Recognizing Subtle Addictions

When we think of the word addiction we usually think of the obvious ones like food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, TV, spending, work, sex, etc., but many people are not aware of the more subtle addictions. These addictions are often so covert and pervasive that they are invisible to us. Yet these subtle addictions may have a negative impact on us, sabotaging our professional and/or personal relationships as well as our lives on a daily basis. Many people are aware of the fact that addictions are used to avoid pain, and in a way to medicate our feelings in order to function in a manner that is within our comfort level. The reason we do this is because it is easier to make the pain go away than it is to deal with the negative feelings or issues at hand. This is not the way your life was intended to be! You can learn to live a more fulfilling life, naturally, through behavior modification.

You might want to honestly look inside and see what some of your covert addictions are. Are you addicted to blaming others for your unhappy feelings? Are you addicted to a relationship that has run its course but you are still in it? Do you use anger or tears, attempting to make others responsible for you? Are you addicted to illness as a way to avoid personal responsibility for yourself? Are you more focused on trying to control the way others feel about you than you are in taking care of your own feelings? How much of your time is spent daydreaming about what you want to say to others or how you wish life was instead of actually being accountable for yourself? How often do you explain and defend yourself rather than being open to learning? How often do you get angry or withdraw to avoid dealing with your present circumstances? Are you doing things that are habitual with your body and or emotions that are not allowing you to be healthy? Is your thinking addictive? Do you have repetitive thought patterns?

To understand if you have an addiction, you need to pay attention to your thought processes which create your behavioral patterns on a daily basis, in order to see if they are motivated by emotions in spite of adverse consequences. When logic is replaced with anger (with or without justification), the result is the loss of one's well being. Any behavior that is outside of being accountable for your actions, taking care of yourself, and being open to learning about yourself and others, is addictive in nature. All addictive behaviors are attempts to control and suppress rather than learn, governing all that we do. If you are always defending, explaining, resisting, and withdrawing from decisions and situations, then all of your actions are attempts of getting approval and/or avoiding pain. Take a look at whether you react or respond to others. When we respond we are taking responsibility for our situations instead of reacting with emotional repetitive thought patterns that do not serve us.

In order to HEAL you have to FEEL and become aware of your addictions, which is the beginning of learning to release them from your life. Embrace your life the way it was meant to be and deal with your addictions no matter how pervasive they have been. You can achieve your full potential and live a healthy, loving life, without fear when you are able to release all that has been negatively controlling your life and the lives of others that are in it. Changing your thoughts - changes your life. To quote one of my favorite authors, James Allen, "Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you perceive an ideal and strive to reach it."

Denise Dema is a Business and Life Management Coach who has over 20 years experience empowering individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners to attain self-defined success in their professional & personal lives. To learn more about the author and her practice please visit

Give yourself a gift. Realize your full potential. Contact Denise Dema now.