We all have a drug of our choice. A drug with scientifically proven health benefits, albeit it enables us to self-sabotage when we no longer know the optimum threshold. And, we all need a customised de-addiction therapy.
The primary question in addiction is not “What” but “Why”.
The question is not “What are we addicted to?” The question remains what are we trying to avoid, “What are we running away from?”
Here are five pretty healthy habits that could potentially allure us into believing that we are making progress, when we reallly are just distracting ourselves from taking action:
- Workout/Walks: Working out every day or going for daily walks is all a very healthy and much-needed habit. However, what when we get so into the feel-good factor of finally nurturing one habit that is so good for our health that we start overdoing it and making it a compulsion at the cost of everything else? For example, maybe going for a walk helps us think better. But then we keep extending those hours of walking outside only to get so lost in the idea that is formed in our minds that by the time we come back and actually need to get started on doing the work, we get completely tired out and sleep it off without being able to do anything productive.
- Journaling: This is another mindful habit that I absolutely swear by and the habit of journaling has been a huge saviour for me in more ways than one. But I still got to say that, journaling can get you in this comforting self-assuring zone of being so aware of the present situation in your life and about your thoughts, your strengths, weaknesses, challenges, all of it that you might just want to keep at it – forgetting that you also got to shut the diary and get things done, that you got to take action on this treasured awareness now.
- Organising/Planning: There is a calming effect in the very act of organising your life planning your finances tracking down your entire to-do list and dividing up your time into when what needs to be done. And getting carried away with this feeling could eventually get you into a zone where you don’t want to push through to the feeling of accomplishment joy satisfaction of having completed the tasks because while you are planning and organising you have in some way already imagined the things being done. So while this habit is crucial to maintaining balance in life and being productive in all aspects of our lives, it works only if we are good at switching from this planning phase to the action mode soon enough.
- Being Well-Informed: It is a great quality to be well-informed in life about a lot of things. It is an added advantage if we can be a generalist as well as a specialist but at one point in time we might tend to get stuck in the analysis paralysis phase in this state of continuously gathering information and learning more but not really doing anything with all that knowledge. So yes, it is good to know. But it is meaningful to create something socially beneficial with all the knowledge and realization and experience that we do manage to gather. That is probably the one way to make sense of what we learn, to put to some good use all the time and effort and brain space we have put into taking in all this varied information.
- Good Intent: Being a good person is only so good when we do not find the courage to take a stand against what’s unfair and unjust in the world. Maybe the entire world would be too much for us to handle and that may be an impractical thought. But at least in our small world, we got to not only have good intentions and better thoughts. We also need to actually live by these principles and genuinely take a stand for what we believe in. Nevertheless, We do not necessarily need to turn outrageously insensitive to anyone else’s sentiments or thoughts. We can be completely respectful in the whole process and yet stay firm in our own belief system, provided of course that we are not being irrational or inconsiderate or harmful or hurtful in any way.
The truth is we all have our own set mechanisms to avoid reality, to find ways and means to stay away from actually dealing with a difficult situation and do something about it, to take the slightest smallest possible action about changing the status quo that is bothering us so. It may even be an otherwise super healthy habit but there comes a time when that turns against us in terms of actually doing what needs to be done, in terms of doing what we really ought to be doing to improve the situation causing us stress.
To put it in a reminder-to-self question: So, what’s your drug? Is your dreamy productive life a wish still, or are you living it already?