet and exercise to keep your body full of healthy nutrients and endorphins.  Caffeine and sugar just don’t truly do anything to enhance your body’s system.  Actually, they can do quite the opposite and cause negative impact to your metabolism, ultimately, making you crash.  What’s worse, because of the addiction, that time that it takes to crash will become shorter and shorter.  How is that at all satisfying?  

The only true way to regain control of your life and health is to kick the habit and opt for much healthier, viable dietary options.  Pair this with a reasonable, regular fitness routine, and you’ll be golden!  

These days, in place of coffee, I opt for green tea, water with lemon, and green juices for a pick-me-up and energy booster.  These are not only tasty and full of great vitamins they’ll give you plenty of energy to get through the day.  For an added boost, don’t forget to add a dose of aloe vera gel, which provides immeasurable benefits that I can vouch for, from personal experience. Much the same, in place of consuming excessive amounts of sugar, opt for natural sugars like those found in fruit.

If your addiction is technology or excessive spending, put down those devices and credit cards, and reconnect with your family and friends face-to-face.  Appreciate what you have while you have it. Go for a walk in the park; re-introduce yourself to the wonderful connections that come from intimate conversations.  I started appreciating my clothing items so much more after I began folding and caring for them each time I wore them, breaking away from the addiction of needing to buy more and more.

When it comes down to it, recognizing these addictions is the first step toward change.  After that, the ball is in your court.  Maybe your vice hasn’t had a significant impact on you life just yet, but without putting yourself in check, now, someday it could.  So, ask yourself, is your health and well being really worth the risk?  
You are strong enough to make positive change and actively choose the life that you want!  XO

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