Fitness, health and fitness, healthy living, Uncategorized

A Healthy Addiction

Addiction is a major problem in the world today. For many of us, it isn’t some out there horror we’ll never have to deal with – instead it is a very real struggle, whether for us personally or someone we hold dear. And I’m not just talking about the big addictions everyone knows about (drugs, sex, alcohol, smoking, etc.), addiction can take the form of anything that controls your life more than you control it (social media, anyone?). Some addictions cause tangible, physical problems almost immediately (as in the case of substance abuse), while others manifest themselves in more subtle, insidious ways, like when social media keeps you from enjoying a vacation or spending time with your family. By nature, an addiction isn’t usually something you can just get rid of immediately on your own, at least not without a lot of work and pain.

For some people, addiction is an escape – a place to run when life gets tough. Sometimes they have an abusive background or have been through some other awful circumstance that created an emptiness and pain inside of them, and addiction serves as a temporary fix. For others, their personality, habits, and lifestyle predispose them to addictive tendencies. Some people are more “obsessive,” if you will, by nature, so addiction is something they easily fall into. There are a lot of reasons and circumstances that cause a person to fall into addiction, those are just a few.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying any of the above is an excuse for addiction. Living a self-destructive lifestyle is ultimately one’s own choice, and not something I would wish on anyone. There is help available, please talk to your healthcare professional to learn about options if you or a loved one are caught in addiction.

 

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I personally have addictive tendencies and I’m kind of an obsessive person in general. When I find something I like – whether it’s a song, movie, book, hobby, etc. – I’m “stuck on it,” so to speak, for a very long time. Like I will literally play the same song for days on end if the lyrics hit home or if I like how it sounds. I’m grateful that I have found several healthy alternatives to addiction, because I’m sure I could easily get trapped in the self destructive ones if I’m not careful. Music is one of those healthy alternatives, and the other is fitness (big surprise, right?). Fitness has become a huge part of my life because it provides all the stuff that makes unhealthy addictions attractive, but with lasting, beneficial results. Think I’m crazy? Keep reading.

 

Endorphins – One obvious reason substance abuse is so common is that it gives you a high. It makes you feel good, for a short while anyway. Exercise can provide a similar, healthier alternative to that feeling because it releases the “feel good” hormones in the brain. Cardiovascular exercise is especially good for this, although I can attest that strength training causes an equally addicting feeling. There is nothing like that blissful exhaustion after a heavy lifting workout when your endorphins are being released at an all-time high.

An escape – Never underestimate the power of a good workout to relieve stress and get your mind off your problems. Once fitness becomes a part of your lifestyle and you start seeing results, your workout space (whether at home or the gym) will become that one place you can go to let go of your cares, work out your anger, and calm your nerves.

Results – There is nothing more addicting than smashing your goals. Don’t knock it until you’ve experienced it. Once you start seeing results, there is no going back. Seriously. If there is one thing that can get you hooked on exercise, it’s crushing your lifting pr or running pr or whatever-you-do pr, over and over again. Once you find out that there is really no limit to what your body can accomplish as long as you set your mind to it, you won’t want to quit. You’ll be addicted for life, or you should be.

 

Exercise can be more than just something you dread doing a few times a week because it’s good for you. It can become a permanent part of your lifestyle that benefits your mind and body. And for those of you who need an outlet, an escape, or an obsession, it can be your healthy addiction.

4 thoughts on “A Healthy Addiction”

  1. Elizabeth,
    This was a good topic and very good way to put into perspective healthy addictions and unhealthy ones. I am happy you have the healthier ones! lol Although if you had unhealthy ones, well.. that is life, some do and as long as they seek help for it, who am I to make them feel belittled (not saying I wouldn’t judge) LOL. I love playing the same song over and over again! I suppose we have that in common when we are into a certain song or it brings meaning. I have an unhealthy addiction possibly (well maybe more so a mental illness) depending on who we ask and what people consider an illness . I don’t think of it as an illness, but rather an obsession possibly. Something I have talked about in my YouTube channel a small bit but something I will blog about down the line. All-in-all awesome blog post, one of my favorites from you!

    Shay-lon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Shay-lon! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And that’s cool that we both obsess over the same song over and over lol, nice to know I’m not the only one 🙂

      I look forward to hearing about and supporting you through your particular struggle/obsession/illness. It’s hard to open up about stuff like that in a public blog or YouTube channel so kudos to you whenever you decide to talk about it more. I’m also going to try to catch up on your posts/videos as soon as I can, I’ve been really busy with adjusting to my new work schedule and everything so I’ve had minimal time for blogging or staying up to date on the people I follow.

      Thanks again for your support! ❤
      Elizabeth

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elizabeth,
        You’re welcome!
        No worries about playing catch up, I had knew beforehand you would need some time to settle into the new job and everything, so no pressure from me. Honestly.

        Liked by 1 person

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