Challenges with Soft Addictions

Soft addictions are habits that waste most of our time, keep us from our true feelings, take away all our energy, and keep us from living the satisfying, meaningful lives we want and need. They can be any activity, mood or way-of-being. Most soft addictions involve necessary behaviors like eating/drinking, sleeping, reading or working. These behaviors usually become addictions when we “over-do” them & use them for more than their intended purpose. The following paragraphs will cover how soft addictions affect our lives.

People’s soft addictions are often caused by boredom, stress and indecisiveness. For one moment, they’re excited over a particular thing or endeavor. The next thing you know, they completely abandon it; either because they lost their interest or because they give up when they encounter a little problem. Soft addictions are comforting to people because they tend to relieve stress and of course boredom. Anything from nail biting to compulsively checking your text messages can be a soft addiction. It becomes a problem when it no longer soothes you, but instead bothers you. The following paragraph will cover how soft addictions can be harmful.

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Soft addictions can sometimes strain your relationships. For example: last year, my best friend planned her wedding. Everything was perfect until her fiancé got cold feet. They decided to plan the wedding at a later time. But she was very disappointed and started to stress about the situation. She turned to shopping as her way out. This became her soft addiction. It caused a lot of tension between the couple when the bank statements arrived because she had spent all of their savings. Now not only do they not have their savings, but they can’t plan their wedding like they want to. My friend went into a deep depression, but never stopped spending money. Eventually, this soft addiction of hers put a strain on their relationship and on their wallets. After seeking help, she discovered that she only turned to shopping to comfort her in her time of need. People tend to use soft addictions to fill a void. But it does put a strain on relationships if it’s not controlled.

There’s a place for those shopping sprees, fudge sundaes, and late night movies. We do these things to cope with stress in our lives. Innocent enough, after a stressful day/week, you need to relax. But if that’s all you do, and you do it all night/weekend, that’s another matter and it’s not good for your mental health. Breaking a soft addiction isn’t easy but I believe it can be done. By first identifying the problem, changing your routine, adding different things you like and setting your priorities straight, you can discover who you really are and what you really like. As you build more meaning into your life, the soft addictions become less attractive. It becomes unlikely that you’ll be interested in anything that keeps you from living your deeper purpose.

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