Everyone is an Addicted to something.
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Health and Wellness

Addictive Behavior Affects Everyone And Here's How To Fix It

Sometimes we don't even notice the things wrong with us

Addictive Behavior Affects Everyone And Here's How To Fix It

"A hyena cannot smell its own stench." Some of you have seen this Kenyan proverb before. In a nutshell, it goes a long way in explaining our faults in life.

We all want the same thing when you strip everything down. We all just want to feel good...about ourselves, what we do, what we think, believe etc. We want to get to that "aha" moment where everything is suddenly right with the world.

Whether it's a sweet job promotion, playing video games, being with your BF/GF or favorite friend, laughing at a good joke, watching a dope Netflix series, eating a great burrito, crashing into your bed after a long day, going on a massive shopping spree…everything we do is geared towards getting to that moment of total satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives. We all get to it in different ways based on our life experience and what we know how to do.

Scientifically speaking this entire process has a neurochemical and evolutionary reason. Whenever we do something that helps us survive and fulfill our biological purposes, our brain gives us a shot of dopamine, aka that good feeling, to keep us doing that thing. Makes sense right? So what happens in a somewhat advanced world where survival and basic animal needs are pretty much guaranteed? That reward mechanism doesn't just shut down. Science by far does not explain everything but it can help us understand a little piece of the puzzle.

So we're left in an interesting spot. We essentially have this game that makes us feel amazing whenever we decide to play it. So we find easy ways to play it. Why put effort into getting to that feeling if we can easily activate it with a nice binge or two? See that's where addiction comes in. We see how simple it can be to get to those fulfilling moments and get attached to the action that gives it to us.

Ever stay up way too late watching a Netflix show even if you have class or work early in the morning? Or maybe you're a tad too clingy with your BF/GF and you get obsessed and overthink little things. The problem with obvious addictive behavior is that it blatantly affects us in a negative way and we can at least recognize "hmm I probably shouldn't do this but oh well." Cue the cigarette smoke.

Why we still do it is a topic all in itself. But I want to talk about what happens when addictive behaviors aren't in-your-face obvious, and we don't even see them happening. For me personally, it was being a sarcastic prick for a great majority of my adolescence because subconsciously it felt good thinking I was clever and witty, and somehow that translated into verbally crapping on everything and putting people down. Another thing was being super compulsive and obsessing over tiny little details, sometimes totally missing the point in projects or at work, and I justified it as being "thorough" when really I just wasted a lot of time. See it's easy to be a total asshat. It's easy to avoid things and put a lot of work into superficial details so we have a cop out when someone confronts us about it. "But I worked so hard! You can't blame me."

Not to get too far off the point, what I'm trying to say is that it is extremely easy to reinforce and justify undesirable behavior and not even be consciously aware that they exist because they make us feel satisfied in some way or another. So how do we become aware of things we don't even know exist? Find mirrors to look at.

Well, not actual mirrors. Anything different that makes you step out of your mental environment and give you perspective on how you actually act. Things that have done this for me are traveling, talking to people you don't normally, or events I wouldn't really feel comfortable going to. I've also seen that new jobs, relationships, friends, and even failures achieve this as well.

Getting out of that rut in your life can make you see how much you've been effing it up subconsciously. Back to our Kenyan proverb, sometimes you have to get out of your mudhole to really smell your own stench as others do.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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