Sometimes the pressure of the holiday season creates worry and anxiety about a multitude of issues. “Will I have enough money to buy my daughter all the gifts she wants from ‘Santa’?” “I wish this year my husband and I could buy each other gifts for once.” “How will I find time to have Thanksgiving at my house this year?” “Why did I over commit, again?” Then January comes and some of us are financially struggling or have broken boundaries with family members because of the season.
Often times anxiety creates feelings of vulnerability and helplessness which trigger additive behaviors. An addictive behavior is a way to displace very strong emotions that are hard to deal with. We have often been taught that if we can remain “busy” and “distracted” that we can avoid the addiction. The truth is, we can only avoid an addiction for so long. A 1, 5, 10, or 20 year addiction with eating, shopping, drinking, drugs, or self-sabotage cannot be cured in 2 days by keeping yourself occupied.
This season, and moving forward, the trick to ridding of a bad habit or addiction is to become more self-aware. Before you binge eat or take a sip of that alcohol, ask yourself what events had just led up to the craving. Sometimes, keeping yourself distracted, means you are taking on more and more, creating more anxiety which may in fact be the problem that is driving you toward your addiction. The key to most anything in life is to be self-aware and in tune with your body and mind.
This week’s challenge is to examine emotional issues that come before your desires to give in to an addiction so that you can find ways to manage these emotions before the cravings or strong desires emerge.