Healthy addictions? Tell me more!

In our society, we have a variety of lifestyle choices which can define each and every one of us in a unique way. Most of the choices we make are chosen to pleasure or benefit ourselves, many times not thoroughly seeking the final outcome of these choices. Many of our lifestyle choices often spark our interest in TV, Social media and advertising. Like smoking Tobacco, Alcohol consumption and Drug use, these pleasures may all lead to an addiction. Being addicted to the examples stated before is something that isn’t naturally needed for your body and regular use can be harmful to us. These are examples of addictions that are harmful to us, mostly associating the word “addiction” to negative and harmful things. With all of that being said and done, ever wondered if there are actually beneficial addictions that are healthy for you? Before we answer that question, let’s get an idea of what an addiction really is in the first.

So what is an addiction in the first place?

To keep it basic and simple, an addiction is an uncontrollable desire for certain things. An addiction doesn’t specifically mean to have an uncontrollable desire for smoking or drug use, it can also be an uncontrollable desire for gambling or even eating sweets! The constant or extensive use makes changes in our body, thus causing the brain to develop an adaptation to these uses. For example, the use of drugs triggers a release in the brain of an organic chemical called Dopamine. Dopamine plays a number of roles in our brain, some of them being responsible for our pleasure and reward emotions. Rehabilitation and therapy can often be a hard journey for those seeking help from a severe addiction and many ex-addicts can vouch for it. To get a glimpse of what an addiction really means and it’s terrible effects, read Chad Davis’s rehab story. 

After all that being said, are there really healthy addictions out there?

Yes! there are! Aside from all the bad addictions stated before, there are (surprisingly) some addictions that can benefit us in many ways. Exercise, mediating and even being very social are some of the many positive addictions that benefit our lifestyle. Every action or habit we take upon ourselves should be judged if it has a beneficial outcome. Positive actions like exercising and volunteering may trigger a chemical release of Endorphins and Dopamine, thus awarding the body with positive feedback on the benefits of being healthy and doing good. A known method of addiction rehabilitation is replacing negative addictions with healthy and positive once. It is believed that switching the addiction to a healthy one is easier than just getting rid on a negative one. With all of that being said, don’t be afraid to replace those 2 daily cigarettes or that nightly beer with something more self-beneficial. If you feel that you are developing a bad habit or an addiction, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any further action.