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Positive Addiction: Are You Addicted Yet?

Updated on August 18, 2013
Example Of A Negative Addiction
Example Of A Negative Addiction | Source

When you think positive addiction, you probably just hear the word 'addiction', which has a very negative tone to it.

I have had many negative addictions in my life, as I'm sure many of you have. Negative addictions can be:

  • Smoking
  • Gambling
  • Drugs
  • Overeating
  • Eating too little
  • Not exercising enough
  • Dating bad boys or girls

But they can also be other things such as living a life with constant stress, worry, and anxiety.

A negative addiction is something that has adverse consequences on your life.

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What Is A Positive Addiction?

Meditation is an example of a positive addiction
Meditation is an example of a positive addiction | Source

When you have a positive addiction, it is the opposite of a negative addiction. Makes sense, right?

I'm not talking about being addicted to something where it affects your life negatively, even if it seems positive, because that would still make it a negative addiction. For instance, if you are addicted to eating broccoli, and it impacts your life negatively in some way, then broccoli would be a negative addiction.

A positive addiction could be anything that improves your life and makes you stronger, more confident, happier, or healthier. For instance, yoga, meditation, visiting with good friends, personal growth, etc...

I really started to implement positive addictions into my life after reading the Philosophers Note on 'Positive Addiction By William Glasser'.

I happened to read this at a time that I was incorporating a new diet (as in a new way of healthy eating) into my life. I was grumpy that day in regards to the diet, and I was starting to question whether I was going to be able to handle a change in a diet or not. After reading the note, I spent the rest of the day (and every day since) addicted to my new, healthier lifestyle. And, it has affected many other areas of my life, such as my motivation and relationships.

I personally think of a positive addiction as a change in habits. Instead of sitting on the couch (negative addiction), you start exercising every once in a while (positive addiction).

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3 Ways A Positive Addiction Can Impact Your Life

1. It Can Keep You Motivated To Achieve Your Goals

A positive addiction, such as finishing your goals for the day, can keep you motivated, which will ultimately help you achieve your goals.

It is not enough to 'know' that you 'should' finish your goals for the day. You have to become addicted to the high you get when you finish off your day knowing that you have achieved what you wanted to achieve. That high will motivate you to do it again and again.

2. You Benefit Other People

When you do positive things, you affect not only yourself, but the people around you as well. Your mood, attitude, and habits directly influence people you come into contact with throughout your day, both intimately and non-intimately.

Also, when you become aware of what makes you happy, you start to see that making other people happy is a very direct route to feeling good yourself. This causes you to be more respectful of other people and do things for them that you might not otherwise do.

In short, because your energy is always influencing others in some way, having a positive addiction that makes your life better will help you influence other people in a positive way.

3. Reduce Stress

When you do things that are good for you, stress shrinks away and is replaced by confidence. For instance, when I stopped viewing my new lifestyle as a hard way of life, and accepted it is a positive addiction that would benefit my life, my stress towards the lifestyle disappeared.

Of course, that stress affected other things in my life negatively, such as my writing and motivation, which in turn made me more stressed out. Therefore, the vicious cycle of stress was softened just by resolving one stressful issue in my life.

Give Positive Addiction A Try

Do Things That Make You Feel Good! And Do Them Often!
Do Things That Make You Feel Good! And Do Them Often! | Source

Even if you are unsure about it, because of the stigma 'addiction' brings, why not give it a try. Find something small that you think would make you feel good, such as sitting for 15 minutes in nature every day or talking to your partner about your life and connection on a deeper level.

How To Become Addicted

Remember, I'm really just talking about adding good habits into your life that you do consistently every day or close to that. Therefore, develop your addiction like you would a habit!

1. Commit To It: Write down the positive addiction you want to develop and commit to it on paper or on a text file. Write it down so that you can see your commitment to your goal of developing this addiction, and your mind will automatically move it up on the 'importance' scale.

2. Do It Every Day: You have to train yourself to do your new addiction every day. It has to become a part of your life like brushing your teeth or watching TV before bed. Even if you don't feel like doing it, make sure you do it at least once a day for the first 2 months. It can take an average of 66 days to form a new habit [Source], so don't get discouraged if it doesn't stick within the first few weeks.

3. Be Strong Minded: Often times the things that are going to benefit our lives the most are the hardest things to do! It seems crazy, but it's true. For instance, I would have no problem developing a habit of eating a bag of chips every day, but forcing myself to stop eating when I am full can seem like a chore!

You have to be able to tell yourself that this new positive addiction is for the best, and then force your body to follow suit. It takes a strong minded person, but it is that kind of person that will ultimately experience the life they want to experience and stop doing things that affect their life negatively.


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    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 2 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @serenityjmiller - That's an awesome reminder for me today. Thank for sharing!

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 2 years ago from Brookings, SD

      Love this. In a past life, I pretty much became addicted to anything I put my mind to... drugs, alcohol, relationships, career success, education goals... I discovered my first "positive addiction" in 12-step recovery, when I found out faith is the only substance that never disappoints in excess. Thanks for sharing!

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @denise - I'm the same. It feels much better to be able to do the things I know bring me joy.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks Janet.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This is a great change of perspective! I know that I have a number of "positive addictions" that I have developed over the years with my self-improvement programs. Now, they just seem to be a normal part of my day. It is not wonder that when I get off schedule and don't do them, either because there is a crisis in my life or I'm travelling, I really feel the adverse affects. Once I get back to my regular routine of doing positive things, I feel much better.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      We are not used to see addiction as something positive but your hub has taught a new perspective. A great and meaningful hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Positive addiction! Like you suggested, the word addiction may still pull us toward a negative feeling, but we can try. Thanks for sharing this perspective.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Norns - :) That's something I would not have thought of, but I can totally see how that would keep your motivated.

    • NornsMercy profile image

      Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      How cool! I think I'm addicted to looking at fitness pictures and quotes, lol. They help keep me motivated and have changed my life! :)

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for the reply, Relationshipc.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @jan - I see what you are saying. Personally, I just think they are positive habits, and anyone who goes forward in life, looks for success, and find success has to develop positive habits/addictions.

      The more you work you on your life, the more you choose positive things in your life and avoid the negative. I can't do many negative things to my body or mind anymore, because I'm am fully aware of what a positive mindset and positive actions can do for my life.

      Therefore, I think if someone who has an addictive personality starts to really apply positive habits to their life, and become conscious about what those bad addictions really did to their life, they can certainly become addicted to self-growth, more happiness, better health, and more awareness.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      This is an interesting concept, Relationshpc. I found myself as I read going back and forth about application when I think of the struggles of recovering addicts with the addictive process and addictive personality. I think this may work great for someone who has not had problems with negative addictions. I'm not an addictions expert but I'm assuming that a positive addiction might flip the switch to the negative addiction. Voted up and interesting.