Whenever we speak about addictions, we think of an unhealthy obsession or dependence on various harmful substances containing nicotine, alcohol or even food addiction. Not only are these addictions extremely harmful for the body, causing various diseases, they rob you from living a wholesome and healthy life by making you so dependent on the substance, that you can’t function without them and experience withdrawal symptoms.
However, is there a thing such as a healthy or positive addiction? A need that pushes you to work towards a healthy lifestyle? Yes, there is! Positive addiction is a phrase first coined by William Glasser in his book with the same name. He claims positive addictions “strengthen us and make our lives more satisfying.” They also enable us to “live with more confidence, more creativity, and more happiness, and usually in much better health.”
Positive addictions can be of various types. Below we are going to discuss a few that could help you kick start your positive addiction. Read on to find out more!
Exercise: The best kind of positive addiction is undoubtedly exercising. Whether it be running, cycling or weightlifting, the benefits of working out are many. Not only does it provide a healthy high, improving your mood, it also helps to keep you fit and keep illnesses at bay, helping you stay young and youthful for long. Exercise can help you lose weight and improve your overall energy levels. It can also help avoid complications like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise can also help combat depression as effectively as Prozac or behavioral therapy.
Meditation: In the fast-paced everyday routine of hustling, meditation can become an addiction. Not only does it give you a break from your chaotic and intensely busy day, it can help relieve stress, alleviate pain, and help with insomnia. Meditation also increases the blood flow to the brain making you more alert, and aware, and also reduces blood pressure and regulates the heart rate. Regular meditation can also improve your mood by producing serotonin and dopamine. It can also improve emotional stability and intelligence, help you relax and boost the immune system.
Eating healthy: Good nutrition is just as important as exercising and staying active in order to live a healthy life. Unhealthy eating of processed and sugar loaded food not only makes you ill, lazy and lethargic, it also has a negative impact on your mental health. This is why it’s very important to be mindful of what you put in your bellies. An addiction to eating healthy is also fun because if you like cooking, you can try new recipes or make dishes with healthier alternatives. Also, healthy eating need not be bland or distasteful, as there are many juices, smoothies, and other healthy food options that taste just as delicious if not more!
Drinking tea: We like to call it the positivi-tea addiction. Drinking tea is a healthy substitute to various carbonated beverages and has many benefits. Herbal teas like chamomile tea, lavender tea, and green tea have many, many, (many!) benefits. For example, chamomile tea helps with diabetic complications, helps to reduce inflammation, soothes an upset stomach and also helps to relieve back pain. Lavender tea is a great way to alleviate stress and tension. It also helps with insomnia and promotes good sleep. Green tea helps boost metabolism, lowers cholesterol and also helps in losing extra weight. It is also great for the skin.
Traveling: Travelling is a great way to unwind and relax. It is a great way to take a break from stressors like work and a wonderful escape from the mundane life. It helps to improve your social and communication skills, helping you meet new people and introducing you to new and diverse cultures. Not only does this create an appreciation for cultures different from your own but also creates acceptance and tolerance, something we all know is much needed. It also boosts your confidence, and brings many new adventures and possibilities your way, helping you learn something new each day.
Volunteering: Volunteering or helping others is a great addiction. Whether it be teaching at a local school, or helping to build houses for the less privileged, volunteering brings a kind of satisfaction and contentment like nothing else. Just the thought of having made someone else’s life a little less difficult, or a tad bit pleasant can help you sleep peacefully and soundly at night.
Summing up, all addictions are not unhealthy. In fact, positive addictions should be taken up consciously in order to avoid falling trap of unhealthy addictions. Also, it’s never too late to take help if you feel you’ve gone down the unhealthy path. Taking control of your life, and steering it in the right direction will help you live a healthy and fulfilled life.