RT Cunningham

Exercising Self-Control and Getting Rid of Bad Habits

Some people would say there’s a fine line between addictions and habits. Some people would say there isn’t a difference (mostly health professionals) but I beg to differ. No pun intended.

Every habit can turn into an addiction or vice-versa. Not all habits are bad and I’m not sure all addictions are bad. It depends on the object or objects of either and it also depends on your definition of each term. Is eating an addiction? It could be and it’s definitely a habit. But it’s a good habit because without it, you wouldn’t be reading this.

Getting Rid of Bad Habits and Self-Control

Real addictions, like those that occur when abusing drugs, usually require a lot more to defeat (counseling or hospital assistance or both). Tobacco use isn’t an addiction, unless you call it a nicotine addiction (I wouldn’t). I stopped smoking in September of 2016 and all it required was some self-control.

I can’t say I quit. That means I’ll never light up again. Things happen. I stopped and got rid of a bad habit. I know it will never be a habit again.

It’s the same way with drinking alcoholic beverages. An alcoholic has an addiction, characterized by withdrawals when he or she can’t drink. I never reached that stage, even when I drank a lot. I recently stopped completely.

Over time, my tolerance for liquor had gone way up. I didn’t like it anymore because it turned into a habit, even if I wasn’t using it to get drunk. Again, I didn’t quit. That would mean I’ll never drink again and that would be a lie. I merely got rid of another bad habit.

Good Habits

Well, maybe not good but maybe not bad either. Like what I’m doing now. I sit in front of my computer every day, doing one thing or another. It’s somewhere in the middle.

Eating and sleeping are good habits as long as they’re not taken to extremes. Too much of anything can’t be good. Even exercise.

People who spend a lot of time exercising can be addicted to their own natural hormones (dopamine, endorphins, whatever). I’ve known more than one person over the years who fit that bill, looking for a runner’s high.

April 2, 2017

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