Daily Addictions That Take Away Your Freedom

Every day, there are things we do – often times unconsciously – that hurt us without our knowledge. You see, when we hear the word ‘addiction’, our brains immediately think of substance abuse. Yet, there are other types of addictions that complicate our lives and enslave us.

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We look around and start asking, “Why is this or that happening to me?” Take for instance when you get angry because someone isn’t listening to you. Or, maybe you are frustrated because someone doesn’t trust you. 

The truth is our world is just reacting to things we are consciously or unconsciously doing.

Perhaps, they don’t listen because you complain about the same thing every time you speak. They could be struggling to trust you because you make too many excuses.

As a result, you might find that you are no longer free to do the things you used to do. In all aspects of your life – from social to professional – you feel boxed in.

So what are these insidious daily addictions and what can you do to make your life better? Keep reading to find out.

7 Daily Addictions You Need to Take Control Of in Your Life

The dangerous part about some of the things we do is that we don’t see what effect they may be having on our lives. To add to that, how those actions affect other people and eventually bounce back on us. Thus, to defeat our enemies we must name them, understand them, and control them.

Here are seven daily addictions that are working against you:

Constant Complaining

As mentioned above, complaining has a negative effect on others. The occasional whinge is expected since life is not straightforward. However, constant complaining is off-putting.

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Not only that, but complaining puts you in a negative mind-frame. It puts your body in a state of stress, thereby triggering the release of the stress hormone Cortisol. The more the stress kicks in the more likely you are to get angry, fearful, and emotional. You may even lash out at others.

High levels of Cortisol in your body can lead to anxiety and depression. It can also cause headaches, and heart, memory, and digestive problems.

Thus, imagine the damage to your body and to others if you are always complaining about things. It’s a very costly addiction.

To deal with it, consider cultivating a sense of gratitude. Try also to put a positive spin on every situation. Come up with constructive ways to resolve whatever problem you are complaining about. Last, learn how to meditate.

Habitual Social Media Use

Experts continue studying the adverse effects of addiction to social media. It’s amazing that something so innocent and useful could turn into an actual problem. But now, we know the overuse of social media has links to mental health problems, such as depression.

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The habitual social media use causes distance and conflict in relationships. It keeps people at home rather than outside getting fresh air. Going out is useful for relieving stress and warding off depression.

Moreover, social media overuse affects work and prevents you from getting anything done. Then, later at night, it can keep you up for hours thereby limiting your sleep.

At a much worse level, you’ll find people trying to use social media in dangerous situations. For example, when using power tools or when driving. This endangers the person and those around them.

To stop your social media addiction, try setting specific hours to access and use the site. Turn off the notifications to limit the constant checks for new messages and replies. Make more time for people and switch off your device when you are around them.

The Coffee Madness

Let’s face it, it’s unlikely the haters will win the ‘War on Coffee’. Various people have been trying to dissuade coffee lovers from drinking it to no avail. Even so, it is important to point out the excessive consumption of coffee and its effects on everyone.

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According to research, about seventy percent of American consumers drink more than one cup of coffee daily. No wonder there is a coffee shop on almost every corner. Unfortunately, coffee contains caffeine, which causes many harmful effects.

The dangers of drinking coffee include insomnia, headaches, indigestion, hypertension, and heart attacks. You can also get glaucoma, diabetes, and suffer miscarriages.

Break the cycle of coffee dependency by weaning yourself off. Or, you can quit cold turkey. Whichever way you do it, take control of the situation. Because if you do, you’ll reduce your anxiety and fend off depression. You’ll be less irritable and you’ll get better sleep.

An Excuse-Filled Life

Have you ever met someone who has an excuse for everything? It can be annoying listening to them. Whatever goes wrong, they never point the blame at themselves. There’s always another explanation.

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Though it’s easy to make excuses, there is no way to escape the consequences of your actions. Eventually, the outcomes will catch up to you. That’s why people find accepting blame to be a bitter pill.

Failure to accept responsibility is dangerous. It prevents you from confronting your fears and your guilt. As such, you will never move forward. Once you find yourself stuck, you’ll likely spend the rest of your time complaining. It’s a vicious reality. Plus, you already know how complaining will have a negative effect on your body.

Instead, confront your mistakes, accept them, and learn from them. Don’t hide from your responsibility to complete a particular task. Make better decisions and manage your time well.

Change your mindset and do not fear failure or even owning up to it. Face it and use it to grow. Focus on your own strengths. Don’t succumb to the pressure of comparing your life to other people’s lives. We all have our own stories to write.

Spending Time with Bad Friends/Company

There is no value in spending time with bad friends. For one, it will make you cynical. Second, there is a high chance you’ll get in trouble. What’s worse, they may make you compromise on one of your cherished values.

