Developing habits and addictions

by Psychology0 comments

Anthony, 34 years old:


I’ve been addicted to smoking for over 10 years. Now I smoke about a pack a day, but I used to smoke a lot less. I know it’s harmful to me. Unfortunately, I can’t deal with this drug. I’ve tried everything from nicotine pills to therapies.

The result: I continue to smoke







Ernest, 25 years old:


I play computer games. Everything would be fine if I didn’t neglect my family, friends and myself by playing games. I’ve always played, but I never thought I’d have that problem. My loved ones tried to help me. I remember my wife threatening to divorce me if I didn’t stop.


Result: I am divorced




Agnes, 56 years old:


I’m an alcoholic. At the age of 17, my adventure with alcohol began. I met a friend who liked to party and I easily let myself be persuaded to go out together. At first we went out once a month. After a while this became much more frequent. At some point in my life people began starting families and to move out of their parents house. I continued to drink. One day the doctor told me that if I didn’t stop drinking, I would live a short life.


The result: He died age 56.










Unconscious shaping.


All stages of human formation ultimately affect who we become. Even as a child, we learn habits that can have a positive or negative impact on our life years. This can be supported by the example of a child who is taught by parents to suck a soother. He or she performs this activity by repeating it regularly, every day, and it becomes a habit. What are the consequences of this activity? The child’s crooked teeth. The child is not able to make conscious decisions, so the responsibility is transferred to the parents – they are responsible for the formation of certain habits in the child and determine their role and influence on the child’s future life. The example of sucking the soother is quite provisional, but nevertheless it shows the role of habits in our lives and its consequences. It is not dependent on the child itself as it has no choice through a lack of educated awareness. Nevertheless, the child automatically learns this activity and it becomes one of their habits. Why am I mentioning this? To emphasise the importance of the role of parents in the child’s life and to understand the child’s behaviour, which is rooted in the mind before his or her own consciousness. These types of rootedness can have a great influence on further human decisions.







Environmental influence on shaping.


Now let’s think of a fully developed and emotionally mature man. For example, a person over 18 years old who regularly drinks coffee. Let’s think about where this habit or kind of addiction comes from. Could it be because of the parents who consume it just as regularly? Or by friends at school who also have a tendency to do so?






The importance is the behaviour of others that we absorb and mimic. It is no coincidence that the proverb “with whom you surround yourself with, so you are” is very well known. We should not make excuses and blame others for our actions/behaviours, but let us remember that these people have an influence and we decide whether or not to use that influence.







We have our own influence in shaping other’s behaviour.


Looking at the previous headlines we already know that both the environment and the stage of unconsciousness influences the formation of habits or addictions in life. They have an indirect impact on the display of certain behaviours. Let us now think about the direct and greatest influence, that is, about ourselves.


We will illustrate this with an example. You go to high school and all your friends smoke cigarettes. To stay away from the pack, you go out with them for company. You don’t smoke. You stand, talk and suddenly a friend asks you: Why do you go out and not smoke?


You think about what he said and answer: For company. He suggests: For company, you can smoke too. You think about it longer and say, “Give me a cigarette. You light it up, you start smoking and you feel great. You feel relaxed and think to yourself, “I won’t smoke again”. Classes at school are over and on your way back from school you pass the kiosk and see cigarettes in it. You stop and think about how much fun you had with smoking today. You say you’re gonna buy a package. You buy. From that moment on your own influence and choice shapes your addiction. You may not yet be aware that you are shaping an addiction. It’s a kind of trap that’s easy to get into, but it’s very hard for you to get out of it. The role of pleasure in addiction should be emphasised here. Note that addicts take pleasure from their activities, which is why it is so hard for them to stop.


Habits and addictions are formed in the same way. Nevertheless, there is a difference between the two. This difference is the evaluation. The assessment of whether it is good or bad for your life. Addiction is a condition that is characterised by periodic or permanent compulsion to perform a certain activity. Habit, on the other hand, is an automated activity that is acquired through repetition. We must remember that a habit can turn into an addiction.






Aneta Sznicer

Aneta Sznicer

Founder of Mood & Read, HR specialist, copywriter, marketer, and soon to be psychologist. I help people achieve their goals by teaching social skills. Personally, I love playing the piano, dancing and singing. Anything to do with music helps me to find myself in reality. If you listen carefully, you will be able to hear your emotions. If you are able to hear them, you will know yourself even better and stronger. Thank you for visiting my website. It is a pleasure to get to know you.

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