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How to Overcome an Addictive Personality

Addiction is not limited to substance abuse. Many people relate to the idea of having an addictive personality. They struggle to control enjoyable activities, as they are constantly switching between different types of compulsive behavior. Here are seven common examples of addictive indulgences and ways to overcome them...

1. Gambling

Every gambler dreams of hitting the biggest jackpot. But how often does this happen? Any casino, be it a website or a land-based establishment, is designed to be addictive. Websites certified by eCOGRA urge players to be careful. Still, many of them fail to set a betting budget.

If you do not control your impulses, you are likely to get into debt. The key is to shift the focus from spectacular wins to the excitement of the present moment. Winning big will not solve your problems. Choose another goal, accomplishment or activity.

2. Using Alcohol to Socialize

When heavy drinkers are asked about their motives, they often blame socializing. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, but it should not become the only way to get along with others. Eventually, addicts feel bored around people who are sober.

If you feel awkward in social situations and drink to gain confidence, focus on healthy ways to connect with others. Discuss common passions or favourite activities. Say no to alcohol even if everyone around you is drinking. When you host a party, your guests do not have to get drunk, either.

3. Smoking

Do not perceive cigarettes as an expression of your individual freedom. Tobacco companies have planted this idea in your mind. Big businesses want you to smoke, as this brings them profit. Your real right is to breathe fresh air, not the freedom to pollute it.

Smoking is one of the most challenging addictions. Millions of smokers keep trying to quit to no avail. On the upside, there are plenty of resources and help centers, as the problem is so widespread.

4. Comfort Eating

When we feel dispirited, stressed or overwhelmed, comfort eating is a quick fix, but its positive effects are only temporary. Eating in moderation is not a problem, but excess can turn into a habit. This is when binge eating, food addiction, and obesity become the reality.

The next time you feel the urge to eat because of your emotional state, choose a healthier alternative. Take a relaxing bath, meditate, or go to bed early. Sometimes, getting a good night's sleep is all we need to feel better.

5. Staying Hyperconnected

Millennials and Generation Z are addicted to social media. Did you know that Instagram feeds work similarly to slot machines? You need to pull the feed down to reveal new content, and this virtual environment is difficult to resist. If you feel the urge to check your Facebook all the time and experience nomophobia (the fear of being detached from your mobile phone), you have a problem.

A passion for social media may be accompanied by more complex forms of internet addictions, such as gambling, watching pornography or shopping. The first precaution is to limit the non-work screen time. Use apps like Help Me Focus to block distracting applications during the day. Turn off the sound during sleeping hours, so the notifications do not interrupt your sleep cycle.

6. Using Sex to Replace Intimacy

This may seem counterintuitive, but sex and intimacy are actually two different things. People with an addiction are constantly pursuing sexual arousal and quick gratification. This causes relationships to fall apart, as the person stops being aware of their partner's feelings.

Shift the focus from the physical side of intimacy to the emotional one. Listen to your partner and discuss your feelings openly. This will fortify your relationship even more than having sex.

7. Shopping

Consumers overshop for many different reasons, but in most cases, they long for an ego boost. You may hope that the new things you buy can change who you are and make you a better person. The joy of buying is short-lived, and whatever you purchase soon feels worthless. If your self-esteem is high enough, you will be less likely to overspend, so work on it.

Your Thinking Could Be the Biggest Obstacle

People with an addictive personality often say that quitting all bad habits is just too hard. As you give up drinking, you may bounce to drugs, from drugs to compulsive eating, etc. Others believe that a life lived in moderation is just bland. Both of these outlooks are misconceptions.

The craving for excess is denial in disguise. Everyone can quit, even people with long-term addictions. Unfortunately, they may come to this realization much later in life, after losing their friends, loved ones, jobs, and savings. They grieve their lost years and wish they had quit sooner. Once you find that recovery is possible, your life will open up again.

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