Soft Addictions

by Zen Gray

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.”

Internet AddictonApparently, 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:

  1. What are your soft addictions?
  2. Why do you do them?
  3. Is it possible that they’re going beyond stress relief so that they’re problematic to your health or happiness?
  4. Could you make a small change to your habits so you have more control over the compulsion?
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4 Comments to “Soft Addictions”

  1. Interesting, I’m was actually reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection last night and she tapped on addictions and “numbing out” on page 69, that most people numb out to some extent and where does it become a problem. Great book, highly recommend.

    tanna

    • I’ll check that out. I think there’s definitely a line that can be crossed from stress-relief to “numbing out”… and I just wonder where that is for ME. I think I dismiss some behaviors because it’s not necessarily life-threatening in the way that I perceive drug use, over-eating, gambling or sex addiction… but certainly behaviors that sabotage my productivity impact my life greatly. I guess even exercise can be an addiction for some people… but unfortunately, I’ve never had THAT problem 😉 Thanks for the recommendation, Tanna.

  2. I’m addicted to chocolate people. 🙂

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