Soft Addictions

Soft addictions either habits, compulsive behaviors, or chronic moods or thought patterns. Their defining characteristic is that they satisfy a exterior want but completely disregard the deeper need. They numb us to feelings and spiritual awareness by substituting a superficial high, or a sense of activity, for genuine feeling of accomplishment.

A great deal of soft addictions concern basic behaviors such as eating, reading, and sleeping. They become soft addictions as soon as we go overboard with them and start using them for more than their intended purpose. Soft addictions, unlike hard ones such as drugs and alcohol, are charming in their softness. E-mailing, watching television, and talking on the phone all seem like totally harmless, pleasurable activities while we’re engaged in them. When we realize how much time and energy we dedicate to them, however, we can understand how they hurt the quality of our lives.

You ought to know that there are an infinite assortment of soft addictions. A soft addiction can be as idiosyncratic as any individual personality. While a universal soft addiction may be television watching, a more personal form may be doodling geometric figures or counting things for no reason.

Several individuals have a hard time telling the difference between an infrequent behavior or fleeting mood from a soft addiction. If you watch television one hour per day, is it only a harmless habit,while if you watch three hours per day (the national average), does it become a soft addiction?

Keep the following in mind: The motivation for and the function of your behavior decide whether or not it’s a soft addiction. For instance, television can be a window into new worlds — or it can be a means of escape. I know a lady who is very careful about the things she watches. She uses TV as a tool to gain knowledge about foreign cultures and to better understand the behavior of animals. A different lady vegetates on the couch in front of the television every day, channel surfing and letting the programs wash over her. She leads a tough, hectic work life, and she mistakenly thinks that watching TV all night will relieve her stress. Rarely does she have a specific show she wants to watch or a actual cause for watching it. When you contrast these 2 television watchers, the dissimilarities in motivation and function are easy to see. The 1st woman’s motivation revolves around very specific learning goals; the second woman’s motivation is to turn her brain off. The first woman uses television to enhance her life; the second woman uses it to escape from her life.

Don’t allow soft addictions to control your life.

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