Despite this, our desire to love and be loved – to be part of a group – makes us make the wrong decisions. You are willing to block the warnings from your brain that being with this group isn’t beneficial.

Ultimately, your desire to socialize becomes the reason for losing your freedom. Being part of a bad group doesn’t help you. You don’t belong there.

Rather than change yourself to please other people, be yourself and see how things go. You might find that you have something in common with them.

Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, said:

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

Follow the rule above and you’ll be able to attract better friends into your life.

Living the Routine Lifestyle

It is important for children to have a daily routine. It gives them a sense of safety, normalcy, and consistency. As you get older though, you need to challenge yourself every day.

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Sadly, most people settle into routines. If you were to sit on a bench somewhere, you’d notice the same people passing there every day. A deeper look and you’ll notice they follow each other in the exact same order everyday. How can something unplanned work with such precision?

The reality here is many of them are living on autopilot. It’s like an addiction to everything staying the same; comfortable even. That’s not the way to live!

Switch things up. Have a purpose that you pursue every day. Visit areas you’ve never been to. Try dishes you’ve never tasted. Leave behind the boring routine lifestyle. Because you’ll grow and discover new things and yourself, and you’ll use it to make a difference in our world.

Take Back Your Freedom

As you can see, it is easy to fall into the trap of various addictions. We may not notice what we are doing and that’s how we end up feeling trapped.

Stop complaining, overusing social media, and taking too much caffeine. Take responsibility for your life, shun bad company, and do something new every day. These steps will lead you to freedom.

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You’ll understand that even though some days are painful, you can still make it through.

Have a purpose for your life and pursue those goals diligently. Know that distractions create an opening for bad habits, such as substance abuse. Once you get hooked, it will be a lifelong struggle to overcome substance addiction.

Set aside time to meditate and rejuvenate your mind. If you are religious, use the power of prayer to bless your life’s efforts. Remember to pray for others as well. It is this thoughtfulness that fills your life with satisfaction and contentment.

If you can take only one thing from this post, it is this: Watch your habits that they may not become addictions. Whatever you’ll be focusing on will determine how your life ends up. Take back your Freedom!

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What’s Your Take on Assisted Suicide?

It’s a story that seems to be cropping up more often these days. It’s in the newspapers, on online magazines, on Twitter feeds and other news streams. There always seems to be some kind of legal case going on where the defendants are fighting for the right to end their lives.

In a time where freedom and rights of expression are fought for valiantly across continents and through the internet, having the power to take your own life ‘legally’ is still a thorny issue.

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There are countries that allow assisted suicide; these include Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada and some states in America. The scope of these versions of assisted suicide is different in all states, with Switzerland being the most liberal of them all. The rest mostly fall in the “you can only end your life legally if you are diagnosed as having less than half a year to live”.

There has always been that paradox whereby you are asked, “If killing one person could save the lives of many, would you do it?” At first it seems that the obvious answer is “Yes”, till you are confronted with the realization that you will still have to take a life. It is here that most people falter. You come to the conclusion that every single life is sacred.

Life of Pain Versus Assisted Suicide

Why is there an increasing number of people who support assisted suicide? Is it that our moral compass is not as strong as it used to be in the old days? After all, the laws banning suicide are from a bygone era. In those days, they knew that they could not give anyone an escape from life. You had to bear your burdens and your fate.

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Or have we all become just more empathetic than our forebears? We are filled with tears when we see young people who have barely reached puberty dying slowly from cancer or from other life threatening health conditions. Who can say no to a fellow human being who feels pain coursing through their bodies with every breath they take? Is any one of us justified in making laws that deny people the right to make a decision about their own lives?

The Value of Life

We have talked before about how life is a shared experience; how we are all connected by invisible threads. It is thought that the individual is not merely responsible for his/her own life but rather it is society as a whole which is responsible for an individual’s life. You’ve probably spotted police officers encouraging someone not to commit suicide. You have also probably watched movies whereby they depict the lead actor/actress as talking to a person standing on the ledge of a tall building telling him/her that their life is important and that they should step down. If movies represent the ideals of the society, are we saying we believe that life should be safeguarded no matter who it belongs to? If not, do we differentiate between committing suicide and having assisted suicide for medical reasons?

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Again, the waters get murky. Is it really right for me as a human being to sit idly by while someone suffers the pain of terminal illness? Is it even right for people to end their lives on their own terms? By participating in the assisted suicide situation, does that make you a killer?

So we are caught between a rock and a hard place: should we help those in need? Yes. Does participating in assisted suicide mean that you will be responsible for someone’s death (thereby making you a murderer)? Should we legalize assisted suicide?

Conclusion

It seems there are more questions than answers. At the end of the day, you have to look within yourself and decide what you believe in and how you can make the world around you a better place.

What’s your take on assisted suicide?