fbpx

Kick Bad Habits and Distractions to do Something Meaningful in Your Life

man in red shirt covering his face
Content:

Introduction

Little Distractions Become Big Life Goals

Recognize Common Behaviorals Addiction

Significant Consequences of Bad Habits and Addictions

Name and Claim Your Bad Habit

Time to Look Towards Getting Some Meaning in Your Life

Caring Is The Way Out

Heal Your Inner Relationship with Yourself

Professional Guidance to Keep You on Your Path to Change

Conclusion

Is Wasting Time Keeping You From Success?

There’s lots of talk about work-life balance to keep you from becoming a workaholic. But, what if your life is out of balance the other way? You shop online, go to malls, watch the shopping channel and buy, buy, buy. A night out with the boys turns into every night. If you can’t go to the local roller derby events, you find a live-streaming channel for global events. You binge binge-watching on all your subscription channels.
Anything that’s done in excess becomes a distracting addiction. And that bad habit keeps you from doing something meaningful in your life.
It doesn’t matter how enjoyable the activity is when you’re spending most of your waking hours doing it. It’s not working for you. You may be surprised how many typical late-night activities are not associated with life-long joy. It’s part of the culture we live in. Just watch the television commercials to see what many of us do. Your life is out of balance. Tell Yourself the truth. The truth is, you have made a lifestyle choice to live in an endless cave. In that cave, you are out of touch with meaningful life.
hands scolding a black girl

Little Distractions Become Big Life Goals

Most everyone is aware of addictions like alcohol and drugs which are substance addictions, but we can create our own personal addictions that have similar negative consequences. Those addictions are called behavioral addictions.
Behavioral addictions are subtle and insidious because unlike substance additions they are generally accepted in society. And, the activity may have started with making you feel good, but now you do it without joy.
There are some behavioral addictions that are perfectly healthy, normal activities that some people fail to balance with equally important activities.
When an addiction takes over your life, you may not realize that you are cutting yourself off from life.

Recognize Common Behaviorals Addiction

Behavioral addictions may start as something fun that you enjoy. But then, in increments, they turn into habits you don’t want to break.
There are a multitude of activities that can become addictions. Here are some behavioral addictions that can build a negative impact on your life.

  • Sexual addiction – The majority of people enjoy sex, whether they are single, married, partnered, or polyamorous. Those who spend too many hours each day focused on sexual matters neglect other vital aspects of life. A person’s compulsive sexual behavior is often related to mental health issues (loss or insecurity).
  • Gambling addiction – For participants, gambling triggers a dopamine rush since the end goal is money. The gamblers often continue to gamble in hopes of winning more, only to lose everything and go into debt. Gambling can be dangerous, especially at casinos run by the mafia.
  • Internet addiction – As the internet has become commonplace, it has been common since the late ’90s and early ’00s. There are many resources available on the internet (music, videos, information, pictures, people). For people obsessed with a given topic, this can make the internet addictive.
  • Social media addiction – In the late 2010s, when social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram began popping up, social media addiction became an extension of internet addiction. Those who regularly follow Twitter flame talks or ponder whether they like “likes” on Instagram spend a lot of time engaged. On Facebook, others go down endless rabbit holes.
  • Food addiction – We eat every day, but some people continue eating on a full stomach. For some, it’s about pleasing their taste buds. Others eat for psychological reasons (grief, depression). Your body has limits, and fullness exists for a reason. Food addiction is particularly harmful when it involves junk food and sugary, fatty foods.
  • Porn addiction – Pornography will always be debated as to whether it is healthy. In general, all of us agree that porn consumption should not be a round-the-clock routine. For some people, porn compensates for shyness, isolation, and difficulty finding a partner. When self-improvement is the answer to their problem, they neglect hygiene and responsibilities.
  • Exercise addiction – An exercise program is healthy, but some people overdo it for the wrong reasons. Human bodies aren’t designed to be extremely ripped, veiny, and rock hard. Many gym workers are motivated by vanity, insecurity, and an obsession with looking like a superhero, thinking anything less makes them inferior.
  • Shopping addiction – Many people find shopping thrilling because it represents abundance and ownership: having something you want whenever you want it. People shop beyond their means and grab items they don’t have time to use or appreciate, all for the dopamine rush.
  • Kleptomania – The fact that everyone loves freebies partially explains the problem with internet addiction. Freebies can be acquired in the wild by some who violate the law. Shoplifting is partly motivated by the thrill of escaping with illegal activities. Later or later, the perpetrators are caught. They often have severe and lasting consequences.
The first step in addressing addiction and leading a meaningful life is recognizing your addiction, because the consequences of continuing are detrimental.
young woman covering face with hand

Significant Consequences of Bad Habits and Addictions

Addiction can lead to unhealthy and dangerous behavior. This type of behavior addiction may turn into destructive and criminal activities. Despite this, behavioral addiction does not bode well for an individual’s mental health. Behavioral addiction includes the following consequences:

