- Jessica Harris
I differentiate my enjoyment of a yummy cocktail as a bad habit not an addiction.
How can you tell the difference? That isn't always easy to answer and the lines are often blurred.
According to Journey Pure at the River, "When the brain believes a harmful substance is beneficial, habits become addictions. This is due to a physiological connection. The brain rewires the “bad” habit as useful and vital to the user in certain circumstances. Drinking a glass of wine or alcohol after a rough day at work, when done only occasionally and in moderation, may be a harmless habit. When it becomes a daily necessity and when one glass becomes multiple glasses, or if there is additional stress or anxiety when unable to obtain a drink of alcohol, then the habit has become an addiction." Journey Pure at the River has a really awesome infographic that makes distinguishing a habit from an addiction really clear. Click on the thumbnail to check out the whole graphic.
So what exactly is a bad habit?
Bad habits are repetitive negative behavior patterns that take up space in your life. Many people find bad habits annoying, repulsive or something that should be avoided. They can negatively affect your health and wellness and can keep you from being your personal best. I should probably note that what I think is a bad habit might not be what you think is a bad habit. That is all connected to one's personal paradigm. I can think of many things our society labels as bad habits... tardiness, excessive cell phone use, chewing with mouth open, nail biting, over eating, video games, binge watching tv, smoking, texting while driving, procrastination, social media, spending money, cracking knuckles, playing the lottery, pornography, gambling, speeding, bad hygiene, gossiping, bragging, hoarding, abuse and more... Seriously, this list could keep going.
The good news is that bad habits can typically can be stopped with motivation and will power! The bad news is when a negative habit is gone, there is usually an absence. That is why it is so important to replace bad habits with good ones (and not another bad one) to help fill the gap.
I have noticed I am buying a few more monster energy drinks lately, I have been biting my nails again, and I stopped washing and taking care of my face at night. While these are not great habits, I think I will cut myself some slack right now because they are fairly harmless. On the flip side, I have also noticed that I am being more proactive these days and that is a good habit! If I could just replace a drinking habit with an exercise habit that would be awesome- really awesome! I'll keep praying for that one!