I am convinced that micro-addictions are the #1 enemy to wellness, so writing 2 articles to be written on the topic felt necessary! If you have not had a chance to read my first article on this topic, you can check it out here! To recap, having a well balanced life is crucial if you want to experience life at the highest frequency possible. In today's culture, it is so easy to become distracted and "addicted" to the noise of technology, social media, our busy work life, unhealthy foods, etc. As we begin to grow as a race, we need to become smarter and more conscious of our daily habits. We have the choice to either take control of our own lives, or allow what we created to take control of it for us.
Social media is just one of many micro-addictions that run our day, a few others would include: impulsive purchases of fast-food, the classic "just one more episode" statement after a great episode of Game of Thrones, excessive shower times (although I am convinced that singing in the shower is good for the soul, so sing your heart out), and many more. The list is endless, and everyone has their own list of micro-addictions! I split this article into two separate weeks because it is important to first recognize what our micro-addictions are before we can get rid of them. If you are able to realize what is holding you back from living a naturally high lifestyle, then let's talk about how to defeat those micro-addictions!
How do habits work?
I read an amazing book titled the "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg, and it has forever changed my outlook on habits. One of the major themes in the book (small spoiler) are the 3 stages of a habit: the trigger, the action, and the reward. For example, most people check their phone when they are in an awkward situation. The trigger is the feeling of being uncomfortable, which causes them to perform an action (checking the phone). The reward could be a sense of belonging whenever they see a text from a friend or a notification from Facebook. If you want to defeat your bad habits or micro-addictions, you must rewire your brain to perform a different action whenever you experience the trigger, and reward yourself for doing a good job. Instead of checking your phone in an awkward situation, force yourself to become more social by asking someone a fun fact about themselves. Reward yourself with something sweet, such as a piece of chocolate or a glass of champagne. The reward is by far the most important part!
Write them OUT
As with any goal in life, you must write it OUT. I say this so that you can make it official that you recognize the addiction and intend to eradicate it from your life. It is almost like a contract with yourself. Write down your micro-addictions, and what your new ACTION and REWARD will be after you experience the TRIGGER.
Recognize how much time being is wasted
I am a numbers person, so one of the first things that I realized was how much time I was was wasting from micro-addictions. We only have 168 hours in a week. 1/3 of that time is spent sleeping, which leaves us with 111 hours. 40 of those hours are typically spent at work, which leaves us with 71 hours. In 2015, Americans spent a little over 3 hours per day just commuting to work, which leaves us with 56 hours. On average, we spend 3 hours/day or 21 hours/week cooking and eating food, which leaves 35 hours. This gives us 5 hours (weekends included!) of extra time per day to catch up with friends/family, work out, watch TV, etc.
The micro-addiction that spurred me to write this article was my habit of checking social media right after waking up. I would spend 30-45 MINUTES checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, articles, and more before I even left my bed. For reference, this was about 3 hours per week WASTED from my life. Over time, this would add up to 156 hours per year WASTED. The worst part about this micro-addiction is that my day started out needing a sense of belonging from social media, as opposed to setting myself up for success throughout the rest of the day. You are most aware, creative, and mold-able within the first 30 minutes after waking up. To remedy this micro-addiction, I created an unshakable morning routine, which I am excited to share with you during next weeks article!