You will find very few who disagree that most addictions are unhealthy and often create chaos in your life in one way or another. Although some healthy addictions can prove to be a positive thing in your life, such as exercising, eating nutritionally good foods, reading, self-development, and a few others, anything taken to the extreme can be harmful to living a balanced life. The fine line always exists. Nonetheless, extremely dangerous addictions are easily notable. The more notable addictions like tobacco, alcoholism, drugs, and sex are quickly identified and recognized by outsiders and the person struggling with them. There is nothing subtle about these addictions, and they are dangerous. However, were you aware that many subtle addictions are equally harmful to your ability to thrive in life in general? These addictions may not carry the same stigma, notoriety, and catastrophic effects as tobacco, drugs, alcohol, or sex. Still, they can be damaging because they are subtle, operate underneath the surface, and most people don't even know that they have an addiction. Therefore, you'll never see the need for help or self-correction. By the way, what's the simplest way to know if you're addicted to something? You can't stop doing it, or you struggle severely to do so. You're constantly, whether consciously or subconsciously, looking for ways to "get your fix." For the sake of brevity, I'll highlight four in this article. However, there certainly are more than just these.


With the help of social media, this subtle addiction has taken front and center. I don't think anyone would disagree with this. Those who struggle with Recognition Addiction NEED to have others LIKE or VIEW their posts which are 99% about them. There is nothing wrong with posting or sharing important information when appropriate, but a constant barrage of personal pictures and stories with no real purpose other than for recognition is a subtle addiction. Sadly, these individuals have attributed self-worth and personal value based on the number of Likes and Views they get on their platforms. The need to be Liked or Viewed daily is certainly harmful because it can create a false identity and empty validation.


Ever meet someone who complains all the time? They complain about this, that, the other, and the fourth! They even complain about having nothing to complain about. These Complaint Addicts do not feel right unless they are finding something wrong in every situation. It starts early in the morning and usually runs through the course of the day to some extent or another. For them, it's perfectly normal to find the negative in something. They would suffer from complaint withdrawal symptoms if you were to ask them to look at the bright side of things. This subtle addiction becomes toxic to not only their joy, creativity, and peace of mind but to those around them as well.


Although an apparent addiction to everyone else, this subtle addiction is never realized or acknowledged by the person struggling with it. They don't even see it as a problem. To them, spending is as natural as breathing, and when they don't spend, they somehow feel as if their day was not complete. This subtle addiction rarely allows you to return home without something that you just had to purchase. For this person, the size of the purchase is irrelevant because it's simply the act of buying something that satisfies their need to spend.


With all of the new apps, sites, tech gadgets available today, not to mention the 300,000 channels available to choose from, it's easy to see why anyone can become addicted to constant cerebral stimulation. These individuals cannot function well unless they are plugged in to something that provides constant stimulation of the senses. The idea of just sitting around doing very little or something less stimulating freaks them out. They go into shock if you remove any electronic device from them for any amount of time.

There is something to be said about balanced living and how it can bring forth more joy, peace, and productivity. When the things you enjoy become an obsession, you must realize that you will find yourself struggling to truly thrive unless handled.

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