Eliminating habits and the backfire effect

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Habits are a big part of our lives. We all have them. The truth about them is; they serve no purpose for us. We are blinded by the small initial satisfaction we get when we succumb to their desires. We get let down after this initial satisfaction when we shame ourselves for doing it in the first place. We later fall prisoner to them because they eventually dwindle our lives down to nothing. The reality is; we know our addictions are there, but we don’t do anything to get rid of them because they serve a small amount of comfort (for a split second).

Think about all the various but common habits – smoking cigarettes, shopping, eating sugar, scrolling our news feeds, etc., they all serve the exact same feelings. Habits are addictions. They’re all the same in the realm of the amount of destruction they do to our lives. No one addiction is superior. They’re all the same.

I often write about habits and their destructive nature because I’ve gone into great depths to seek their reasoning in our lives. I’ve seen highly addicted people surpass their addictions and become true wholesome great people. It is possible to eliminate any given habit, no matter what the circumstance. Now that we’ve discussed the nature of habits and their role in our lives I want to share my thoughts on the opposite side of the equation – eliminating them.

Obviously, eliminating any given habit will increase your happiness. There are some backfires however when overcoming one. For example; often times people replace a habit when they get rid of one. A smoker might eat food during their regular scheduled smoke break at work (rather than smoke cigarettes). This is merely to replace the comfort the smoker once received and looked forward to. I gave up smoking cigarettes but I became glued to my phone. I needed something to replace my comfort of smoking, so I latched onto my phone. Now I can’t put it down. This has caused an ever bigger issue with my personal life compared to smoking (without mentioning the obvious health effects of smoking) because now I spend less quality time with my daughters at home – I’m glued to my phone. My phone addiction has now surpassed where my smoking addiction ever was.

I want to send an important message about eliminating habits and the after-effects when you do so, like the one mentioned. Be aware that you may replace the habit with another one. It’s our bodies way of defending the discomfort of not being addicted anymore. A friend of mine was a heavy drug and alcohol user. He replaced his addiction of chugging beers with that of chugging triple-triple coffee’s. He drinks at least six a day. Obviously, coffee is a healthier addiction (you would think), but recently he was diagnosed with stage two diabetes.

Our addiction/habits are self-defeating prophecies. They serve no purpose for us, yet we continuously become blinded by their deceit. Don’t let them ruin your life anymore. Decide to eliminate them for good. But, remember the backfire affect.

I’m going to make a vow to myself right now – to not visit social media for the next 48 hours. I believe I’ll realize how damaging my phone addiction was. I also believe I’ll get to enjoy my family more. Any posts on my social media for the next 48 hours should only be the ones I have scheduled to post.

I’ll see you in 49 hours 😉


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