Tag Archives | addiction

The Happiness Addiction

In recent times, we’ve seen so many drug and alcohol binges and deaths among the rich and famous, it’s fair to ask what’s going on.

In the wake of the deaths of Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and billionaire Eva Rausing come the ghostly photos of celebrity Macaulay Culkin — predicted to have only months to live — and photos of the sexy actress Brigitte Nielsen, former wife of Sly Stallone, lying like a bag lady, drunk in a park.

We can comprehend that drug problems plague the Jane and John Does of this world, but when we see people who we’d deem as having magnificent, blessed lives, beyond and above anything we could imagine — amazing bodies, careers, money, going to fabulous resorts and parties and not having to worry about the drudgery of housework and mortgages — it does beg the question about the nature of addiction. Out of the spotlight, rates of addiction are rising, with new temptations every day through the growing digital world: computer games, on-line porn and gambling, social networking. Continue Reading →


Thinking Positive

Neuroscientists have discovered that if you want to break a  habit, stop trying to.

AN interesting thing happened recently. After two years of being over my desired body weight, I suddenly lost the weight very quickly. Of course, as the weight started falling off, I went to the doctor, who ordered all the mandatory tests. But I’m happily healthy.

So what happened? It’s a psychological phenomenon. There’s an old adage which is one of my favourites: ‘‘What we resist persists.’’ I had decided to go on a diet and a health kick. Which — as those who diet know — just puts on more weight. You are always going to ‘‘start tomorrow’’, which gives full licence to eat a lot today; and tomorrow never comes. And if it does then the feeling of deprivation hits so hard, you binge-eat. You ‘‘forget’’ to exercise because it’s hard carrying all that weight.

The attempted diet lasted two years. But then I gave it up.

So here’s what happened. I changed my goal. By going for something far bigger and more positive than losing weight, I stopped focusing and lost interest in the whole thing — thus not needing to eat to placate myself.

Let me explain. We develop an obsession when are trying to give something up. It becomes the whole focus of our being, making us feel powerless and out of control. Continue Reading →