Do you love a certain show(s) and watch it religiously? Are you compelled to check Facebook first thing in the morning? Are you always holding a cup of coffee? Do you NEED to shop? Are you a little too good at video games?
These behaviors are actually considered soft addictions — a term coined by Judith Wright to describe “activities, moods or ways of being, avoidances, and things-edible and consumable but which do not pose a grave health disease risk – rather, they have the most effect on personal time and productivity.”
Apparently, over 90% of Americans have soft addictions and I’m not surprised by that statistic at all. I know I enjoy my excessive Internet browsing as much as the next person… and my fiance and I always turn on a movie when we eat dinner together. It’s just what we do to relax.
But then I thought, “How much more could I get done if I stopped watching movies every night and stopped checking facebook every morning?” I bet it’s a lot.
But then I think, “Hey, I need to relax, too!”
So, there’s a little battle going on in my head about the benefits of relaxation vs. productivity. Am I escaping reality when I really need to dig in and get something done?
I know there’s so much more to this topic but I just want to throw these questions out there:
- What are your soft addictions?
- Why do you do them?
- Is it possible that they’re going beyond stress relief so that they’re problematic to your health or happiness?
- Could you make a small change to your habits so you have more control over the compulsion?