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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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Let It Go: Taming Soft Addictions

Do mindless activity and bad habits have a hold on you? Get the tow truck, you're in a rut.

Superficial Just Doesn't Satisfy continued...

In relationships -- whether you're married or otherwise -- you think you're relating to each other, but often you're just sharing soft addictions, Wright tells WebMD. "You think you had a great evening at home, but you weren't really connecting. That's why relationships don't go anywhere, why they burn out."

Friendships and social occasions can be stimulating and nurturing. But they can also be very superficial. "They can be mindless, gossipy, not-making-real-contact, nonnourishing events -- if there's no depth to conversations, if you're not genuine, if you're just saying expected lines, if you're talking about other people. You're not enriching your life."

She uses herself as an example: When she let go of one bad habit -- endlessly reading magazines and newspapers -- she substituted great literature, which was more rewarding. After that change, she found herself weeding out other soft addictions. She discovered that she related differently to people in her life.

"I began speaking more deeply from my heart about my feelings," Wright tells WebMD. "I took more walks in the park, listened to great music, meditated, started bringing in flowers. The other things [her soft addictions] weren't attractive to me any more."

"Soft addictions are webs, the fabric of your lifestyle," she explains. "When you're overworking, you're addicted to gourmet coffee, then you're all jittery, biting nails, stressful, calming down in front of the tube, then you're surfing the Internet, staying up too late, and you're tired the next day. But people don't always realize the connection."

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