The first thing that comes to mind when any one mentions unhealthy habits is addictions and honestly it is a big problem. The factors that are responsible for addictions are social acceptance, easy availability, glamorized by celebrities and also considered to be ‘cool’. Mostly youth fall prey to addictions and by the time they want to give it up the addictions they have grown deep roots within their psyche.

It isn’t as if they do not know that it is harmful to health and they are also a bit ashamed of their weakness.All the same they find it difficult to give up. I must confess that I too smoked as if there was no tomorrow and I did love my drink (a lot). It’s been years now that I am out of these habits. All I can share are a few tricks that worked.

  • Stop justifying the habit even to yourself, saying that you do it because you have tensions, your job is demanding and so many other excuses that one uses.

               Whatever you justify; you have condemned yourself to suffer.

  • Don’t blame others, friends, circumstances, demands of the job, entertaining clients, travelling, loneliness

                 No one else is going to share the disease and pain with you

  • Don’t give examples of so many people who get away with it

    There are bold soldiers and there are old soldiers; there are no bold old soldiers

  • Do not be under the impression that it won’t happen to you; I am okay up till now

              It is like saying I have not died even once in 58 years so I won’t die 

  • ‘Just this once…’ has been the main chink in the armour the main sabotage of most de-addiction resolutions and programs

                            Nature often forgives but never forgets

There are many other tricks but they work only if

  • You love yourself enough
  • You feel that you can make a difference to anyone or any cause
  • You have something to live for

If what you live for doesn’t matter to you, what you die of matters even lesser. This is the only argument that worked for me. The day I found something to live for, I could give up my habits quite easily. Finally I knew I had reached when I heard myself say, honestly “No I do not smoke or drink”.

When I got over my obvious addictions I realised that I have so many other more serious addictions or habits. The addictionsI gave up would havedecided ‘what I would die of’ but at least I would enjoy them as long as I was alive. These other habits are much worse; they directly affect ‘how I live’. They affect my quality of life.These habits are anger, irritation, impatience, greed, guilt, jealousy, negativity, pessimism and a massive ego. They decide whether I am happy/sad, pessimistic/optimistic, scared/confident and secure/insecure. They dictate whether I live in scarcity/abundance, contented/complaining, taking/giving and finally whether I am an asset or a liability to the world.

Addressing these addictions is far more important, urgent, more significant and definitely more difficult. Giving up these habits is more difficult because suffering is exalted in religion, philosophy and culture. It is considered as the first sign of spirituality. Deprivation, frugal living, abstinence, sacrifice and immolation are touted as signs of religiosity. Self-righteous anger is a sign of honesty and purity, fault-finding a sign of sophistication and dissatisfaction with life a sign of having high standards. How does one fight these addictions or habits that are being sold as virtues?…..contd

Leave a comment