  • Depression – Depression is often interrelated with loneliness and lethargy. A 12-hour binge might seem like an endless process for the porn addict, but at the end of the day, he knows he’s not done anything substantial. Over-eaters are often tired and sedentary, yet struggle to maintain body consciousness and to improve their habits.
  • Isolation – Addictions to computers and smartphones keep people busy, reducing social interaction. This trap is easy for shy people. Computer addictions (such as online platforms and social media) keep many people isolated and socially inept. You can have a negative mental health effect after years of this behavior.
  • Unfulfillment – Generally people want to accomplish something in life. With age, people want to feel like their lives have been fulfilling a certain purpose. People with little other than overeating and utilizing social media rarely leave behind significant memories. It’s sad to let time pass by unfulfilled.
  • Anti-social behavior- Isolation becomes very dangerous when the individual harbors misanthropic thoughts of violence at the outside world. In recent years, mass shootings have increased due to greater social isolation.
  • Debt – Those who max out their credit cards with things they cannot afford are heading for financial ruin. The result of shopping addiction can be bankruptcy, poverty, foreclosure, and repossession.
  • Incarceration – The addicts to illegal behavior (shoplifting, speeding) can end up behind bars, possibly for years.
Behavior can have a slippery slope in some situations. In the course of porn addiction, a person might become lonely and isolated, then start catfishing, harassing, or stalking online.
woman sitting on wooden planks

Name and Claim Your Bad Habit

You may like shopping or going to the gym, but if those activities are excessive, you need to name your addiction and claim it as a block in your life.
If it’s an addictive behavior, you do it in a repetitive, habitual, and kind of a numbing way.
And if it’s something done with joy for limited amounts of time, it’s not addictive behavior but a pastime. For example, someone has a model train set, and every week or two on the weekend, they play with it for an hour or two. That’s something of joy.
But when it becomes a daily thing, and it’s habitual, and it’s no longer giving a real feeling of joy and satisfaction, then there’s a sign. It’s a sign that your activity is addictive.
So, two ways to evaluate whether your behavior is addictive are:
  1. How often the activity is being done
  2. The nature of joy that’s being received by the activity
If you feel that any activity in your life meets those two criteria—frequent and joyless—it’s time to claim your addiction and start working toward a more meaningful life.

Time to Look Towards Getting Some Meaning in Your Life

An addiction is not a meaningful behavior. Once you have identified your addictive behavior, the next step is to really look at your core self. That core is your relationship with self and the relationship with others. Because we can say most addictive behavior is a result of an insufficient loving relationship with the self and insufficient loving relationships and quality relationships with other people.
coffe cup on calendar agenda

Caring Is The Way Out

Loving yourself and others is the way out of addiction. When you care about yourself, the need for addictive behavior goes away.

Bruce K. Alexander who conducted the revolutionary Rat Park studies on socialization and addiction said, “Addicts are not bad people.”

The answer is in socialization. Caring for yourself and feeling cared for provides balance that eliminates the need for behavior addiction as well as substance addiction.

For more on how addiction works and what actions can reverse addiction, watch Bruce Alexander speaking about his studies.
We now know that people who have healthy relationships with themselves and healthy relationships with other people that are loving and functional avoid the vast majority of addictive behaviors.
First of all, you have choices about your behavioral addictions:
  1. Give up.
  2. Keep doing what you are doing. That will still keep you from a meaningful life.
  3. Shift the paradigm to caring. That means changing your assumptions about yourself.
The third option consists of assumptions and action steps that lead you toward a meangingful, fulfilling life.

Heal Your Inner Relationship with Yourself

The important step is to heal your inner relationship with self and improve your relationship with other people.
That’s done best in contact both with community resources like men’s groups, women groups, any support group that has some kind of a facilitator.
You want a professionally facilitated group. It can be nonprofit like a church, and can be low-cost or even free depending on your community. but some kind of functional group. A group format provides a welcoming and supportive environment where you experience acceptance.
  • Support groups – You can join a public support group or work with a treatment facility. When you enter a treatment facility you meet individually with a counselor and attend group meetings with other patients. In this shared setting, everyone shares their struggles, insights, and progress.
  • Family therapy sessions – An addict who seeks treatment has a hard time communicating with family members. Families are modered by a counselor while the patient and his/her family members mend their gaps and learn better understandings.
Group settings put in touch with other people. And those people understand your challenges. You all support each other in making change.

Professional Guidance to Keep You on Your Path to Change

Another method for change is in a one-on-one setting, with a mentor or therapist to work on your relationship with self.
Two traditional therapies work to get to your core so you can achieve personal balance and leave addictive behavior behind.
  • Dual diagnosis therapy – Addiction to drugs, alcohol, and behavioral disorders is often linked to deep-rooted mental health disorders. This method isolates the underlying issue (childhood trauma, loss) that causes addiction to compensate for or fill a certain emptiness. Once you are familiar with the underlying cause of behavioral addiction, it becomes easier to treat.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is due to the idea that most behavior is dictated by subconscious beliefs. Self-destructive behavior stems from a deep-seated negative view that nothing else is possible. The subconscious process of CBT is used to reverse a person’s negative, ingrained belief system to change their minds and actions.
You can improve if you commit to treatment and make it a goal to conquer behavioral addiction.
men and women working together

Mentoring for Positive Changes

I think therapy is an interesting process, but it tends to be a slow and introspective process for things like your relationship with self.
I believe in an action-based process. That is why I believe mentoring gives faster results.
Therapy may be worthwhile for many people at some point, but I find it a much slower process. It is challenging because it doesn’t give results very quickly.
Because of therapy’s slow process, it leads too many people to give up too soon which is why I prefer mentoring.
The action-based mentorship approach gives us results in a shorter time frame. Also, mentoring shows people that when you work with the right person and you have a great relationship with that person,

you can really achieve amazing results with yourself in just a few weeks…and that is powerful.

I’d love to chat with you about how mentoring can help you lead a meaningful life. You’ll learn how to evaluate where you are now and how to take incremental action steps to leave behind addictive behaviors. Then you will engage in life to its fullest.

Everything at elevanation is based on empirical data and actual results. So you can get the maximum benefit in the minimum time.

Schedule your free action call to do something meaningful in your life. We’ll help you leave those behaviors for something much, much better.