Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Is It An Addiction Or A Habit?

April 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comThere are a lot of vices in life that we hold onto. Shopping, coffee, junk food and alcohol are just some of the things that we rely on to get us through life. For some, these vices are simply a habit. Shopping in the sales once a season to update the house and gaining pleasure and happiness from it. Buying that morning latte before work to feel energised and warmed up on in the inside. Ordering takeout food with our friends to socialise and share a meal together. A social catch up at the local cocktail bar is a time for laughing and enjoying yourself, allowing the alcohol to relax your muscles after a long week at work. These habits are often harmless as they are undertaken in moderation.

Establishing the difference between a habit you can pick up and put down, and an addiction that consumes your life is difficult. Shopping addiction, for example, is a very real thing that means spiralling into a hefty debt and when left for too long, can even lead to theft. Alcoholism can lead to hospitalisation, homelessness and even death. These things are serious, behaviours that can lead to self-destruction. There is a lot of help in the world for those who ask for it, but you have to be willing to see how your behaviour is affecting you and those around you.

Smoking is one such habit that is more of an addiction than anything else, as the compulsion to keep feeding your body nicotine is one that you cannot help. However, if you want to give up and need some help, you just have to look for it. Swapping cigarettes for ecigs with vivid vapours and different flavours is one way to start weaning yourself off of smoking. Going to counselling to determine the reason you started smoking in the first place and identifying what void you are filling is another way to help yourself to stop. Like alcohol, smoking is a very difficult habit to let go. An addiction may be an extreme form of a habit, but the only way smoking doesn’t become an addiction is to not start in the first place.

Identifying your behaviour before your habit begins is the only way you can avoid a habit becoming a compulsion. If you notice your shopping bills are racking up month after month, you may be able to put the brakes on and stop spending. Stress is one of the biggest causes of addiction, and if you don’t work on the reasons for the stress you’ll always find yourself turning to the destructive habits. A habit can be changed, but an addiction takes a lot of work and professional help. Finding the strength to let go of an addiction is a difficult process and those who manage it need lifelong support to stop themselves turning back to that behaviour.

Always seek help when you feel your habit going out of control, and never be afraid to ask your doctor for support and advice.

Staff Writer; Robert Banks

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