The very word addiction has negative connotations. One can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or even food. None of it sounds positive. But there are positive addictions, which foster good will, health, optimism and stable relationships, just to name a few.
However, is it possible to turn a negative addiction into a positive addiction?
Positive addictions may be defined as things that make one feel confident and happy. It has less to do with the actual object of addiction and more to do with the way it makes the person feel. Some examples of positive addictions are exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, playing music, art, volunteering or working in a job one is passionate about. Doing any of these things could make someone feel good about themselves.
How does Addiction become Negative?
In life there will always be challenges. And moments of weakness. When an individual chooses a negative reaction to a stressful situation, rather than a positive one, negative addiction begins. A negative addiction is one that does not promote happiness, health, confidence, positivity or personal growth. Often it comes from an individual’s belief that they are not strong enough to make positive choices.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to make the negative choice. It’s easier to eat fast food instead of making a healthy meal at home. It’s takes less effort to spend time watching television, rather than go to the gym. It takes willpower to turn down a drink with colleagues or order grilled chicken instead of pasta. Because it’s so easy, the individual does it over and over, and the negative addiction is born.
Rationalizing Negative Behavior
Because an individual believes that they don’t have what it takes to start and stick with positive addictions, they rationalize their behavior. How many times have these words been said:
- I don’t have the time to work out;
- It’s too hard to cook at home after a long day at work;
- I’m not athletic enough for that.
Of course, not everyone can do everything. It’s important for individuals to know their strengths and weaknesses. That being said, sometimes it’s not about not being able to do a thing, but not knowing how to do it. Wanting to swim for exercise doesn’t mean swimming at the level of Michael Phelps. It does mean getting to the pool and swimming a few laps.
Turning the Negative to Positive
Wanting to turn the negative to positive is the first step towards building positive addictions. The second step is identifying the negative choices which have led to negative addictions. Once those have been addressed, then an individual can start making new decisions, immediately (not later) that will promote happiness, health, confidence, or whatever positive reinforcement they want.
Do It Now!
There is no time like the present. Start with something easy and doable today. Evaluate your choices. Want to be fitter? Take a walk today. It’s as easy as that. It doesn’t have to take too long or be too hard. Positive addictions can be created, and the time to create them is now.
Hired Power provides information and resources for addiction intervention and recovery. If you are struggling to kick a drug or substance use habit, call us. Let us help you create a solid foundation for lasting recovery. 1-800-910-9299