One of my passions is understanding human behavior. I spend lots of time studying it. The more I understand it, the more I get to enjoy my life and understand others. Studying human behavior has given me the opportunity to help many people.
Conscious and unconscious addiction
Of course, addictions are part of human behavior, and many of us practice conscious or unconscious addictions. For example, many alcoholics think they have control over alcohol. If they are not heavy drinkers, they think they can drop the addiction at any time. However, if they could see that alcohol has destroyed parts of their life, they could see that alcohol has always had control of their life.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Other people are conscious that they are addicted to something, but they enjoy it so much that they don’t do anything to stop it until, once again, the addiction gets a powerful hold on their life.
Not only substances…
Many individuals think that they can be addicted only to a substance, but that isn’t true. You can also be addicted to behaviors, such as shopping, playing video games, watching TV, sex, gambling, working, exercise, etc.
This doesn’t mean that the behavior is negative; it means that the person has become so dependent on the behavior, that she or he can’t function without it and the behavior can have negative effects on his or her life.
So, is food a drug too? The answer is yes, people can also be addicted to food. They may eat so much that it causes negative effects, such as heart problems or obesity.
In search of pleasure and relief
The question now is why people become addicted to substances or behaviors. Aside from liking the substance or behavior, we search for pleasure or relief, and we search for these gratifications when we are in pain or under pressure. In other words, we become addicted to something when we are stressed and don’t know how to deal with it.
What is stress?
Many people hear the term, but they don’t understand it. Stress is nothing more than worries: present worries, future worries or worries from the past that persist.
Some examples are uncertainty about being able to pay bills, being afraid of losing a loved one or being haunted by a past sexual assault. People don’t like to deal with their thoughts and it is easy to forget them when they practice relief behaviors, instead of approaching the real issue. Anyway, stress itself deserves its own article.
Seeking comfort in food
As mentioned, people can become addicted to food. Some of us keep our stomach busy to take our mind off of our stress. This is one of the reasons why people feel guilty when they find out they have overeaten or eaten the wrong foods.
The real deal in this case is not overeating or eating the wrong foods. It is understanding that certain foods have become “comfort” foods and, until the person admits that and understands it, they will never stop overeating or eating the wrong foods.
Facing your addiction
I have discovered that in reality we all are recovering from some kind of addiction. There is nothing wrong with having an addiction; the problem becomes when we don’t accept it and approach it. Just like an alcoholic, we have to learn many steps to stop the addiction. Understanding what makes you stressed, why you feel this way and how to approach it is the solution to addiction.
To read more about Sandro Torres, visit his Expert Profile.