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July 28, 2021

Everyday Addictions

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Society has labeled addictions a certain way, only representing a fraction of the ways it actually affects society. Even in doing research on the subject, addiction is formally defined as a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance. That’s a pretty narrow definition that only relates to substance-abuse, which of course is a huge problem, but only speaks to one very specific amount.

I think the mutually accepted understanding of addiction is that it’s generally a bad thing. It means that your behaviors and habits are considered to be in excess of what’s required, and it leads to some negative consequences. But even so, those consequences are a spectrum and often don’t have negative effects. In fact, I think we all have everyday addictions that we don’t acknowledge as such because the term is used in such a derogatory and extreme sense.

For example, checking social media more often than you want to is an addiction because it is a compulsion for your unmet need to belong. Compulsive lying can be an addiction to help you receive validation about your self worth. Even biting your nails can be considered an addiction because it soothes and placates during stress.

Once we open up this definition for addiction, we can see what needs aren’t being met in our lives and start brainstorming alternatives to live a more constructive life. As with everything, the first step is awareness - Knowing your negative habits that have a strong hold on you, knowing your defense mechanisms - So that you can grow through them into a more actualized you.

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