A Life in Balance
"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony." —Thomas Merton on Balance
If you are frequently stressed, bored, depressed or fantasising about how great things will be in the future when you lose the weight, meet the right person, get the new job, etc., you are not living your life right now this moment. Being disconnected from life often results in self-defeating behaviors and is a signal that your life could use more balance. Lifestyle balance is about waking up to the life you are leading and connecting to what really matters.
What Is Addiction?
Anyone can develop dependency problems, so what happens when you just can't stop youself?
We all need a buzz in our life. It can help deal with anything from stress to boredom. Whatever turns us on, everyone feels the desire sometimes to indulge themselves and take a break from reality. Anything from sex to shopping, gaming to gambling, drink or drugs.
But you can have too much of a good thing and sadly, many don't realise this until it's too late to quit. By then, the buzz has become a way of life: an addiction.
An addiction is a compulsion to use a substance or persist with a certain behaviour in order to feel good or to avoid feeling bad. It can dominate your mind, and keep you coming back for more, while some habits can also create a constant craving in your body. An addiction is different for everyone, depending on your vice and the kind of person you are.
This is a dependency that develops through repeated use of a drug, which changes body chemistry, e.g.alcohol, heroin and tranquillisers. It means your body develops a hunger for the drug, which you have to keep feeding.
This is a dependency that develops through repeatedly behaving in a certain way until you feel you can't manage without it. Your mind can get hooked on almost any activity that changes your mood. Mental cravings can also play a part in physically addictive drug habits. Drugs associated with psychological addiction include amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy.
The addict in you:
Anyone can develop dependency problems. There can be many complex reasons, but certain factors may mean some people are more likely to get hooked than others.
- Where you're from: Growing up with an addict in the family can influence your life. Some react against it. Others fall into similar habits, though not necessarily the same addiction;
- Who you're with: If your environment leaves you bored or stressed it can make you want to find a way to forget it all. You might also be persuaded because everyone else is at it;
- Where you're at: Many addicts lack confidence or self-esteem, so check out the way you cope with life. Ask if you face up to challenges, or look for ways to hide.
What are the signs?
Addiction doesn't happen overnight. It takes time to face the fact you may have lost control.
Think of your number one vice, be it drinking or surfing the net, then ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it an important part of your life?
- Do you spend much of the day thinking about it or doing it?
- Do you indulge to change the way you're feeling?
- Have you ever done it in secret?
- Does the prospect of quitting unsettle you?
- Do you react badly when people suggest it's a problem?
If you've answered yes to any of the above, perhaps it's time you asked yourself whether you control your habit, or whether it controls you?
What about addictions in others?
Sometimes it can become apparent that someone close to you has developed a habit they can't break. Their behaviour may change, often adopting a particular pattern as the addiction assumes importance in their life.Often, however, an addict will take great steps to hide their habit from others.
- Even if you know someone has an addiction problem, you can't control their habit or stop them unless they want your help;
- An addict has to recognise they have a problem before you can take steps to get them over it;
- Until then, all you can do is make them aware that you're prepared to offer your support when they're ready.
This website has been designed with the aim to raise awareness around addictive behaviour and encourage people to consider change. Addictions stop us from reaching our full potential and keep us trapped in an endless cycle of shame and remorse.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information or assistance.